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Airborne Wind Energy Systems: A New Way Of Energy Supply
Everyone uses energy. To keep ourselves alive, we need a certain amount of energy to provide for the human need for food and to do work. Energy, especially electricity, is essential to provide water, food, health care, education, employment and communication. But where does this energy actually come from? And how can we improve it? Problems in the current energy supply The most substantial amount of energy comes from fossil and nuclear fuels, which currently face serious difficulties, such as security of supply, economic affordability, environmental sustainability and disaster risks. In order to cope with these problems, we are looking for a solution to increase renewable energy technologies. For example, in recent decades there has been rapid growth and spread of renewable power plants. Among them, wind generators are the most widespread type of renewable energy. This trend continues and is a positive development. However, this could be different in the near future. There could be a saturation of windy areas inland. For this reason, the current research programmes are aimed at improving the power capacity per unit of land. This translates worldwide into the development of several wind turbines with improved nominal capacity. What are we doing worldwide? Worldwide, people are investigating what could be improved. Since the beginning of 2000, researchers have been looking at offshore installations. At these places located far enough from the coast, wind energy sources are generally larger those on land. Wind energy is stronger and more regular. This allows for more constant use and more accurate production planning. In this context, an entirely new renewable energy sector has emerged in the scientific community: AWE. What is AWE? Awe means Airborne Wind Energy . It is a new way of transforming wind energy. Airborne Wind Energy focuses on capturing wind energy at considerable heights, at least 500 meters! Machines that "capture" this type of power is referred to as Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES). The wind at this height is stronger, and the systems provide higher efficiency than the conventional wind turbines . Moreover, they are cheaper, less visible and can be used in places that are difficult to reach. This new way of transforming wind energy can reach layers of wind at enormous heights, utilising strapped wings or aircraft and drones. These are not accessible to traditional wind turbines. Research into these Airborne Wind Energy Systems started in the 1970s, but development has accelerated in the last decade. This new software of wind transformation was developed by researchers from the Carlos III University of Madrid. The Dutch startup Kitepower The focus on wind energy at high altitude is increasing. Researchers are exploring what is possible. The Dutch start-up Kitepower, founded by a research group at TU Delft, is developing an AWES based on kites to generate energy at high altitude. A 100kw system is now being designed that, for example, can replace diesel generators in isolated areas. Producing, transporting and installing wind turbines on land and at sea costs a lot more time and money compared to airborne wind energy solutions. Wind at an altitude of 200-450 meters is stronger and more constant than the wind that captures windmills. Kitepower is developing a power generating kite system for this source of renewable wind energy in the air. These kites are quiet, simple to install and easy to use. Kitepower uses less material than ground-based turbines, and it takes less than an hour to install them. Their kites float through a large part of the air, resulting in very powerful wind speeds. Most people rely on diesel generators, with a high dependency on expensive and logistically demanding diesel supplies. Kitepower offers a more durable, flexible and economical solution. With its logistical flexibility, Kitepower provides an excellent alternative when the conventional power supply is damaged. Kitepower focuses on the transformation of energy in the world. They want a world where renewable energy is accessible and affordable for everyone. Their development is still ongoing and needs some refinement. Hopefully, we will hear more about this in the near future. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Everyone uses energy. To keep ourselves alive, we need a certain amount of energy to provide for the human need for food and to do work. Energy, especially electricity, is essential to provide water, food, health care, education, employment and communication. But where does this energy actually come from? And how can we improve it? Problems in the current energy supply The most substantial amount of energy comes from fossil and nuclear fuels, which currently face serious difficulties, such as security of supply, economic affordability, environmental sustainability and disaster risks. In order to cope with these problems, we are looking for a solution to increase renewable energy technologies. For example, in recent decades there has been rapid growth and spread of renewable power plants. Among them, wind generators are the most widespread type of renewable energy. This trend continues and is a positive development. However, this could be different in the near future. There could be a