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Innovators Corner: Multi-Rotor Wind Turbine - Myriad Wind Energy Systems

In the dynamic field of renewable energy production, innovative solutions play a pivotal role in addressing efficiency, scalability, and sustainability challenges. Myriad Wind Energy Systems, founded by three passionate PhD candidates, is at the forefront of industry advancements developing cutting-edge multi-rotor wind turbines. In this case study, we review Myriad Wind Energy Systems’ journey, technology innovations, and product vision.

Picture of a multi-rotor wind turbine, produced by Myriad Wind Energy Systems. This novel wind turbine concept may soon be used to provide power in hard to reach, remote locations
Concept multi-rotor wind turbine design produced by Myriad Wind Energy Systems

The Vision and Mission of Myriad Wind Energy Systems

Myriad Wind Energy Systems aims to transform the wind energy sector by creating highly efficient, scalable, and cost-effective multi-rotor wind turbines. Their mission involves rethinking and redesigning wind turbine technology to deliver utility-scale energy that is not reliant upon on large, costly components. This strategic approach leads to substantial cost savings throughout the turbine’s life cycle.

The Founders and Their Journey

The idea for the company emerged when their collective passion for renewable energy aligned with the motivation to making a change through launching a technology start-up . Co-founders Adam Harris (CEO), Paul Pirrie (CTO) and Peter Taylor (COO) crossed paths during PhD studies at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde. Their academic research and commercial pursuits aligned while participating in the Wind and Marine Energy Systems Centre for Doctoral Training— laying the foundation for Myriad Wind Energy Systems.

Picture of the co-founders and directors of Myriad Wind Engineering Systems
Left - Paul Pirrie, CTO. Middle - Adam Harris, CEO. Right - Peter Taylor, COO.

The journey of Myriad Wind Energy Systems started in mid-2021, at this time the team decided to pool their resources and focus on developing multi-rotor wind turbines. By the end of the year, they had established the company and begun working on their conceptual design. This early-stage development was supported by prize money from the Conception X Demo Day, which they won, and initial investments from Old College Capital and Innovate UK grants. In 2024, subsequent funding rounds allowed Myriad to develop their first physical proof of concept, a 4 rotor 2kW turbine which represents a 1/20 scale model (in terms of blade length) of their planned 1MW turbine product.

The Case for Multi-Rotor Wind Turbines

Wind turbine technology has evolved significantly over the past few decades. According to the US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the average swept area of a wind turbine has grown by approximately 645% since 1998-1999. In 1999, turbines had an average capacity of about 0.7MW with a 30m diameter. In contrast, the average turbine in 2022 boasted around 3MW capacity, featuring a 130m diameter blade, while the largest turbines currently available rely on individual blade lengths of over 120m. While this size increase allows for greater energy capture from the wind, it also comes with certain drawbacks.

"every time you increase the size of turbines, different challenges emerge in how turbines are transported and installed" - Pedro Pastilha, Vestas

By simply scaling traditional designs to benefit from this higher power output, costs relating to manufacture, transport, installation, operation and maintenance can rise significantly. Similarly, remote locations become increasingly inaccessible for road-based transport. As a result, developers may be required to confine themselves to offshore developments if they wish to implement such high yield, high diameter turbines. If blade size grows even further, significant investment into port infrastructure, marine transportation and installation technologies are required. [Click here to learn more about novel technologies for offshore marine operations]

Modular and Scalable Design

The turbines developed by Myriad Wind Energy Systems feature a modular design that simplifies transportation, assembly, and maintenance. This design flexibility allows the turbines to be adapted to various project sizes and geographical constraints, making them ideal for remote and hard-to-reach locations where traditional turbines might be impractical.

Economies of Scale in Manufacturing

One of the standout features of Myriad's approach is their commitment to achieving true economies of scale. By standardizing components and leveraging mass manufacturing techniques, they can eventually drive down costs and make wind energy more accessible and economically viable. This approach not only benefits the end-users but also positions Myriad Wind Energy Systems as a competitive player in the renewable energy market.

