A new trial will test small wind turbines for telecommunications.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced $341,990 in funding to Diffuse Energy Pty Ltd (Diffuse Energy) to demonstrate the effectiveness of its innovative micro wind turbine technology for use on off-grid telecommunications towers and broader remote applications.

As part of the $922,307 project, the Newcastle-based startup will install its small wind turbines at 10 off-grid telecommunications towers across various locations in Australia.

Telecommunications providers in Australia currently rely heavily on diesel generation to power their off-grid sites. It leaves them exposed during natural disasters such as bushfires and floods, cutting off vital communications when it is most required.

With resilience a major issue for the telecommunications industry, wind turbine technology is seen as a solution to keep these towers operating.

Diffuse Energy developed a novel small wind turbine capable of generating 500W that solves a number of technical issues previously associated with small wind turbines, including low energy efficiency compared to their larger counterparts, maintenance issues, and poor commercial outcomes for the end user.

Small wind turbines are complementary to solar PV and batteries, particularly when solar and batteries are restricted due to space restrictions or lack of sun.