saturation of windy areas inland. For this reason, the current research programmes are aimed at improving the power capacity per unit of land. This translates worldwide into the development of several wind turbines with improved nominal capacity. What are we doing worldwide? Worldwide, people are investigating what could be improved. Since the beginning of 2000, researchers have been looking at offshore installations. At these places located far enough from the coast, wind energy sources are generally larger those on land. Wind energy is stronger and more regular. This allows for more constant use and more accurate production planning. In this context, an entirely new renewable energy sector has emerged in the scientific community: AWE. What is AWE? Awe means Airborne Wind Energy . It is a new way of transforming wind energy. Airborne Wind Energy focuses on capturing wind energy at considerable heights, at least 500 meters! Machines that "capture" this type of power is referred to as Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES). The wind at this height is stronger, and the systems provide higher efficiency than the conventional wind turbines . Moreover, they are cheaper, less visible and can be used in places that are difficult to reach. This new way of transforming wind energy can reach layers of wind at enormous heights, utilising strapped wings or aircraft and drones. These are not accessible to traditional wind turbines. Research into these Airborne Wind Energy Systems started in the 1970s, but development has accelerated in the last decade. This new software of wind transformation was developed by researchers from the Carlos III University of Madrid. The Dutch startup Kitepower The focus on wind energy at high altitude is increasing. Researchers are exploring what is possible. The Dutch start-up Kitepower, founded by a research group at TU Delft, is developing an AWES based on kites to generate energy at high altitude. A 100kw system is now being designed that, for example, can replace diesel generators in isolated areas. Producing, transporting and installing wind turbines on land and at sea costs a lot more time and money compared to airborne wind energy solutions. Wind at an altitude of 200-450 meters is stronger and more constant than the wind that captures windmills. Kitepower is developing a power generating kite system for this source of renewable wind energy in the air. These kites are quiet, simple to install and easy to use. Kitepower uses less material than ground-based turbines, and it takes less than an hour to install them. Their kites float through a large part of the air, resulting in very powerful wind speeds. Most people rely on diesel generators, with a high dependency on expensive and logistically demanding diesel supplies. Kitepower offers a more durable, flexible and economical solution. With its logistical flexibility, Kitepower provides an excellent alternative when the conventional power supply is damaged. Kitepower focuses on the transformation of energy in the world. They want a world where renewable energy is accessible and affordable for everyone. Their development is still ongoing and needs some refinement. Hopefully, we will hear more about this in the near future. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Airborne Wind Energy Systems: A New Way Of Energy Supply
Airborne Wind Energy Systems: A New Way Of Energy Supply
Vortex Wind Turbine: Energy Generator Without Blades
In a much needed re-invention of wind turbines, Vortex Bladeless has introduced a concept that has definitely made waves in the energy industry. Its unique concept has been hailed as a technological leap forward and a resolution in the generation of wind power, that will not only make wind energy simpler and more effective, it will also ultimately be more environmentally friendly. Vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator The official description of Vortex Bladeless’ product is quite a mouthful: a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator. It is a way of generating energy using a vorticity phenomenon called Vortex Shedding. In layman’s terms, this is the generation of energy from the spinning motion of air. This basic principle uses cylindrical turbines, which will allow for the development of a spinning whirlpool or vortex when wind passes through it. As the cylinder swings back and forth in the wind ('oscillates'), it will be subject to sufficient force to find itself vibrating quite heavily, all while remaining fixed to an elastic rod. Using a linear generator, that is quite similar to the one used for harnessing wave energy, this kinetic energy can be captured and used.   Clear benefits and differences In fact, some have argued that the Vortex is not quite a wind turbine per se, as it more closely resembles other forms of renewable energy generation. Either way, it has been deemed promising enough to be awarded a grant under the European Union ’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund. One of the most obvious selling points is that it provides a clean source of energy, as it uses advanced technology to harvest energy from an aeroelastic oscillation movement.   