published on 28 October 2021 in energy
Wind walls to bring renewables to cities
Unlike photovoltaics, urban wind power has received much less attention over the years. There is no shortage of solutions for harnessing wind energy within cities, but it is more difficult to find the right balance between exploitable resources, design and available space. This is the idea behind the Wind Turbine Wall, the result of the imagination and creativity of designer Joe Doucet.
It is a system made up of very small vertical-axis wind turbines that can be structurally integrated into the built environment. As with the latest generation of integrated solar power, Doucet opts for a true fusion with the building rather than a simple coexistence, trying to reduce the problem of the intrusive physicality that a wind turbine may have. Designed to be as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional, this ‘kinetic wall’ consists of a series of individually rotating blades that drive a small generator to produce electricity.
The prototype of the new wall-mounted mini-wind turbine is 2.4 metres high and 7.6 metres wide and consists of 25 vertical-axis micro turbines. The potential of this plant is that it can be scaled to cover entire buildings. The only challenge would be to achieve the right ratio of weight to integrity. The designer does not provide technical data but states that, in an American house, a single kinetic wall could meet the annual electricity needs of the building. Obviously the installation site has a great influence on the final result and the figures still need to be independently verified.