Multi-rotor wind turbine components loaded onto a standard HGV truck, allowing installation of wind turbines at hard to reach destinations.
Myriad Wind Energy Systems are sizing their components to allow for road-based transportation without the need for extensive specialist equipment.

Overcoming Market Challenges

The wind energy market today faces several significant challenges, including razor-thin margins for OEMs, complex manufacturing and logistics, and the need for greater standardization. Myriad Wind Energy Systems addresses these challenges head-on with their innovative technology:

  • Razor-Thin Margins: By reducing production and maintenance costs through standardization and modular design, Myriad helps improve profit margins for wind energy projects.

  • Manufacturing and Logistics: The modular design of their turbines simplifies the manufacturing process and reduces the logistical complexities associated with transporting large turbine components.

  • Standardization: Moving towards standardized components and manufacturing processes ensures that Myriad's turbines can be produced efficiently and at scale, addressing one of the industry's most pressing needs.

Significant Achievements

Since its inception, Myriad Wind Systems has achieved several noteworthy milestones:

  • Conception X Demo Day and the NZTC Tech X accelerator: These early victories provided critical validation and a financial boost, allowing the team to advance their technology.

  • Securing Funding: Multiple rounds of funding and grants from Old College Capital, SFC, Innovate UK, and Scottish Enterprise have been instrumental in supporting Myriad's research and development efforts.

  • Developing a Proof of Concept: The creation of a 2 kW, 4 rotor turbine demonstrator showcases both the feasibility of the concept as well as the abilities of the Myriad Wind Energy Systems team.

The Role of Blackfish Engineering

With support from Blackfish, Myriad has developed a Verification and Validation (V&V) plan that helped the team identify and mitigate risks in their technology development program enabling an accelerated path to a minimum viable product (MVP). Blackfish Engineering held a number of workshop based V&V sessions working closely with Myriad staff to deconstruct the complex system into manageable subsystems, identifying technical risks, and devising cost and resource efficient strategies to mitigate them. This structured approach has been essential in de-risking the technology and preparing the company for future investment.

"What we're trying to do is such a huge undertaking and so taking that structured approach from Blackfish's V&V workshop and running with it has really helped us reduce costs and ultimately reduce our time to a minimum viable product" - Peter Taylor, COO Myriad Wind Energy Systems

Learn more about how V&V plans can support your product development. Get in contact and find out how Blackfish Engineering can help you.

Future Goals and Aspirations

Looking ahead, Myriad Wind Energy Systems has ambitious plans to scale the technology and expand their market presence. Myriad is currently focused on securing funding for their development of a standardized 250 kW rotor assembly unit, which they will then be able to combine with their modular support frame to be able to deliver the full range of onshore Myriad turbines. Leading a consortium of 6 companies based across Scotland, Germany and Sweden, Myriad is in the process of securing grant funding for these units. This project is expected to take around 3 years from the securing of funds, and will involve intricate component testing, loads testing and the eventual production of a full scale frame section. The aim is for Myriad to develop their capabilities throughout this project, allowing the production of a 1MW minimum viable product upon completion.

Myriad Wind Energy Systems eventually aims to develop multi-rotor turbines with capacities of 1MW, 2.5 MW, 4.5 MW, and 6 MW. These turbines will leverage Myriad's modular and scalable design principles to achieve true economies of scale. The beachhead market will be remote hard-to-reach onshore sites unsuitable for traditional turbines with a future expansion into offshore markets.

By reducing the size of turbine components compared to traditional equivalents, Myriad intends to establish partnerships with smaller local manufacturers. This approach will create supply chains in close proximity to their projects, ultimately lowering installation and maintenance costs while increasing the local content of projects.

Funding and Investment

Myriad Wind Energy Systems is currently in the process of raising a seed round in order to scale up their technology, develop the 250 kW demonstrator, and prepare for larger projects. So far, Myriad has worked with and secured funds from the Conception X program, Old College Capital, Innovate UK, the Net Zero Technology Centre via their Tech X accelerator, SFC capital and more.


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