Yet at the same time, its largest advantage in comparison to other forms of wind energy would have to be its reduced costs: it requires no gears, bearings or other expensive parts that could easily break and need expensive replacement. Simultaneously, it does not require any oil or intensive maintenance. In fact, costs for manufacturing, operating and maintaining the Vortex will be way down. Adding to the previous point, it is worth noting that the lower costs also extend to the costs of its effect on the environment at large. The construction and development of this source of wind energy requires much less energy and takes up less space. Production is simple and swift, with a minimal impact on the surrounding area. It is quiet, blends in, does not require contaminants and will not harm birds or in any other way impact the ecosystem it is placed in - according to the official Vortex website. Easy to put in your backyard or on your worksite Not many people would be happy to place a  wind turbine in their backyard, especially in densely populated areas. It takes up a massive amount of space and would lead to obvious complaints from those living around you. Yet you will find that it is very easy to place a Vortex Bladeless in your area. It is perfectly suited for on-site energy generation through its light weight, simple installation, self-running capacity and limited space required. This is why the manufacturer has been targeting end-consumers, making it available for grid and off-grid operations, as well as offering hybrid models that allow for integration with, for instance, solar panels. The costs for generating energy are, according to one of the founders, brought down by 40% when compared to conventional forms of wind energy. It is capable of reaching a conversion efficiency of 70 percent - which definitely not excessively high and somewhat lagging behind when compared to their bladed brothers, but a good proposition nonetheless. The actual potential of the Vortex Bladeless There are quite a few researchers who question the actual effectiveness of the Vortex Bladeless. Aside from the somewhat limited conversion efficiency, as oscillating cylinders are not capable of converting much of their energy into electricity, there is the question of feasibility of on-site use. In order to generate sufficient energy, the pole-shaped turbine would have to be of a significant size, while an aeronautics professor at MIT questions its claim of being silent. “ The oscillating frequencies that shake the cylinder will make noise. It will sound like a freight train coming through your wind farm,” she remarks. Does this mean that the concept is flawed? Not necessarily. Most innovations are met with trepidation and concerns when first introduced. It is up to the community to come up with ways of building on the existing idea to improve it further. That is how we ended up with massive wind and  solar farms as they are. Why not apply this to innovative solutions that simply remove the blades from the wind turbines ?   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
In a much needed re-invention of wind turbines, Vortex Bladeless has introduced a concept that has definitely made waves in the energy industry. Its unique concept has been hailed as a technological leap forward and a resolution in the generation of wind power, that will not only make wind energy simpler and more effective, it will also ultimately be more environmentally friendly. Vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator The official description of Vortex Bladeless’ product is quite a mouthful: a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator. It is a way of generating energy using a vorticity phenomenon called Vortex Shedding. In layman’s terms, this is the generation of energy from the spinning motion of air. This basic principle uses cylindrical turbines, which will allow for the development of a spinning whirlpool or vortex when wind passes through it. As the cylinder swings back and forth in the wind ('oscillates'), it will be subject to sufficient force to find itself vibrating quite heavily, all while remaining fixed to an elastic rod. Using a linear generator, that is quite similar to the one used for harnessing wave energy, this kinetic energy can be captured and used.   Clear benefits and differences In fact, some have argued that the Vortex is not quite a wind turbine per se, as it more closely resembles other forms of renewable energy generation. Either way, it has been deemed promising enough to be awarded a grant under the European Union ’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund. One of the most obvious selling points is that it provides a clean source of energy, as it uses advanced technology to harvest energy from an aeroelastic oscillation movement.   