Wind power has always been a great alternative energy source; however, turbines do have a number of downfalls such as negative effects on avian populations and their migration patterns, the immense amounts of land required, the unpleasant aesthetic, and even noise pollution. These downfalls have led Atelier DNA, a design firm based in New York, to rethink the way we harvest wind power.
They’ve come up with the concept of a “windstalk” forest. The idea of windstalks was inspired by nature: a field of wheat or reeds in a marsh swaying in the wind. Atelier DNA’s concept includes over 1200 carbon fibre stalks each standing approximately 180 feet high with large circular concrete bases. So how does it all work? Well, speaking in basic terms, each stalk is made of piezoelectric materials that generate a current when placed under pressure (i.e. sway in the wind).
So then, why is this a positive alternative? Well here’s a list of the benefits:
– Windstalks are more efficient than wind turbines because there is no loss of energy due to friction.
– Power generated by the windstalks can be stored like a battery under the site when the wind isn’t blowing.
– Unlike wind turbines, windstalks can be placed very close together.
– Windstalks foster an ecosystem. The concrete base of each stalk slopes so any rain will funnel to the vegetation and plantings between each base. The hope is to create a park-like setting for the enjoyment of the public.
– LED lights at the tip of each base illuminate while the wind blows creating the attractive effect of a starry night sky.
– The windstalks are completely silent.
Think it’s a great idea? Well so does Atelier DNA, they plan to take this technology under water harnessing the oceans currents to create electricity.
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