University of South Africa
Overview of innovation

A low-cost, portable, self-aligning rooftop wind turbine designed to capture moderate velocity wind and generate electricity efficiently for household use. Large-scale wind turbines in South Africa are located far afield, and the energy generated must be transported back to communities via huge power lines, which increases the cost of energy delivery. The portable, self-aligning, low-cost wind turbine comprises an innovative small-radius blade system to ensure maximum torque per small rotating radius. It is constructed using extremely inexpensive components. It is portable and can be installed with ease as an add-on to any premises. The energy generated from the system is channelled directly into the household system via an innovative electronic controller box fitted to the house distribution box.

The wind energy potential in South Africa is estimated at 67 000 GW. However, it is estimated that only 3 GW of wind energy will have been installed by 2020. One of the factors contributing to this low penetration is the fact that much of the focus in wind turbine technology has been on utility-scale wind farms. While these play a significant role in alternative energy generation, there remains huge potential for roof-top wind turbines for household use. The development of technology in the context of low-cost household wind turbines will greatly contribute to the success of wind energy technology in South Africa and Africa.

Type of Intellectual Property protection
Innovation Opportunity Type
​Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
Renewable Energy
Green Energy
Technology Readiness Level
TRL 6 – Prototype tested in real-world settings