Yet at the same time, its largest advantage in comparison to other forms of wind energy would have to be its reduced costs: it requires no gears, bearings or other expensive parts that could easily break and need expensive replacement. Simultaneously, it does not require any oil or intensive maintenance. In fact, costs for manufacturing, operating and maintaining the Vortex will be way down. Adding to the previous point, it is worth noting that the lower costs also extend to the costs of its effect on the environment at large. The construction and development of this source of wind energy requires much less energy and takes up less space. Production is simple and swift, with a minimal impact on the surrounding area. It is quiet, blends in, does not require contaminants and will not harm birds or in any other way impact the ecosystem it is placed in - according to the official Vortex website. Easy to put in your backyard or on your worksite Not many people would be happy to place a  wind turbine in their backyard, especially in densely populated areas. It takes up a massive amount of space and would lead to obvious complaints from those living around you. Yet you will find that it is very easy to place a Vortex Bladeless in your area. It is perfectly suited for on-site energy generation through its light weight, simple installation, self-running capacity and limited space required. This is why the manufacturer has been targeting end-consumers, making it available for grid and off-grid operations, as well as offering hybrid models that allow for integration with, for instance, solar panels. The costs for generating energy are, according to one of the founders, brought down by 40% when compared to conventional forms of wind energy. It is capable of reaching a conversion efficiency of 70 percent - which definitely not excessively high and somewhat lagging behind when compared to their bladed brothers, but a good proposition nonetheless. The actual potential of the Vortex Bladeless There are quite a few researchers who question the actual effectiveness of the Vortex Bladeless. Aside from the somewhat limited conversion efficiency, as oscillating cylinders are not capable of converting much of their energy into electricity, there is the question of feasibility of on-site use. In order to generate sufficient energy, the pole-shaped turbine would have to be of a significant size, while an aeronautics professor at MIT questions its claim of being silent. “ The oscillating frequencies that shake the cylinder will make noise. It will sound like a freight train coming through your wind farm,” she remarks. Does this mean that the concept is flawed? Not necessarily. Most innovations are met with trepidation and concerns when first introduced. It is up to the community to come up with ways of building on the existing idea to improve it further. That is how we ended up with massive wind and  solar farms as they are. Why not apply this to innovative solutions that simply remove the blades from the wind turbines ?   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Vortex Wind Turbine: Energy Generator Without Blades
Vortex Wind Turbine: Energy Generator Without Blades
Go With The Wind: Patent Pending For Small Spherical Wind Turbine
Recently, I came across an article that discussed a new patent that is pending for the so-called O-Wind concept. This is explained by its developers as being a omnidirectional wind turbine. Say what? Yes, that is right - a wind turbine that can catch winds coming in from all directions and will no longer depend on the good graces of Mother Nature or expensive and time-consuming ways of letting the turbine face the right direction.   The O-Wind turbine was developed as part of the challenge set by the organisation behind the James Dyson Award. This annual award, bringing along a monetary prize of € 35,000, seeks to encourage young inventors and developers to come up with solutions that might make the world a better place.   The futuristic O-Wind turbine captures wind from all directions This year, British entrepreneurs Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani saw themselves victorious on the award night with their concept for a spherical, small  wind turbine that is able to capture wind, no matter what direction it is coming from. It is futuristic, slick, unconventional and only measures a incredible 25 cm in diameter. Through geometric ports, it takes in wind; that it subsequently converts to energy that can directly be used in the surrounding area. Photo by: James Dyson Award The applications for this invention seem endless and very promising: it is small and functional enough to serve crowded, urban areas, while it makes optimal use of the often unpredictable wind in those large cities. When attached to someone’s balcony, it might just serve to deliver at least a significant portion of that household’s needs - or feed the energy needs of the larger community. As explained by inventor Orellana: “We hope that O-Wind Turbine will improve the usability and affordability of turbines for people across the world. Cities are windy places but we are currently not harnessing this resource. Our belief is that making it easier to generate green energy, people will be encouraged to play a bigger own role in conserving our planet.” Combining science and great engineering The basic idea of the O-Wind is pretty nifty. For its mechanical motion, it effectively employs Bernoulli’s principle, where the sphere-shaped turbine relies on differences in air pressure to generate its momentum. It has a large number of vents that the wind could run through, using three dimensions. These vents are placed all across the sphere, allowing it to function no matter what direction the wind is coming from.   