The next generation wind turbine

Queensland design and inspiration have teamed with Victorian manufacturing knowhow to make a radical new wind turbine. Working quietly in the background, ICN has brought the designer and maker together.

Renewable Energy Solutions Australia (RESA) has developed something quite special: a new wind turbine that is both quiet and efficient. Known as the ‘EcoWhisper’, its 30-blade cone-shaped turbine is small, quiet and safe enough to sit in industrial areas.

RESA approached ICN to help find the right firm to fabricate the EcoWhisper, knowing of ICN’s track record in the emerging renewable energy industry. Geelong-based Austeng were awarded the project to build the first prototype. 'ICN was instrumental in identifying several potential suppliers. Austeng blew us away with their enthusiasm for the project, and their proven track record to deliver a finished product,' says Michael LeMessurier from RESA.

Austeng is a family-run engineering and manufacturing firm whose product range supports the traditional automotive, timber, textile, printing, petroleum, foundry and funeralindustries. Wind energy is a new field, but builds on capabilities that have been built up over 40 years.

Austeng were commissioned to build the first 100 commercial 20kW turbines. They have also worked with RESA to develop a smaller 5kW version, as well as a machine to test turbine performance.

One of the first turbines stands in front of Austeng’s Geelong factory. It’s for testing as much as marketing and energy purposes, but represents a lot more.

'The initial contact puts us in a strong position to continue to make the more complex components for the EcoWhisper turbine as it gears up to large scale production', says Ross George, Austeng’s Managing Director. 'This means we can retain our workforce, at a time when many of our traditional clients are either no longer in existence or have relocated their manufacturing base overseas.'

With a track record in supplying sophisticated products to the US, Europe, Asia and the UK, Austeng is confident it can shift into a new market. 'We want to capitalise on the increased interest in the renewable energy sector', confirms Mr George.

Through the product testing and fabrication, ICN has remained a very interested party, keeping in touch with RESA and Austeng to make sure things are running smoothly.

And, of course, to keep an eye out for opportunities for other firms with the potential to help meet our future clean energy needs.

ICN is Australia and New Zealand’s innovative industry matchmaker. If you’re a major project developer, ICN can put you in contact with the best suppliers. If you’re a supplier we will connect you with the best projects for your business.