Mills or turbines of wind conventional generating clean energy, although contaminate landscape level and pose a threat to biodiversity, particularly bird mortality it causes.
In addition to these drawbacks, new technologies are always trying to find more efficient designs, so the search for alternatives to typical wind turbines is a very common approach. The results of the different proposals, however, are conspicuous for their originality.
Let’s look at some of them, whether they are wind turbines without blades or with blades that have unprecedented characteristics, as well as accessories that make turbines a different proposal, which represents some type of advantage over conventional ones.
Vortex, bladeless turbines
The vibration and deformation produced by the wind in the turbines is one of its main enemies in order to achieve the necessary efficiency. However, this very problem can become a strong point.
So it is, at least, with Vortex, a “vorticity wind turbine” invented by the Spanish startup Deutecno, winner of the Repsol company’s “Entrepreneurs Fund” and winning the 2014 Startup & Investor Summit.
They are turbines that have the appearance of a conventional wind turbine pillar, without the blades, but made with piezoelectric materials and fiberglass or carbon that manage to trap wind energy.
Thanks to its relative flexibility of the column, which we could define as semi rigid, it vibrates in contact with the wind. The result, logically, is energy production.
Turbine that mimic the flight of the hummingbird
An example of biomimicry, these turbines mimic the flight of a bird. But not just any bird, but the hummingbird, whose peculiarity is its ability to float drawing with its wings the figure of an eight, suspended in the air, without the need for support.
The intention of this biomimetic invention , created by the Tunisian startup Tyer Wind, is none other than to imitate the mechanism that allows hummingbirds to float on the ground to achieve less noise pollution and environmental safety since they are less dangerous for birds.
They are made of carbon fiber , their blades are 1.6 meters (much smaller than conventional ones) and they are still in the testing phase.
Wind turbines on power poles
Also seeking a less landscape impact , there are some wind turbines inserted in electrical towers. For this, vertical axis turbines are used and less infrastructure is required, since light poles are used.
Although they are a little known alternative to windmills , vertical axis turbines have great advantages. Among them, not requiring large investments, efficiency thanks to its use of minimum air flows, a lower environmental impact and its silent operation, among others.
Returning to this proposal, it is an idea that participated in the Next Generation 2009 competition, organized by the design and architecture magazine Metrópolis to reward young talents. That edition the award was for this project, presented by three French architects under the name “Wind it”.
Wind and solar energy in the home
Jonathan Globerson is the designer responsible for the invention Greengenerator, which aims to produce clean and sustainable energy in the balconies of the houses .
As can be seen in the image, the Greenerator allows progress in the much-needed self-consumption of a home that is located in a building without having to resort to community projects.
The Greengenerator is a prototype device that combines a vertical axis wind turbine and a flexible solar panel system .
According to Globerson, it is an invention that allows us to take advantage of the sun and the air that we harvest from our balcony, thanks to which we can save around 6 percent of the electricity bill and lighten our carbon footprint.
Wind turbines in telephone antennas
A similar idea in terms of type of wind turbines and use of infrastructures is that of the New York company Urban Green Energy. In this case, the idea is not to dump the energy into the grid but to use it directly, in the same place where it is generated.
Baptized with the name of Urban Green Energy, the system uses the energy in the same place, since its inventors consider that the current obsolete electrical networks are not capable of distributing it efficiently.
Wind turbines on the roads
One of the finalists of the 2006 Next GEenration award, Mark Oberholzer, was committed to integrating vertical axis wind turbines in the barriers that divide traffic on the roads, specifically on the US highway in New Jersey.
His idea is to take advantage of the extra wind generated by the passing of the cars , in addition to the one that is generated naturally. Curling the loop, he also proposed building a light rail fed with this energy over the barriers to lighten traffic.
The difference of a small great detail
Finally, the experimental wind technology of General Electric Global Research is embodied in only apparently conventional turbines. Except for the accessory in the form of a dome or shield that we find in the center of its blades, thanks to which it increases its power.
The secret of its greater productivity is the use of lost wind , preventing it from passing through the leaves, as demonstrated in its experimental installation in the Mojave desert of California. Although the manufacturing costs are also higher, its creators ensure that its productivity is also higher, so the return on investment is well worth it.
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