And once the wind reaches the turbine, it will enter through larger entrances and use smaller exits. When it is windy, the pressure difference between those two terminals will lead to movement in the form of rotation. The movement, in turn, will be used to feed a generator. This produces electricity that can be used locally or fed back to the regional or national grid, to be used at a time of shortage. For this, the owners of the turbines will receive a financial reward - another incentive for installing such a nifty turbine, while increasing the share of sustainable energy. Its functionality makes it particularly suitable for, for instance, apartment buildings in urban areas, where winds can be erratic due to tall architectural buildings throwing it in chaos. The small size, probably best compared to a balloon or Chinese lantern, requires very little maintenance, while very little space is required for its installation. Another plus for urban use. It could quite literally be perched on top of anyone’s roof or the side of a building. Next steps in  wind energy Innovations such as the O-Wind can bring urban energy harvesting to the next level. While Orellana and Noorani are currently developing and prototyping their spherical turbine and lining up investors, there are multiple other start-ups working hard to bring new, feasible alternatives to the market as well. A fascinating initiative would be that of Maya Power, a fellow British company, that uses the wind in the tunnels of the London Underground to generate energy, using a flexible fabric. Or the smart wind turbine of Italian-based start-up Enessere, that learns from the wind patterns to optimise the power generated. Wind energy is something that most people will find themselves drawn to, yet not many will applaud the idea of having a huge turbine in their backyard. This is why these smaller initiatives should be encouraged and cheered on: they are looking into ways of making wind energy accessible for all, whether it is from the use of tiny wind turbines, the O-Wind’s spherical turbines or other creative ways of harnessing the power of the wind. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Recently, I came across an article that discussed a new patent that is pending for the so-called O-Wind concept. This is explained by its developers as being a omnidirectional wind turbine. Say what? Yes, that is right - a wind turbine that can catch winds coming in from all directions and will no longer depend on the good graces of Mother Nature or expensive and time-consuming ways of letting the turbine face the right direction.   The O-Wind turbine was developed as part of the challenge set by the organisation behind the James Dyson Award. This annual award, bringing along a monetary prize of € 35,000, seeks to encourage young inventors and developers to come up with solutions that might make the world a better place.   The futuristic O-Wind turbine captures wind from all directions This year, British entrepreneurs Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani saw themselves victorious on the award night with their concept for a spherical, small  wind turbine that is able to capture wind, no matter what direction it is coming from. It is futuristic, slick, unconventional and only measures a incredible 25 cm in diameter. Through geometric ports, it takes in wind; that it subsequently converts to energy that can directly be used in the surrounding area. Photo by: James Dyson Award The applications for this invention seem endless and very promising: it is small and functional enough to serve crowded, urban areas, while it makes optimal use of the often unpredictable wind in those large cities. When attached to someone’s balcony, it might just serve to deliver at least a significant portion of that household’s needs - or feed the energy needs of the larger community. As explained by inventor Orellana: “We hope that O-Wind Turbine will improve the usability and affordability of turbines for people across the world. Cities are windy places but we are currently not harnessing this resource. Our belief is that making it easier to generate green energy, people will be encouraged to play a bigger own role in conserving our planet.” Combining science and great engineering The basic idea of the O-Wind is pretty nifty. For its mechanical motion, it effectively employs Bernoulli’s principle, where the sphere-shaped turbine relies on differences in air pressure to generate its momentum. It has a large number of vents that the wind could run through, using three dimensions. These vents are placed all across the sphere, allowing it to function no matter what direction the wind is coming from.   And once the wind reaches the turbine, it will enter through larger entrances and use smaller exits. When it is windy, the pressure difference between those two terminals will lead to movement in the form of rotation. The movement, in turn, will be used to feed a generator. This produces electricity that can be used locally or fed back to the regional or national grid, to be used at a time of shortage. For this, the owners of the turbines will receive a financial reward - another incentive for installing such a nifty turbine, while increasing the share of sustainable energy. Its functionality makes it particularly suitable for, for instance, apartment buildings in urban areas, where winds can be erratic due to tall architectural buildings throwing it in chaos. The small size, probably best compared to a balloon or Chinese lantern, requires very little maintenance, while very little space is required for its installation. Another plus for urban use. It could quite literally be perched on top of anyone’s roof or the side of a building. Next steps in  wind energy Innovations such as the O-Wind