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Energy urban wind turbines  the future or a mere eyesore | Upload Wind

Urban Wind Turbines: The Future Or A Mere Eyesore

by: Sharai Hoekema
urban wind turbines  the future or a mere eyesore | Upload

As the world is gearing up to combat one of the largest ever threats to our wellbeing, in the form of climate change, most countries have made ambitious pledges to drastically increase the share of renewable energy sources like wind energy by 2022. Yet critics will be quick to point at the relatively insignificant results so far: wind energy, for instance, barely provides for 1% of the global energy needs as of today. 

Urban Wind Turbines: The Future Or A Mere Eyesore

Just how exactly are we planning on increasing this number? Especially considering the growing criticism of the visual aesthetics and noise annoyances of wind energy constructions like windmills and wind turbines. A once pristine piece of land or gorgeous view over the sea can be disrupted by the typical silhouettes of a large wind farm that can be seen from miles away. As such, it might spoil the view of those living around it and disrupt the silence with bothersome noises. All for the private gain of a few.

Public outcry over the undesirable side-effects of these giants in the landscape will only grow louder, effectively limiting the number of new wind energy farms that can be built in rural areas. This puts more pressure on the metropolitan areas and on finding ways of swaying public perception to be in favor of wind turbines. This is why innovative companies have been investing in a concept called urban wind turbines.

Wind Energy By Urban Wind Turbines

Urban wind turbines are compact, mostly silent wind turbines that have been perfected for use in skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and stadiums as such, they can be integrated within a landscape without requiring actual square footage; and with the massive plus of reduced noise emission. They can be as big or as small as needed, from relatively small turbines on someone’s roof to larger ones integrated into a landmark object.

Perhaps you have seen the futuristic movie Skyscraper, currently playing in cinemas, starring Dwayne Johnson and a massive 3,500 feet skyscraper in Hong Kong. It prominently features a vast wind turbine on the top floor. While this will not exceptionally be the new skyline-norm, it certainly provides a clear image of the concept of urban wind turbines.

Recommended: Vortex Wind Turbine: Energy Generator Without Blades

Lower Efficiency Using Wind Turbines In Cities

The question is to what extent such innovations will lead to a sustainable and impactful increase in the use of renewable energy sources like wind energy. And although the idea of having a small wind turbine on your building’s roof or in your small garden is an attractive one, in practice, you would find that it hardly delivers enough energy to power a single lightbulb. 

This lower efficiency is a result of two things. First, the smaller size of the wind turbine, allowing for use in a smaller area and with less impact on its environment; and secondly, the prevalence (or lack thereof) of strong winds in cities. Traditional windmills are typically placed in wide open, obstacle-free environments for a reason - as it allows them to catch as much wind as possible. This luxury is not available in urban areas, unless - as the movie Skyscraper suggests - you place it significantly higher than all other buildings and objects around it.

Higher Costs For Urban Wind Turbines

While this certainly provides an interesting viewpoint for cities investing in tall buildings, one also has to consider another point. Placing a massive, giant wind energy turbine on top of a tall building - and maintaining it - requires a lot of energy. More energy than it will produce in the long run. Simply put: it requires more power to install and operate an urban windmill than that it generates.

Combined with the relatively high initial investment, as the required technology and materials are still relatively expensive, it only might not be feasible financially. And once the costs of having an urban wind turbine installed outgrow the expected revenue in its lifetime, one would do well to reconsider its application.

Recommended: Spherical Wind Turbine: O-Wind Turbine

Conclusion

This leads to a somewhat sad conclusion: a single giant wind turbine in a rural area generates much more energy than a large number of small windmills in a densely populated place. This is not to say that wind energy like urban wind turbine is a bad idea per se. In certain locations that are known for being very windy and offer more space (and fewer high-rises), they could already work. For employment in the inner cities, it is merely a concept that requires more innovating. It would benefit from lower-cost prices, both in the initial investment requirement and energy needs. 

 

 

                                                             O-WindTurbine, James Dyson Award

 

Before you go!

Recommended: Gravitricity: Key Energy Storage, Or Too Good To Be True?

