Tree-Shaped Wind Turbines Produce Electricity

Categories: Education

One of the biggest criticisms against wind turbines is that they aren’t usually nice to look at, but that may be about to change thanks to the French company NewWind. Their new device, Tree Vent, is an array of vertical wind turbines that look a lot like a tree. 

Though the tree looks like a piece of modern art that would fit in at any urban area, it also provides a very important function. Each tree has a current power output of 3.1 kilowatts, which might not be able to power much on its own. However, using several of the trees together as landscape features in a park or along a roadside would make more of an impact to the homes and buildings nearby. 

The trees are 11 meters (36 ft) tall, and 8 meters (26 ft) in diameter at its widest point, which makes it about the same height as many urban trees. The white frame of the tree is made out of steel, and it can hold 72 turbines that sit vertically. This orientation cancels out noise, allowing the turbine to spin silently. Wind turbines are typically very tall in order to reach the altitude where the wind is stronger, but these vertical turbines are able to spin with wind blowing as low as 7 km/h (4.4 mph), making this twice as sensitive as traditional turbines. However, they are durable enough to withstand Category 3 winds, which can reach 178 - 208 km/h (111-129 mph). 

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