Small-Scale “Dragonfly” Wind Turbine Works at Low Wind Speeds


dragonflydemo.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scaleWhen we think of wind power generation, most of us imagine giant wind turbines, placed somewhere in the open, usually far from urban areas, generating electricity, which we may or may not get to use.

This is pretty much all we, as average citizens, have to do with wind power generation. If we are to be involved more actively, however, now we have a chance.

All we need is to gather a few of our neighbors, and invest in the new small scale, dragonfly-like wind turbine, developed by the architects at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) in collaboration with Italy’s Enel Green power. Here are the details.

The prototype of the wind turbine named Libellula (dragonfly) is especially designed in a way to overcome the two main limitations that have prevented the industry from fitting small scale installations- visibility and lower efficiency.

The turbine is made of lightweight carbon and polycarbonate, it has a diameter of only 35cm, it is 20m high and can generate around 55Kw, which should be enough to power around 35 homes. The prototype was named after a dragonfly because the turbine blades are made of transparent plexiglass, resembling the transparent wings of the insect.

What makes the turbine particularly suitable for urban surroundings, is the fact that it has only two blades, which align vertically when the turbine is not operational, making it almost invisible. In addition, it can function perfectly well with a speed of winds as little as 2m/second.

The test location for the prototype is Molinetto, Italy, where Libellula has been providing electricity for nearly two months now, and it should continue for several more. Afterwords, the makers hope for mass production and local market sales.

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