In addition to these drawbacks, new technologies are always trying to find more efficient designs, so the search for alternatives to typical wind turbines is a very common approach. The results of the different proposals, however, shine for their originality.
Let’s see some of them, whether wind turbines without blades or with blades that have unprecedented characteristics, as well as complements that make the turbines a different proposal, which represents some kind of advantage over conventional ones.
Vortex, turbines without blades
The vibration and deformation produced by the wind in the turbines is one of its main enemies in order to achieve the necessary efficiency. However, this same problem can become a strong point.
This is, at least, with Vortex, a “vorticity wind turbine” invented by the Spanish startup Deutecno, winner of the “Entrepreneurs Fund” of the Repsol company and winning the Startup & Investor Summit 2014.
They are turbines that look like a conventional wind turbine pillar, without the blades, but made of piezoelectric materials and fiberglass or carbon that manage to trap wind energy.
Thanks to its relative flexibility of the column, which we could define as semi-rigid, it vibrates when in contact with the wind. The result, logically, is the production of energy.
Turbine that imitate the hummingbird’s flight
Example of biomimicry, these turbines imitate the flight of a bird. But not of any bird, but of the hummingbird, whose peculiarity is its capacity to float drawing with its wings the figure of an eight, suspended in the air, without need of support.
The intention of this biomimetic invention , created by the Tunisian startup Tyer Wind, is to imitate the mechanism that allows hummingbirds to float on the ground to achieve less noise pollution and environmental safety as they are less dangerous for birds.
They are made of carbon fiber , their blades are 1.6 meters (much smaller than conventional) and are still in the testing phase.
Wind turbines on electricity poles
Also looking for a lower landscape impact , there are wind turbines inserted in electrical towers. For this purpose, vertical shaft turbines are used and less infrastructure is required, as light poles are used.
Although they are an alternative to the mills of little known wind vertical axis turbines have great advantages. Among them, do not require large investments, efficiency thanks to its use of minimum air flows, lower environmental impact and silent operation, among others.
Returning to this proposal, it is an idea that participated in the Next Generation contest of 2009, organized by the design and architecture magazine Metropolis to reward young talents. That edition the award was for this project, presented by three French architects with the name of “Wind it”.
Wind and solar energy in the home
Jonathan Globerson is the designer responsible for the invention Greengenerator, whose goal is to produce clean and sustainable energy on the balconies of houses .
As can be seen in the image, the Greenerator allows advance in the much-needed self-consumption of a home that is in a building without having to resort to community projects.
The Greengenerator is a device in the prototype phase that combines a vertical axis wind turbine and a system of flexible solar panels .
According to Globerson, it is an invention that allows us to take advantage of the sun and air that we harvest from our balcony, thanks to which we can save around 6 percent of the electricity bill and lighten our carbon footprint.
Wind turbines in telephone antennas
A similar idea in terms of type of wind turbines and use of infrastructure is that of the New York company Urban Green Energy. In this case, the idea is not to pour the energy into the network but its direct use, in the same place where they are generated.
Dubbed the Urban Green Energy, the system takes advantage of energy in the same place, since its inventors consider that the current obsolete power grids are not capable of distributing it efficiently.
Wind turbines on the roads
One of the finalists of the 2006 edition of the Next Generation award, Mark Oberholzer, was betting on integrating vertical axis wind turbines into the barriers that divide traffic on the roads, specifically on the New Jersey US highway.
His idea is to take advantage of the extra wind generated by the same passage of the cars , in addition to the one generated naturally. Curling the curl, also proposed to build on the barriers a light train powered with this energy to lighten traffic.
The difference of a small great detail
Finally, the experimental wind technology of General Electric Global Research is embodied in only apparently conventional turbines. Except for the accessory in the form of dome or shield that we find in the center of its blades, thanks to which it increases its power.
The secret of its greater productivity is the use of the lost wind , preventing it from passing through the leaves, as demonstrated in its experimental installation in the Mojave desert of California. Although manufacturing costs are also higher, its creators say that their productivity is also higher, making the return on investment well worth it.