The Evolution Of Wind Turbines

Wind energy, being one of the fastest growing form of clean and renewable energy enjoy a large popularity not only amongst environmentalist. The trend evolved in the latest decade into a new industry and today we all are familiar with the electricity producing huge wind farms.
But there will always be naysayers, and to be faithful to the truth we should look at both sides of the coin:
  • in order to be significantly efficient wind turbines should be really big; this is a place where size does matter.
  • because of their size the costs of building profitable wind turbines are obviously, as big as the machines are.
  • big wind turbines are noisy.
  • wind turbines kill birds.
  • for an aesthetic eye let's just say that wind farms are plain ugly.

There is some truth in all this.
But then again, the wind energy industry is a young one, still in evolution. Its potential is far from being exhausted, and their supporters far from being discouraged. So i feel it is my duty to bring forward the latest wind turbines designs, the ones who answer most of, if not all, above complaints.

The Beauty

The true beauty of the wind turbines is without a doubt the Helix Wind turbine. With her white fluid forms, the Helix turbine is smaller, lighter and much less expensive than the traditional steel propeller turbines. Here are only some of the incredible advantages of this innovative turbine:
  • perfect for low wind speed areas as well as urban areas
  • doesn't have to shut down in high wind speed and no loss of efficiency or power collection due to wind direction change
  • high efficiency due to improved aerodynamics
  • silent even at high wind speed
  • visible to birds and bats
  • aesthetically attractive

And if the picture doesn't convince you, take a look the Helix wind turbine in action.

The Practical

Windspire Turbine, produced by Mariah Power is an affordable, smart and very quiet innovative wind turbine. Inspired by a 3000 years old Egyptian windmill design, the Windspire proved to be competitive with modern wind turbines. At only 30 feet tall and 4 feet wide, the Windspire 1.2 kW wind turbine is distinguished by its sleek propeller-free design and ultra quiet operation.
Already spreading not only in the US but in Europe as well, Windspire seems to be the best solution for homes, schools, small businesses or community gathering spaces.

Watch the Windspire at work in the video bellow.

The Futuristic

With Maglev Wind Turbine the future is not only here, but is also looking great. Maglev Wind Turbine is a modern marvel of engineering which uses an unique combination of science and technology to create an extremely efficient and powerful wind generator. A key advantage of this system is the use of magnetic levitation to reduce friction and increase the power output.
Presented for the first time at the Wind Power Asia Exhibition in Beijing, Maglev Wind Turbine is expected to take wind power technology to the next level.

To watch a video demonstration of the Maglev Wind Turbine visit their website here.

The Aero-Optimized

Compared with the other aerodynamic models presented here, the Aerotecture Wind Turbine seems a little overdone, but what do i know? Its builders at Aerotecture International call this wind turbine a visionary technology and their vision is stated as followed:

  • where wind farms are big, we are small
  • where wind farms are rural, we are urban
  • where wind farms avoid buildings, we attach to them
  • where wind farms seek single monster units, we deploy many units
  • where wind farms are hundreds of miles from their 'users', we are right there
All in all, the Aerotecture wind turbine and the traditional propeller wind turbine are on the completely opposite side of the spectrum as design is regarded.

For more information visit Aerotecture International Official Website.

The Ugly Duck

Without intending any disrespect this was the first thing crossing my mind when i first saw this Australian prototype.

But just as the ugly duck turns out to be a gracious swan, this prototype became the well known Windpod, truly unique for its applicability and affordability. At only AU$700 a piece, these small-scale wind turbines can be used as horizontal modules forming Winpod walls, on rooftops, on bridges or even on vertical building edges.

Other key characteristics of Winpods include :

• Extremely low noise and vibration.
• Able to operate vertically, horizontally or any angle in-between.
• Able to operate efficiently in gusty and turbulent winds such as typically found in urban environments.
• Able to be modularly mounted onto buildings at low cost in a location where wind is at highest concentration.
• Excellent power production per dollar of cost.
• Slender, elongated tubes of only 0.45m diameter.
• Being only 450mm diameter, should not require Council planning approvals.

To learn more about the Winpods visit their official website here.

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