can bring urban energy harvesting to the next level. While Orellana and Noorani are currently developing and prototyping their spherical turbine and lining up investors, there are multiple other start-ups working hard to bring new, feasible alternatives to the market as well. A fascinating initiative would be that of Maya Power, a fellow British company, that uses the wind in the tunnels of the London Underground to generate energy, using a flexible fabric. Or the smart wind turbine of Italian-based start-up Enessere, that learns from the wind patterns to optimise the power generated. Wind energy is something that most people will find themselves drawn to, yet not many will applaud the idea of having a huge turbine in their backyard. This is why these smaller initiatives should be encouraged and cheered on: they are looking into ways of making wind energy accessible for all, whether it is from the use of tiny wind turbines, the O-Wind’s spherical turbines or other creative ways of harnessing the power of the wind. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Go With The Wind: Patent Pending For Small Spherical Wind Turbine
Go With The Wind: Patent Pending For Small Spherical Wind Turbine
Wind Turbine From Wood: Made By EAZ-Wind, Netherlands
A ‘wooden mill’ will undoubtedly bring up associations of the age-old, traditional mills of the Dutch type. Fierce, imposing wooden structures towering over the surrounding landscapes. Quite often, the wind turbines that are so common today pale in comparison. They stand out, with their unnatural materials and shapes. That is, until EAZ developed their unique wooden wind turbines. EAZ  wind turbines This Netherlands-based company, originating from the rural area of Groningen, wanted to develop a wind turbine that could easily be set up in densely populated areas. Normally, some of these areas cannot afford an actual wind turbine. Not only are they too expensive, due to the expensive materials and the complicated process of installing and servicing it, they are also facing heavy resistance from the community.   Effectively, this makes it hard to make wind energy solutions available in areas that do not have the required funds or social support. The only options left are solar panels or water power, which are usually not sufficient for providing in the electricity needs of the immediate area either.   As the need for renewable energy grows, so does the need for solutions that actually fit in to the area. And while ‘traditional’ wind turbines often do not fit in, the unique versions created by EAZ manage to blend in seamlessly. The design for their wind turbines have been made simpler, and much more cost-effective. Production is all performed in-house, using local labour and materials. As such, it will not nearly be as expensive to get the wind turbines produced. These materials, sourced locally, include a number of sustainable components from natural sources - including the blades, which are made of larch wood and finished with fibreglass. The stabiliser is also made of wood, with an internal frame of steel for reinforcement.   Maintenance and installation Not only are the materials largely sustainable, they are also chosen as they are relatively maintenance-free. For example, it also has a permanent magnet, a ring generator without gearbox, which means that there is no friction. The steel mast comes with a double coating, making it more durable. The installation is performed quickly and with a minimal impact for the environment. For the generation of energy, the wind turbine will be connected to the fuse box right behind the electricity meter, resulting in further savings on the purchase price of electricity as well as energy tax. Support of local community In another clever move, EAZ wind turbines decided to take the development process to the local authorities and communities. With this, they guaranteed their support and made sure that the eventual design would fit in the landscape.   As the home turf of EAZ - the Dutch province of Groningen - is rapidly growing and expanding, as reflected by the improving economy, the region is becoming increasingly self-sustaining. More and more jobs are being created, putting pressure on local entrepreneurs to find ways of generating more energy in an efficient and sustainable manner. Placement of  wind turbine One of their options is the purchase of one of these wind turbines, made easier because of the reduced cost price and lower impact on the environment. This way, it can be installed on a farm to provide in the energy needs. Secondly, people could opt for joining an initiative where they invest in a common wind turbine for the entire village. In this case, everyone in the area can directly benefit from the locally generated wind energy. Although these wind turbines might be better looking, it is still an infringement on the landscape. Therefore, EAZ has pledged to take great care in fitting it into the landscape. The already existing elements and lines are being taken into consideration, while the limited height ensures that it is less conspicuous. Why does any of it matter? All well and good, but why would it matter what a wind turbine looks like? What does EAZ offer in an already crowded market that makes them stand out? Their continued success is a testament to the importance of keeping aesthetics and user demands in mind, so that wind turbines become more of a community product. The lower installation and maintenance costs, its adaptability to the landscape, and the decent yield: it adds up to a great proposition that is ready to scale up. After all, the truth of the matter is that the general opinion of wind turbines is still far from favourable. Perhaps unjustly so, but that does not make it any more urgent. EAZ should be commanded for their attempts to sway the public opinion through making wind turbines more accessible and friendly. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/wind
