Noisy, Monstrous, Nauseous, giant, unpleasant, bird scaring are some of the properties that flash in our mind when we think about wind turbines. But, not anymore. Because, a French company, ‘New Wind’ has changed this definition.
‘Wind Tree’ can be defined by characteristics like silent, tiny, noiseless, pleasant, beautiful, green – not only in purpose but also in looks and possibly bird friendly. It tapped the main difference between an original tree and a wind turbine. What the leaves of a tree can do but not the blades of a large wind turbine – Being sensitive to light breezes. Just like leaves, Wind Tree’s blades are sensitive even to the light breezes.
The 26 ft (8 m) Wind Trees consists of 63 aeroleaves – leaves that house tiny blades that can generate electricity even in the slightest wind speeds – speeds as low as 4.5mph (7kmph), irrespective of the wind direction.
Except for the little variations due to the wind speed and the location of the tree, the normal power output of a Wind tree is 3.1 kW with the potential to generate 3500kWh to 13,500 kWh a year. In other words, a Wind Tree could supply enough to power 15 street lamps for a year or bear 83 percent of the annual electrical consumption of a typical family household or one electric car for 10,168 miles (1,360km) over the course of a year. Another major improvement from past designs is that Wind tree being silent. No sound pollution complaints.
Jérôme Michaud-Larivière(in the right side picture), the founder of the Parisian start-up making the Wind Tree said, “‘The idea came to me in a square where I saw the leaves tremble when there was not a breath of air,”After 3 year long research, only last year the team of engineers developed a prototype and installed it in the Pleumeur-Bodou commune in Brittany in northwestern France.
He admits there are more consistent winds 160ft in the air but they require ‘monstrous machines’, far from where energy is consumed, Daily mail noted. It quoted, Mr. Michaud-Lariviere said the tree is profitable after winds of 7.8mph (12.5km/h) on average over one year.
Wind Tree, the very unconventional wind turbine that fits in a backyard, retails at $33,670.
The first Wind Tree would be installed at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Soon, they would appear all around the French capital and even beyond.
Mr. Michaud-Larivière hopes to develop, in future, a ‘perfect tree that has leaves with natural fibers, roots that could generate geothermal energy and ‘bark’ covered with photosensitive cells. Perhaps, in future, we would find one in every backyard meeting the power demands of the household.