Thousands of bats and birds die each year pursuing insects that are attracted to wind turbines but a new study out of the UK suggests that painting the supports, blades and turbines purple will deter insects from congregating. Why just purple, though? Adding a little color to wind farms could attract “fans”, repel bugs, and save bats & birds.
The Finnishing Touch Of Arttu-Matti Immonen
(images via: Tuvie)
It’s two, two, two alternative energy generating mechanisms in one! With apologies to Doublemint, Finnish designer Arttu-Matti Immonen has managed to combine wind and solar power in this trio of attractive stalked generators. Compact, unobtrusive and attractive, the Aard concept is ideal for both urban areas and isolated habitats.
(images via: Tuvie)
The business end of each apparatus resembles a lamp made from cobalt blue Murano glass, but is actually formed from eight flexible photovoltaic modules. As the sun travels across the sky, a constant level of sunlight (barring clouds) falls upon the modules. When the wind picks up, the modules shift their wings to catch the breeze, producing electricity via a central dynamo.
Flower Power Comes Of Age
(images via: My Wind Power System)
They’re bright, white and often out of place in rural surroundings: large commercial wind turbines or wind farms have been called eyesores, irregardless of the clean energy they provide. An intriguing wind turbine called the Wind Tamer addresses this issue head on by aping the look of a flower. While the collection cone of the turbine is white, it’s offset by a leaf-green central housing, bladed turbine and supporting ribs.
Here’s a short video of the Wind Tamer wind turbine flower design in action:
No Flag Flap Here
(images via: Diamond Wind Solutions)
The Greenpower Utility System (GALE™) line of vertical axis wind turbines from Diamond Wind Solutions not only offers buyers a choice of custom colors, it suggests a number of different graphics packages including the American flag and camouflage… though we’re not sure the bats & birds would appreciate the latter. Then again, vertical axis wind turbines are usually compact in size and mounted close to the ground.
The Answer Is Blowin’ In The Wind
(images via: Green Prophet)
Think the tired old political posturing of Middle Eastern politics is a lot of hot air? Willing to give peace a chance? Then support the efforts of these two companies: Israel Wind Power and Brothers Engineering Group. The former, based in Ramat Gan (near Tel Aviv), Israel and the latter, from Bethlehem in the West Bank, have announced a partnership dedicated to selling wind turbines locally and internationally.
(image via: Israel MFA)
“Business collaboration in the area of wind energy is something which will be for the benefit of everyone,” said Dr. Mohammed Salem, founder of Brothers Engineering Group. “It will serve as a bridge of peace for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Salem is a social entrepreneur with Engineers without Borders and has been in the wind business since 2006, employing 15 people in Bethlehem. Adding Palestinian national colors to their wind turbines will hopefully kindle a broader sense of national pride among Palestinians striving for economic success.
Christmas Star Shines Bright With LED Light
Munich, Germany already has a beautiful beacon of light in its spectacular soccer stadium, but if you think nothing can hold a candle to the ethereal glowing ring, look again: which is easy to do, being that a huge wind turbine has been lit up with 9,000 LED lights making it visible from up to 30 kilometers (18.65 miles). Extravagant and wasteful? Nah… the display may be as bright as around 20,000 Christmas candles but the entire system uses only as much electricity as a single hair dryer.
Designed by Traxon Technologies and artist Michael Pendry for the Media Architecture Biennale 2010, the “Siemens Superstar” became the world’s largest revolving media screen for a few weeks around Christmas of 2009. Not only can the installation dazzle the eye in a wide range of colors, it can also be used to display medium-res video content.
Check out this amazing video from Siemens showing the huge POV display in all its glory:
Holy Land, Mighty Wind
(image via: EasyArt)
Prolific print artist Assaf Frank photographed this unusually colored and patterned wind farm on the Golan Heights in Israel. The contrast between the deep blue sky and the buff & white wind turbines evokes a sense of ancient history in conjunction with the leading edge of modern technology.
It’s A… Rainblow?
(image via: The Wind Industry In Germany)
Windwärts Energie GmbHne is one of Germany’s largest wind energy, photovoltaic and biogas producer/providers with a total capacity of 182 megawatts, so it’s only natural they would throw their support to any endeavors promoting these types of alternative power generation. One such project was the Hanover Expo-Region Climate Protection Programme. Windwärts teamed up with Parisian artist Patrick Raynaud; the result being a wind turbine that looks to be a cross between a Christmas tree and a Festivus pole.
A Shining Alternative
Staying in Germany, another public art project called Windmove saw the installation of colored LED lights in the blades of several wind turbines outside Berlin. Conceived by artist Christoph Ernst, the visual display ran from October 22nd through December 31st of 2007.
(image via: CoolHunting)
Strips of LED lights are unobtrusive by day, but the light show really swings into action once darkness falls and the wind sets the turbine blades spinning at speeds of up to 220 kmh (137 mph). Ambient industrial music by Andre Unruh of the electronic music group Einstuerzende Neubauten complements the visual pyrotechnics – alternative energy set to alternative rhythms.
The East Is Red
What’s a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, and why is it red? Also known as a “lantern style vertical wind turbine” type windmills, this new kind of wind turbine is said to be exceptionally stable, perhaps due to the spreading of wind pressure to many small collectors instead of 3 large blades. Designed and manufactured in China by Qingdao Jinfan Energy Science & Technology Co. Ltd. for Qingteng International Trading Co. Ltd., the line of vertical axis wind turbines can be ordered in a variety of colors besides Revolutionary Red.
Black: The New White
(image via: CSB/SJU)
It’s not hard to miss the 76-turbine, 25 megawatt wind farm strung out along the Buffalo Ridge near Lake Benton, Minnesota, and the massive size of these turbines is just part of the story. Black blades is the other. The Lake Benton wind farm is the first of three such installations that will bring Northern States Power Company’s total generating capacity to 425 MW, so expect to see more black blades sweeping through the chill Minnesota air.
“Chill” is one watchword here and the other is “balance”. Balance is exceptionally important to a spinning wind turbine; the lack of it has resulted in some spectacular failures over the years. Minnesota’s climate presented a novel set of problems for NPS engineers concerned about ice buildup on the turbine blades. The solution was to paint to blades black. The dark coloration absorbs heat from sunlight, thus keeping the blades much more ice-free than if they were painted the standard white or gray.
(image via: John Daniels/SParadigm)
Wind turbines have come of age as a permanent fixture on the energy horizon – or the actual horizon depending where you live. As the novelty begins to wear off, it’s nice to see wind power strutting its stuff and moving beyond pure functionality. Decorative solar panels may be next!