A ‘wooden mill’ will undoubtedly bring up associations of the age-old, traditional mills of the Dutch type. Fierce, imposing wooden structures towering over the surrounding landscapes. Quite often, the wind turbines that are so common today pale in comparison. They stand out, with their unnatural materials and shapes. That is, until EAZ developed their unique wooden wind turbines. EAZ  wind turbines This Netherlands-based company, originating from the rural area of Groningen, wanted to develop a wind turbine that could easily be set up in densely populated areas. Normally, some of these areas cannot afford an actual wind turbine. Not only are they too expensive, due to the expensive materials and the complicated process of installing and servicing it, they are also facing heavy resistance from the community.   Effectively, this makes it hard to make wind energy solutions available in areas that do not have the required funds or social support. The only options left are solar panels or water power, which are usually not sufficient for providing in the electricity needs of the immediate area either.   As the need for renewable energy grows, so does the need for solutions that actually fit in to the area. And while ‘traditional’ wind turbines often do not fit in, the unique versions created by EAZ manage to blend in seamlessly. The design for their wind turbines have been made simpler, and much more cost-effective. Production is all performed in-house, using local labour and materials. As such, it will not nearly be as expensive to get the wind turbines produced. These materials, sourced locally, include a number of sustainable components from natural sources - including the blades, which are made of larch wood and finished with fibreglass. The stabiliser is also made of wood, with an internal frame of steel for reinforcement.   Maintenance and installation Not only are the materials largely sustainable, they are also chosen as they are relatively maintenance-free. For example, it also has a permanent magnet, a ring generator without gearbox, which means that there is no friction. The steel mast comes with a double coating, making it more durable. The installation is performed quickly and with a minimal impact for the environment. For the generation of energy, the wind turbine will be connected to the fuse box right behind the electricity meter, resulting in further savings on the purchase price of electricity as well as energy tax. Support of local community In another clever move, EAZ wind turbines decided to take the development process to the local authorities and communities. With this, they guaranteed their support and made sure that the eventual design would fit in the landscape.   As the home turf of EAZ - the Dutch province of Groningen - is rapidly growing and expanding, as reflected by the improving economy, the region is becoming increasingly self-sustaining. More and more jobs are being created, putting pressure on local entrepreneurs to find ways of generating more energy in an efficient and sustainable manner. Placement of  wind turbine One of their options is the purchase of one of these wind turbines, made easier because of the reduced cost price and lower impact on the environment. This way, it can be installed on a farm to provide in the energy needs. Secondly, people could opt for joining an initiative where they invest in a common wind turbine for the entire village. In this case, everyone in the area can directly benefit from the locally generated wind energy. Although these wind turbines might be better looking, it is still an infringement on the landscape. Therefore, EAZ has pledged to take great care in fitting it into the landscape. The already existing elements and lines are being taken into consideration, while the limited height ensures that it is less conspicuous. Why does any of it matter? All well and good, but why would it matter what a wind turbine looks like? What does EAZ offer in an already crowded market that makes them stand out? Their continued success is a testament to the importance of keeping aesthetics and user demands in mind, so that wind turbines become more of a community product. The lower installation and maintenance costs, its adaptability to the landscape, and the decent yield: it adds up to a great proposition that is ready to scale up. After all, the truth of the matter is that the general opinion of wind turbines is still far from favourable. Perhaps unjustly so, but that does not make it any more urgent. EAZ should be commanded for their attempts to sway the public opinion through making wind turbines more accessible and friendly. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/wind
Wind Turbine From Wood: Made By EAZ-Wind, Netherlands
Wind Turbine From Wood: Made By EAZ-Wind, Netherlands
