I often laugh off the many designers and engineers who try to be green and useful but rather fall into being ridiculous. Sometimes, though, designers and engineers resolve some practical problems with ingenuity and style.
This is the case of Nicola Delon, Julien Choppin and Raphael Menard, who created a project called “Wind-it”. Their project aims to adapt the current infrastructure of electrical high voltage towers into electricity generating towers. Because they are so tall and well grounded, electrical towers are best for supporting wind turbines (of course, adapted to the towers’ shape).
Putting wind turbines into already existing towers solves two problems at once:
1) they don’t have to build additional structures, because the towers are already there and money have already been invested in them;
2) wind turbines eliminate the aesthetic problem and don’t disturb the birds.
The design is available in three sizes and could provide power to up to 20 homes. Of course, it all depends on wind’s speed and the users’ needs. They say that if only 1/3 of France’s towers would be converted to act as wind turbines, that would amount to two nuclear power stations (5% of the whole country’s electrical needs). That’s some figure.
The three designers have won the “2009 Next” Generation prize with their innovation.