Sky Wind Turbine

CompanyArup Associates
ClientPaul Brislin
DesignerArup Associates (Tower Designers) Paul Brislin, James Ward, Andrew Robertson, Tim Snelson, Marcus Weyler, Tom Bailey Northern Power (wind turbine nacelle and blades)
Prize1st Place in Sustainable Living/Environmental Preservation
Entry Description

The new wind turbine completes Sky Studios, Sky’s state- of-the-art broadcasting centre. BSkyB’s brief for a world- leading, genuinely sustainable HQ challenged Arup Associates to capture every viable natural resource on the London site and to radically minimise energy use throughout. It is the most sustainable facility of its type in the world. The structure of Sky’s tower is formed of a tapering and twisting prismatic truss which helps to mitigate aeroelastic instability by breaking up vortices. As the tower twists up its height, the direction of the wind relative to the edges of the tower also changes, changing the direction and location of the vortices. The perforated anodised aluminium panels cladding helps to mitigate excitation from wind, by allowing some wind to pass directly through the tower, they also reflects the sun creating an ever changing play of light and shade. The turbine design is bespoke to the turbine rotational behaviour and was developed in collaboration with the manufacturer. Using state-of-the-art aero-elastic simulation and fatigue analysis the team produced an optimized design for Sky and also for any ‘Class III’ application of a Northwind 100kW turbine. The dynamic modes of the tower are optimised to avoid excitation from the fundamental frequencies of the turbine. The 60m high turbine represents a UK first agreement with Heathrow approach control and NATS (National Air Traffic Control Services) to use radar blanking for wind turbines in close proximity to runways. It has the capacity to generate 100kW at peak wind conditions, 133,000 kWhr/year, equivalent to a petrol car (70 miles/gallon) travelling 370,000 miles – approximately fifteen times around the world every year. The turbine’s power output is currently exceeding expectations, delivering significant energy at relatively low wind-speeds.