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Wind turbine for top of Marks Barfield’s i360 scrapped

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A proposed wind turbine on top of Marks Barfield’s £40 million i360 tower in Brighton looks set to be dtiched

Project backer Brighton i360 has applied for planning permission to remove the turbine from the 175m-tall tower’s consented design after engineers raised concerns it could cause the structure to move in high winds.

The turbine had originally been planned as a source of power for the ‘vertical cable car’ which will climb 138m up the tower.

Instead energy will be captured from the cable car’s descent recovering around 50 per cent of the power needed for its climb up the tower.

The tower, which is currently under construction on the same site as Brighton’s former West Pier, is expected to open to the public in 2016.

John Roberts, the i360’s chief engineer, said: ‘In the very early designs of the tower, we had proposed including a wind turbine at the top, however detailed studies by our damping specialist showed that the wind turbine (with a mounting on the roof of the tower) would have stopped the tower damping system from working properly and the turbine itself would have been susceptible to damage.

‘An important aspect of the tower design has been to ensure that it can withstand very high winds in the worst possible storms. To deal with these conditions there are damping systems mounted internally within the tower and the exterior of the tower is clad with perforated aluminium cladding, which disrupts the flow of the wind.’

He added: ‘The wind turbine was expected to generate around 20% of the energy for the vertical cable car’s ascent, but by capturing energy on the vertical cable car descent, we will recover approximately 50% of the energy for the ascent, so we will be saving more energy than originally envisaged.’

Marks Barfield's i360 observation tower in Brighton - under construction [July 2015]

Marks Barfield’s i360 observation tower in Brighton - under construction [July 2015]

 

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