Wind turbines are highly efficient in producing clean renewable energy, but they have never been considered the best of neighbors. People have continuously complained about the noise these majestic constructions generate. In many cases it appears that they exaggerate a bit, as it was the case with the made up “wind turbine sickness“, apparently causing high blood pressure and increased glucose levels. But it also happens that due to easily misinterpreted regulations, the noise does indeed exceed acceptable levels, as it was the case with the turbines in Vinalhaven some years ago.
With all this in mind, there is no wonder that researchers are searching for alternative locations, where they can safely and efficiently operate without causing disturbances and making enemies. A study conducted by researchers at Kingston University (London) addresses this exact issue in a very neat way. Published in the latest issue of the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, a team of British and Spanish researchers explain the viability of mounting wind turbines under bridges, making use of available, otherwise not used, space and preventing noise disturbances.
The team, led by Oscar Soto, simulated different scenarios using models and computer simulations, where various wind turbines are placed in the space under bridges, capturing the wind between the pillars and converting it into energy. They established that the best practice would be to place two different-sized turbines, or build a matrix of 24 small, light-weight wind turbines.
Needless to say, for practical reasons, the best option would be to fit two 0.25 MW turbines, that can potentially power between 400 and 500 homes. Such installation would also reduce CO2 emissions in comparison with fossil fuels with about 140 tons per year, which compares to the job done by over 7000 trees.
Image (c) Sinc