Urban Windmills: Wind energy; 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.   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 windturbines. 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 build in rural areas. This puts more pressure on the metropolitan areas; and on finding ways of swaying public perception to be in favour of wind turbines. This is why innovative companies have been investing in a concept called urban windmills . Wind energy by urban windmills Urban windmills 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 huge plus of reduced noise emission. They can be as big or as small as required, from relatively small turbines on someone’s roof to larger ones integrated in 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 huge wind turbine on the top floor. While this will not quite be the new skyline-norm, it certainly provides a clear image of the concept of urban windmills. Lower efficiency using windmills 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 windmill 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 windturbine, 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 windmills While this certainly provides an interesting viewpoint for cities investing in tall buildings, one also has to consider another point. Placing a heavy, big wind energy turbine on top of a tall building - and maintaining it - requires a lot of energy. Actually, more energy than it will produce in the long run. Simply put: it requires more energy 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 rather expensive, it simply might not be feasible financially. And once the costs of having an urban windmill installed outgrow the expected revenue in its lifetime, one would do well to reconsider its application. Conclusion This leads to a somewhat sombre conclusion: a single big windmill in a rural area generates much more energy than a large number of small windmills in a densely populated area. This is not to say that  wind energy like urban windmills are a bad idea per se. In certain areas, 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 simply is a concept that requires more innovating and would definitely benefit from lower cost prices, both in the initial investment requirement and energy needs.   https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/wind
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.   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 windturbines. 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 build in rural areas. This puts more pressure on the metropolitan areas; and on finding ways of swaying public perception to be in favour of wind turbines. This is why innovative companies have been investing in a concept called urban windmills . Wind energy by urban windmills Urban windmills 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 huge plus of reduced noise emission. They can be as big or as small as required, from relatively small turbines on someone’s roof to larger ones integrated in 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 huge wind turbine on the top floor. While this will not quite be the new skyline-norm, it certainly provides a clear image of the concept of urban windmills. Lower efficiency using windmills 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 windmill 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 windturbine, 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 windmills While this certainly provides an interesting viewpoint for cities investing in tall buildings, one also has to consider another point. Placing a heavy, big wind energy turbine on top of a tall building - and maintaining it - requires a lot of energy. Actually, more energy than it will produce in the long run. Simply put: it requires more energy 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 rather expensive, it simply might not be feasible financially. And once the costs of having an urban windmill installed outgrow the expected revenue in its lifetime, one would do well to reconsider its application. Conclusion This leads to a somewhat sombre conclusion: a single big windmill in a rural area generates much more energy than a large number of small windmills in a densely populated area. This is not to say that  wind energy like urban windmills are a bad idea per se. In certain areas, 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 simply is a concept that requires more innovating and would definitely benefit from lower cost prices, both in the initial investment requirement and energy needs.   https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/wind
Urban Windmills: Wind energy; the future or a mere eyesore?
Urban Windmills: Wind energy; the future or a mere eyesore?
Energy

Fossil fuels are non-renewable, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. In contrast, the many types of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar energy are constantly replenished and will never run out.
Wind turbines and solar panels are an increasingly common sight. But why? What are the benefits of renewable energies and how do they improve our health, environment, and economy?

The WhatsOrb category ‘Energy’ explores and shows the many positive impacts of clean energy, including the benefits of windsolar and geothermal. Next to it critical articles about nuclear and unknown energy sources.

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