We all know that we all need to shift to renewable sources of energy for our electricity needs sooner or later, for the obvious reasons like non-renewable sources are nearing the extinction, pollution level is increasing because of them, global warming is increasing and many more such reasons.
Wind Energy is one such renewable source of energy which has a great potential to fulfil our demands of electricity. Moreover, the idea of wind farms is proving to be of great success. But this traditional system for harnessing the wind energy has its own disadvantages.
Bird Safety is a big issue in the world of wind turbines. The Second big issue is the noise and space occupied if wind farms are installed. I am penning down some creative ideas of the Wind Turbines, from around the world, which will force you to rethink about ways of harnessing the wind energy.
Tree Shaped Wind Turbines –
Paris-based startup New Wind R&D has come up with an innovative design for wind turbine in the form of a Tree Structure. The tree structure is comprised of a steel trunk and branches with 100 leaf-like plastic devices on them that act as a miniature turbine. Due to the light weight of leaves, the blades can rotate even with the lightest of breezes, powering small generators in each of them. The advantages of this design is it would suit well in an urban context. It can harness all types of wind and doesn’t produce any noise.
Wind Stalk –
This is one concept of generating electricity from the wind energy without the usage of turbines was given by the New York design firm Atelier DNA. This design would overcome the problems of the traditional wind farms that creates noise and were proving harmful for the bats and migratory birds.
Wind stalk seem like a giant field of grass or reeds, which are 55m tall and are anchored to the concrete bases. An LED is attached to the top of each stem which indicates the strength of the winds. Each stem contains a stack of piezoelectric disks which is forced into compression as the stem bends, thus generating electricity.
There are two kinds of wind turbines, Horizontal Axis Turbines and Vertical Axis Turbines. WindSpire are a type of Vertical Axis Turbines. It is manufactured with corrosion-ressitant soft silver paint that can be re-painted in any color, Windspire provides a truly aesthetically-inspiring renewable wind power option. It is quieter, less imposing and more bird-friendly cousin. The windspire’s reflective cage would ward off the birds and other flying creatures. Moreover, it requires lesser space compared to the horizontal axis turbines.
Helium Filled Floating Wind Turbines –
This is one Wind energy project which is not rooted to grounds or at the sea base. Instead some recent inventions have put the wind turbines high in the sky where the winds move the fastest. It’s a balloon full of helium wrapped around a wind turbine. The balloon can float to high altitudes of 350m and land automatically. It’s deployed from a towable docking trailer and aims to reduce energy costs by up to 65% by harnessing the stronger winds found over 1,000Ft. It requires minimum maintenance and impose virtually no environmental or noise impact.
The whole of Iceland country runs on the renewable energy sources like geothermal pockets and hydroelectric dams. Extreme weather conditions of Iceland pose special challenges for the traditional wind turbines. Icewind, a startup founded by Ashlee Vance, designed a small vertical axis wind turbine to perform well in low-wind conditions and also slow itself in high winds to prevent it from catching on fire or ripping apart. These small, vaguely castle-like units, made in a variety of colors, are touted as being able to melt and shed ice easily, before it can interfere with power production.
Typhoon Turbine –
The world’s first typhoon turbine was invented by Atsushi Shimizu to tap into the massive amounts of energy contained within storms common to his homeland of Japan. It is a robust, egg beater-shaped wind turbine, designed not only to withstand the incredible force of a tropical cyclone, but also to harness it. Unlike ordinary turbines, it can stay standing even intense winds and rains because of the omnidirectional vertical axis design and blades with adjustable speeds. Hence, this design is best for the Japan and for places frequently visited by strong storms such as China, Philippines and US.
Vortex Bladeless Wind Power Turbine –
The Vortex is a new kind of wind turbine being developed without any blades. In order to reduce the danger for our flying feathered creatures, engineers created a wind turbine shaped like a tall, thin straw rather than having large rotating blades. The device harvests energy from swirling vortices in moving air, and since the bladeless wind energy generators are tall and thin, several of them can be installed in the space that a single blade turbine takes up.
Lateral Axis Wind Turbine –
This concept of wind turbine has been envisioned by Sri Lankan Inventor Leelananda Jayasuriya. The wind turbine design was based on the design of Ferris Wheel. It has a central shaft mounted horizontally on upright supports while turbine blades spin in an epicyclical path, on extended arms around the central shaft. As per the Inventor the wind turbine’s design has many advantages as it can rotate with the direction of the wind, it generates less sound, is safer for birds and bats.
Wind power makes up a larger percentage of global renewable energy. Seeing the above technological advancements in their designs, it’s no mystery that it has become the fastest-growing form of clean energy.
Well, Wind Power is not alone in this race of technological advancements. Other renewable sources of energy are also undergoing such reforms. In my subsequent blogs I would discuss about such developments for other resources also.