Do you like this article about Gravitricity, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day.

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Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage.'

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Urban Wind Turbines: The Future Or A Mere Eyesore

As the world is gearing up to combat one of the largest ever threats to our wellbeing, in the form of climate change, most countries have made ambitious pledges to drastically increase the share of renewable energy sources like wind energy by 2022. Yet critics will be quick to point at the relatively insignificant results so far: wind energy, for instance, barely provides for 1% of the global energy needs as of today.   Urban Wind Turbines: The Future Or A Mere Eyesore Just how exactly are we planning on increasing this number? Especially considering the growing criticism of the visual aesthetics and noise annoyances of wind energy constructions like windmills and wind turbines. A once pristine piece of land or gorgeous view over the sea can be disrupted by the typical silhouettes of a large wind farm that can be seen from miles away. As such, it might spoil the view of those living around it and disrupt the silence with bothersome noises. All for the private gain of a few. Public outcry over the undesirable side-effects of these giants in the landscape will only grow louder, effectively limiting the number of new wind energy farms that can be built in rural areas. This puts more pressure on the metropolitan areas and on finding ways of swaying public perception to be in favor of wind turbines. This is why innovative companies have been investing in a concept called urban wind turbines . Wind Energy By Urban Wind Turbines Urban wind turbines are compact, mostly silent wind turbines that have been perfected for use in skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and stadiums as such, they can be integrated within a landscape without requiring actual square footage; and with the massive plus of reduced noise emission. They can be as big or as small as needed, from relatively small turbines on someone’s roof to larger ones integrated into a landmark object. Perhaps you have seen the futuristic movie Skyscraper , currently playing in cinemas, starring Dwayne Johnson and a massive 3,500 feet skyscraper in Hong Kong. It prominently features a vast wind turbine on the top floor. While this will not exceptionally be the new skyline-norm, it certainly provides a clear image of the concept of urban wind turbines. Recommended:  Vortex Wind Turbine: Energy Generator Without Blade s Lower Efficiency Using Wind Turbines In Cities The question is to what extent such innovations will lead to a sustainable and impactful increase in the use of renewable energy sources like wind energy. And although the idea of having a small wind turbine on your building’s roof or in your small garden is an attractive one, in practice, you would find that it hardly delivers enough energy to power a single lightbulb.   This lower efficiency is a result of two things. First, the smaller size of the wind turbine, allowing for use in a smaller area and with less impact on its environment; and secondly, the prevalence (or lack thereof) of strong winds in cities. Traditional windmills are typically placed in wide open, obstacle-free environments for a reason - as it allows them to catch as much wind as possible. This luxury is not available in urban areas, unless - as the movie Skyscraper  suggests - you place it significantly higher than all other buildings and objects around it. Higher Costs For Urban Wind Turbines While this certainly provides an interesting viewpoint for cities investing in tall buildings, one also has to consider another point. Placing a massive, giant wind energy turbine on top of a tall building - and maintaining it - requires a lot of energy. More energy than it will produce in the long run. Simply put: it requires more power to install and operate an urban windmill than that it generates. Combined with the relatively high initial investment, as the required technology and materials are still relatively expensive, it only might not be feasible financially. And once the costs of having an urban wind turbine installed outgrow the expected revenue in its lifetime, one would do well to reconsider its application. Recommended:  Spherical Wind Turbine: O-Wind Turbine Conclusion This leads to a somewhat sad conclusion: a single giant wind turbine in a rural area generates much more energy than a large number of small windmills in a densely populated place. This is not to say that wind energy like urban wind turbine is a bad idea per se. In certain locations that are known for being very windy and offer more space (and fewer high-rises), they could already work. For employment in the inner cities, it is merely a concept that requires more innovating. It would benefit from lower-cost prices, both in the initial investment requirement and energy needs.                                                                    O-WindTurbine, James Dyson Award   Before you go! Recommended:  Gravitricity: Key Energy Storage, Or Too Good To Be True? Do you like this article about Gravitricity, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write and publish your article about wind turbines? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
Stay Updated on Environmental Improvements And Global Innovations