Traditional wind farms require constant wind speed and direction. Moreover, they also tend to be big, rural, expensive and controversial.
The Chicago company, Aerotecture, has taken a different if not opposite approach. Their turbine is designed to not only work in swirling urban wind, but to be incorporated into building structures themselves. By using a helical blade, this system can capture variable wind directions and speed. The lightweight and versatile design allows for units to be used vertically or horizontally as well as daisy-chained together for more power. Aerotecture also claims they are quiet, safe (for birds) and inexpensive.
Aeroturbines are wind turbines designed for urban settings. Invented by University of Illinois industrial design professor, Bil Becker, Aeroturbines are a new development in wind turbine technology. Aeroturbines can be installed on existing rooftops or built into the architecture of new buildings to provide clean renewable electricity at its site of consumption. Aeroturbines are uniquely suited to urban environments because they are:
- Noise and vibration-free
- Safe for birds
- Able to utilize multi-directional and gusting winds
- Self-regulating (no overspeed protection required)
- Low maintenance
- Made from low-cost and readily available materials
- where wind farms are big, we are small
- where wind farms are rural, we are urban
- where wind farms avoid buildings, we attach to them
- where wind farms seek single monster units, we deploy many units
- where wind farms are hundreds of miles from their 'users', we are right there
The structural features of the Aeroturbine allow for its easy integration into new or existing buildings: the modular/stackable cages are additive and can be mounted in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal orientation.
For more info about this invention, you can visit Aerotecture.