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Wind Turbines as Art

Tall poles and huge spinning blades are considered by most people to be an eyesore, and they are certainly hazardous for birds.

American designer Joe Doucet has an alternative, good looking idea. He thinks that elegant wind turbine walls could be the future of aesthetic, city-based wind energy generation.

Doucet has created a wind turbine wall that looks more like a piece of art than a turbine. The wall is comprised of a grid of square panes that spin simultaneously along 25 axes, however, the format of the wall is designed to be flexible so that variations of it can be erected anywhere that has a decent span, like on the side of a highway or around the perimeter of a building. Doucet’s idea is to make the framework out of aluminum, which will then be sheathed by any lightweight material, reports FastCompany.

And, rather than always positioning turbines in open countryside or far out to sea, wouldn't it be better if they could be placed exactly where they are needed? Even in the middle of cities.

According to Doucet, one of his wind walls would generate enough energy to provide the annual electricity consumption of an average American home (a bit over 10,000 kilowatt-hours per year). But what really interests him is its potential to be placed strategically in metropolitan settings to harness the power of man-made wind. “Instead of the typical retaining walls along roads and freeways, you’d have an array of these,” he says. “With the added wind boost from trucks, our highways could take care of all our energy needs.”

Joe Doucet is not the first to consider aesthetics and location. A firm based in the Netherlands hopes to counter the complaints about wind turbines being noisy, ugly and dangerous with its colourful tulip-shaped ‘eco-art’ design. Indeed, Flower Turbines say their products pose no danger to birds or other wildlife, and create a noise that is at such a low frequency, humans can’t hear it. And they are already being installed...

Photo credit: Joe Doucet


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