We talk to Stuart McLeish, FuturEnergy’s operations director, about how the company is pushing the boundaries of off-grid power provision
What does your company do?
FuturEnergy is a ‘Made in Britain’ manufacturer, designing and producing the Airforce1 1kW micro wind turbine and Airforce Control just outside Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. Our 1kW wind turbine is perfect for rural off-grid locations to supply battery charging for power to remote sites. Ideal for the energy requirement of glamping, camping, pods and yurts, systems are supplied in 24v and 48v systems with a ready to mount wind turbine, controller, anemometer and manual stop. Our turbine is compatible with solar for a hybrid combination.
Why do you do it so well?
We are a small, dedicated team who hand build our permanent magnet generators and turbines on site. We care about our product and the people we sell to. Our aim is to harness energy from the wind efficiently, quietly and cost effectively.
We consistently develop and invest in new technologies to ensure our products are state of the art and high performance, while listening to our customers’ most frequently requested features.
Our business has an enviable reputation for great customer service, always going above and beyond to assist and advise our clients. Our customers have direct access to our technical team for advice, which is a big differentiator when purchasing a product that is often integrated with other power technologies.
Please give us a potted company history
In 2004 Peter Osborne, founder of FuturEnergy, had the vision to manufacture a small wind turbine that would generate enough power to make a difference. Many years later the British made Airforce1 is still going strong. We have come through many manifestations to arrive where we are today.
We have over 15 years of experience now in producing robust small wind turbines for multiple applications, from oil rigs in Vietnam, to the beaches of Brazil, to the highlands of Scotland. Our turbines have even been installed on Artic research vessels, providing power in the most extreme of conditions. FuturEnergy has sold over 7,000 1kW wind turbine systems in the UK and worldwide while maintaining rigorous control over quality and after sales service.
Describe your brand proposition
FuturEnergy’s AirForce range of products are known for their advanced features and durability. We are proud to be a long-time member of the ‘Made in Britain’ campaign. All products are designed, manufactured and supported in the UK.
What is your ‘hero’ product?
We are very proud of our Airforce Controller, the culmination of years of enhanced design and research for remote access to our turbines. The nature of the product means it works best in exposed areas and, by default, can be difficult to access. This device is something our customers had been requesting for some time. It’s a very advanced ‘Internet of Things’ device which automatically protects the turbine in strong wind conditions, providing battery charging control while monitoring wind speeds and power generation.
Customers are now able to connect to their wind turbine from anywhere in the world using the free iPhone/Android app and check on the turbine’s power output, even allowing them to start and stop the turbine. This gives our customers peace of mind that they can always check in and see what the turbine is doing, even if they are thousands of miles away.
Any extra special people?
Our technical director Doug Nangle must be mentioned here. Doug provides the technical vision for the company and is an outstanding engineer. He has enthusiastically spearheaded all product development since joining the company in 2010, keeping our products up to date and cutting edge. Doug designed the AirForce Control unit from scratch, even down to soldering prototype PCB boards himself and testing all programming.
What are you most proud of?
It is difficult to pick one specific thing as there are a number to choose from. But I would say FuturEnergy’s ability to adapt to customer requirements in an ever-changing industry is one of them. We are pushing the boundaries of what customers would expect from a turbine of this size; the monitoring capabilities now available to our customers usually only come with much larger turbines.
Why should a customer get in touch?
Anybody looking for off-grid power generation options, from stand-alone wind turbine systems, or as part of a hybrid setup, should certainly speak to FuturEnergy. We have the experience, and the installer network, to make your project a reality. We are a dedicated team that provides a service to support our products and are here on the other end of the telephone in Warwickshire to answer any questions.