Future In A Flat Spin: Horizontal Wind Turbines


(Image via: Inhabitat)

As world-savingly admirable as wind turbines are…well, they kinda stick out. Putting aside the question of whether the colossal wind-turbines we are growing accustomed to seeing are bad for our health or for local wildlife – they’re definitely bad for the view. In fact they’re as incongruous as lamposts in a field of corn. But maybe we don’t need acres of whirring behemoths – we should just design our homes a little differently. Here are three examples of how we might achieve this.


(Image via: Inhabitat)

Released last year, the Broadstar Aerocam (pictured above and top) is a multi-layered horizontal turbine that follows the wind around at a price translating to less than $1 per watt. Its blades continually adjust to find the optimum pitch to bite into the wind, collecting energy the same way the surface of an aircraft wing collects lift. The Aerocam units can be positioned at points between or atop buildings where the wind is strongest – but unobtrusively, never lifting above the skyline.


(Images via: Cleantechnica)

Taking the idea a step further is the Ridgeblade, a turbine that is part of your roof. The genius of this design is the unit’s length – potentially as long as a traditional sky-high turbine – and the Ridgeblade has already won its designers (the UK’s The Power Collective) a prestigious $750,000 award.


(Image via: Ecofriend)

But why stop at houses? Think of all the bridges, road-signs, walkways, billboards and lamposts out there. Think about the artificially-induced wind of road-traffic – as utilized by this design by Arizona State University – or from the passage of trains or aircraft. If we could work horizontal turbines into our existing structures in such a way that they’re out of sight and out of mind, then could we meet our energy needs while keeping our treasured natural views…and bequeath the sky to the next generation?