Beautiful wind turbine trees generate clean energy in urban environments
Often, one of the major complaints about clean energy installations is that they're eye sores. Large wind turbines or solar arrays are considered obstructive to views.
Designers and researchers have come up with a few different ideas to solve this problem, like see-through solar panels that can be used as windows in buildings, white solar panels that can blend in with building facades or vertical wind turbines that blend into the scenery like these beautiful turbine trees created by New Wind.
The 36-foot-tall steel structures feature 72 artificial leaves that operate as mini vertical turbines all around the "tree." When the wind blows, the leaf turbines rotate and quietly produce energy. The cables and generators are integrated into the leaves and branches so that the turbine operates almost silently.
© New Wind
French entrepreneur Jérôme Michaud-Larivière came up with the design one day while noticing the way the wind rustled the leaves on trees, lifting and spinning them, and he wondered if a wind energy device based on that could generate energy.
His design so far has a power output of 3.1 kW, which isn't a huge capacity for energy generating, but a street lined with these wind trees could power city street lights or help to offset the power consumption of nearby buildings.
The design will get its chance to show what it can do when Michaud-Larivière installs his invention at the Paris Place de Concorde in May 2015.
You can watch a video below of the artificial leaves blowing in the breeze.