The WindTree, that can Generate Electricity using Wind

A French company, New Wind have developed a novel way of creating green energy. They have created an artificial tree that has 54 spinning green ‘Aeroleafs,’ called “The WindTree.”

Green energy is the most sought after source of energy in the recent times. Primarily because of the increasing global warming and greenhouse gas effects. Wind energy is one among the green energies.

The American Wind Energy Association suggests that 583,000 onshore turbines could power the entire United States.  Wind turbines often come with boring and unaesthetic pleasing, making people less interested in installing such wind turbines in their backyards. Besides, they are often huge that it is impossible to be installed at homes.

The WindTree is developed mainly to remove such limitations and make wind energy an exciting option. The Aeroleafs on the WindTree are slightly curved so that even slight breezes can set them into action.  They spin around their vertical axes.

Aeroleafs start generating electricity with wind speeds as low as 4.5 mph. While the most wind turbines, start operating only when wind speeds hit 9-11 miles per hour. NewWind founder and CEO Jerome Michaud-Lariviere refers to these  breezes ‘micro-turbulence.’

Each leaf has a maximum power generation capacity of 100 watts, giving the tree a total capacity of 5,400 watts on average. However, a NewWind representative in an interview explained that the devices produce between 1,000 and 2,000-kilowatt hours of energy per year.

WindTree could provide approximately up to 18% of an American household’s annual electricity. Given that the average residential utility customer in the US consumed 10,932 kWh of energy in 2014.

The WindTree which is roughly 30 feet tall is designed to generate electricity for individual or household purposes rather than power grids. Like solar panels, they are directly connected to a particular house or a system.

NewWind has already installed seven WindTrees throughout Germany, Switzerland, and France. Those initial prototypes were sold to cities and professional organizations. A smaller model for individual users is expected to be available by 2018.

As of now each tree costs $55,350. Such higher costs of the WindTree would make it unaffordable at present as it would take really long time for the energy savings to make up for the up- front investments.

The company now is trying to find out ways to make the trees more efficient and also to cut down the costs. Once the cost effective and efficient WindTrees are made, it shall give a new meaning to green energy.




Shobith MAKAM Written by:

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