An innovative wind turbine reminiscent of an IKEA collapsible lamp has been installed on the roof of the Cleveland Indians baseball stadium, ready to begin churning out energy on opening day, April 5.
The 18-foot-wide helix turbine, designed by Cleveland State University professor Dr. Majid Rashidi, isn't a huge hitter, power-wise: It will generate approximately 40,000 kilowatt-hours per year, enough for four homes.
Compact, Cost-Effective, And Consistent
What Rashidi's design does have going for it is its compact size, cost-effectiveness, and ability to generate power consistently in an urban environment where wind speeds can be too variable and turbulent to make traditional turbines truly effective, as TreeHugger Mat wrote in a previous article about using the technology on city roofs.
With sports stadiums using as much energy as thousands of American homes, the helix turbine on Progressive Field, a project three years in the making, isn't so much a solution to the Indians' electricity needs as a high-profile way to show baseball fans what could be done elsewhere.
Setting An Example For Sports Fans
The helix turbine's ability to be retrofitted on existing structures such as farm silos and former water towers makes it a cost-effective solution for powering individual buildings in rural or urban areas during peak energy hours, power outages, and other emergencies, according to Cleveland State University.
The Indians have been one of the teams on the forefront of sustainability efforts in baseball, launching an ongoing recycling campaign in 2008 that now includes organic-waste composting and become the first American League ball club to use alternative energy with their 2007 installation of a solar-panel array.