The new tool will account for terrain and local obstructions to predict the annual energy output of a potential small wind turbine site, providing individuals and businesses with information on payback from turbines up to around 100kW in size.

Encraft is part of a UK consortium of engineering consultants and research organisations tasked with refining algorithms to take into account obstacles such as trees, houses and large buildings all of which can affect localised wind speeds.

Encraft will manage Building Research Establishment’s wind tunnel testing and Loughborough University’s Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling, as well as providing further validation of the new tool by comparing results to existing data from the West Midlands based Warwick Wind Trials-1, which Encraft undertook between 2006 and 2008.

The US partners include Cadmus Group, the California Wind Energy Collaborative (CWEC) and the National Wind Technology Centre (NWTC), and the US consortium will design the platform for the tool, as well as providing content.

Using GIS data provided by NWTC and the algorithms developed by project partners, the new customisable wind site assessment tool will provide details on average wind speed, the spread of wind throughout the year, wind direction and the economics of installing a wind turbine at a given site, including projected energy output.

Encraft project manager Helen Brown said that the new wind site assessment tool is focused on providing information for those looking to install turbines up to 100kW in size, making it ideal for those looking to reduce utility costs and their environmental impact.

The project is expected to be completed in June next year.

Encraft is an independent consulting engineering firm specializing in microgeneration, on site renewables and low carbon buildings.