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Wind turbine trees

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:21 pm
by Zech
I just heard about these wind turbines designed to look like trees, for use in cities. Being small, they work at lower wind speeds than big turbines, and they're quiet, too (the manufacturers claim they're silent):
http://www.treehugger.com/wind-technology/beautiful-wind-turbine-trees-generate-clean-energy-urban-environments.html

It seems like a nice idea, but with very low energy output (3 kW) I can't think these will make a serious contribution to electricity generation. I tried to find some information on the embodied energy needed to make them, but it doesn't look like anyone's calculated that yet.

Re: Wind turbine trees

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:52 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I saw this somewhere else, they are manufactured by a French company who had a lot of data on their website, but I don't do French. Anyway, the cost 29,000 euro put me off, even thought they look pretty

Re: Wind turbine trees

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:40 pm
by dave45
bet they don't work anywhere near as well as claimed .... vertical axis!

look up the warwick wind trials

Re: Wind turbine trees

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:18 pm
by Green Aura
Vertical axis wind turbines, while not as efficient as horizontal, perform much better than horizontal in areas of turbulence - such as built up areas. I'm guessing these have been designed for urban situations so vertical axis would be more suitable.

Whether they'd get planning permission over here is another matter, of course.

Re: Wind turbine trees

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:32 pm
by ojay54
Around here,a small turbine powers many of the road signs.I've never heard them criticized for their appearance.Why would they be more of an eyesore than powerlines,neon signs,inhabitants of Kidderminster etc..?

Re: Wind turbine trees

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:14 pm
by Green Aura
I agree, OJ. I think the sight of a wind farm quite beautiful, but I think I'm in a minority. East of here (by some way fortunately) is Dounreay. As You come over a hill you see the nuclear power station that's currently being decommissioned and behind it a lovely little wind farm.

It makes me feel hopeful that it's the past and the future.

Re: Wind turbine trees

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:19 pm
by doofaloofa
Try out this concept...

Two alternators anchored to the floor either side of a tree, conected by a cable fixed to the top of the tree

as the wind blows the tree the cable turns the alternators and generates electricity

Re: Wind turbine trees

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:54 pm
by Zech
dave45 wrote:bet they don't work anywhere near as well as claimed .... vertical axis!

That's 3kW for the whole tree of 72 turbines, not per turbine! It didn't sound like a very bold claim to me. Also, I couldn't find any mention of vertical axis turbines on the Warwick wind trials website - did I miss it somewhere?

When we lived in East Anglia, we could see a wind farm from our house. Neighbours down the road couldn't see it because there were houses in the way, and they were jealous of our view. Seriously, there is nothing else to look at in those parts (and that's with Ely Cathedral in the view, as a blip on the horizon). Here in Wales, it's a different story. Personally, I don't think wind farms spoil the view, but they're certainly visible from a long way away, and a new wind farm brings new pylons, which people also object to.

Re: Wind turbine trees

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:36 pm
by dave45
VAWTs are more "kinetic sculptures" than energy generators... there weren't any in the Warwick wind trials coz they are even more useless than the domestic HAWTs. have a browse through http://www.wind-works.org/cms/index.php?id=116

Small domestic wind is hopeless unless you have ideal conditions and deep pockets - check out small wind guru Hugh Pigott's website http://www.scoraigwind.com/rooftop.html