Press release

Inauguration of modern micro wind turbine for guesthouse on Helgoland Island

[11. November 2011] 

Helgoland/Bremerhaven, 11 November 2011. A new wind turbine for the guesthouse of the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland will be inaugurated today. The quietrevolution qr5 micro wind turbine is going to help cover the power requirements for the so-called Mielck-Haus in Helgoland’s Unterland. The vertical rotor blades turn extremely quietly and ensure that power is generated even in turbulent winds. The facility costs around 35,000 euros and the turbine was put up within a few days.



During the official inauguration of the micro wind turbine in the afternoon of November 11th 2011 the wind blew from the southeast with a force five to six. Nothing unusual for the approximately 50 guests attending the event on Helgoland. “Making use of the force of the wind on a North Sea island is a very important step for us as climate impact researchers,” says Prof. Dr. Karen Wiltshire, head of the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland (BAH), which is part of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association. Scientifically, she and the institute staff investigate the impacts of climate change on the marine animal and plant world. At the same time, they try to minimize the climate impact of these investigations by investing in energy saving measures in the institute’s buildings and, and exploiting alternative energy sources such as wind.


The expected total capacity of the facility is 7,500 kilowatt-hours a year, which covers part of the power needs of the guesthouse. The approx. 44 students a week who live here come to the BAH for university courses. “The qr5 is exceptionally quiet as a result of the vertical rotor blades and is even suitable for operation in residential areas,” Heino Peters explains the choice for this type of windmill, which is still a rare sight in Germany. The head of BAH Building Services adds: “The technology functions particularly effectively in turbulent winds, as windswirls can also drive the vertical rotor blades from underneath.” The qr5 is manufactured by the English firm quietrevolution, whose products are marketed by RWE Innogy in Germany.


The vertical rotors have a length of five metres and turn parallelly to the 15 m high mast. Whether the facility has an impact on migratory birds is the subject of a study by BAH biologists in cooperation with the Institute of Avian Research “Vogelwarte Helgoland”. If necessary, it can be illuminated or switched off in certain weather conditions during bird migration. “After all, we don’t want the use of renewable energies as protection of the climate to impact the rich birdlife of the island,” Wiltshire explains the intention. With the new wind turbine, she hopes to set a positive example for the whole of Helgoland. She is grateful to the local authority of the island, which let the BAH have part of the land needed for the wind turbine. “The project was supported with assistance and advice from the Pinneberg District building authority as well as by many Helgoland enterprises and displays the spirit of a new Helgoland,” states the BAH head. If the facility on Helgoland proves effective under the operating conditions, she adds, it is conceivable that micro wind turbines could be utilised at other locations of the Alfred Wegener Institute as well.


Notes for Editors:  You will find technical information on the micro wind turbine qr5 here:

Your contact person is Folke Mehrtens, Communications and Media Relations (Tel.: +49 (0)471 4831-2007, e-mail:


The Alfred Wegener Institute conducts research in the Arctic, Antarctic and oceans of the high and middle latitudes. It coordinates polar research in Germany and provides major infrastructure to the international scientific community, such as the research icebreaker Polarstern and stations in the Arctic and Antarctica. The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the seventeen research centres of the Helmholtz Association, the largest scientific organisation in Germany.


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Das Institut

Das Alfred-Wegener-Institut forscht in den Polarregionen und Ozeanen der mittleren und hohen Breiten. Als eines von 19 Forschungszentren der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft koordiniert es Deutschlands Polarforschung und stellt Schiffe wie den Forschungseisbrecher Polarstern und Stationen für die internationale Wissenschaft zur Verfügung.