Coastguard station relies on LE-v150 Extreme in the winter

Typical of many NCI stations, St Agnes Head is off-grid with no access to mains power and has to rely on solar PV and wind to power radar, marine radios, an iPad and other equipment with a total load of 120W between the hours of 8.00-17.00 daily (8.00-20.00 in the summer months).

Although 240W of solar PV has been installed at the station, the PV doesn’t generate enough power during the shorter winter months so wind generation is essential in topping up the balance.

LE-v150 Extreme Wind Turbine

With gust of 60+ knots, the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) lookout station at St Agnes Head in north Cornwall experiences some pretty harsh storms during the winter. Having seen three horizontal axis turbines destroyed by storms, the NCI station turned to the more robust design of an LE-v150 Extreme vertical turbine to provide much needed power in this remote location.
Phil Ashman, Station Manager, National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) lookout station, St Agnes Head

With the LE-v150 Extreme running silently 24hrs the turbine keeps the batteries ticking over and charged when the lookout is closed ensuring they are ready for the next day.

"Being situated on the north Cornish coast adjacent to the coastal path and filming locations for various TV programmes we get numerous visitors popping in - all of whom are amazed when they are told that we have no mains power but are completely reliant on 2 small PV panels and your LE-V150 Extreme - designed, built and sourced from a British company," said Station Manager Phil Ashman.

"The LE-v150 Extreme turbine has survived the strong winds and adverse weather that we have endured this winter very well, maintaining our batteries in a strong state. Being on top of a 300ft cliff fully exposed to the sea and all associated elements, we frequently experience very sudden and strong gusts combined with frequent rapid changes in wind direction,” continued Phil Ashman. "The turbine survives them all whilst ensuring a consistent supply to our battery bank allowing us to operate our Lookout equipment.”

There are 50 NCI stations keeping a visual watch around the coastline of England and Wales. Each station has a qualified and highly trained team to watch over its own particular area. Accidents will always happen at sea and along the coastline. Wherever there is an NCI station a watchkeeper will be looking out for danger and ensuring your safety on the water.

The LE-v150 wind turbine uses a proven ‘Savonious’ rotor design which gives silent and effective performance. For use in applications where a traditional horizontal axis turbine may be inappropriate and simply couldn’t survive prolonged periods of storm force winds, the LE-v150 draws on Leading Edge’s heritage of designing rugged vertical axis wind turbine chargers for powering industrial and research equipment in extreme environments.

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