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View Diary: The simple innovation that could make wind power a big player (230 comments)

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  •  You might be able to put some small ones (17+ / 0-)

    On top of some skyscrapers, but the buildings are designed assuming a certain wind load for that location. Because windmills "catch" the wind, they can have a wind-load impact out of proportion to their size, and can affect building stability. In addition, windmills vibrate to a certain extent, and one attached properly to the building structure could set up some unfriendly oscillation patterns. We really want skyscrapers to be stable, so putting a windmill up on one would have to be done with a great deal of care, monitoring, and planning. In all likelihood, if a skyscraper could safely support a windmill, it would probably be too small to fully power the building, though there is still something to be said for powering part of the building with renewable energy. It's just really tricky, and fraught with safety issues.

    •  A building-mounted wind engine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, IreGyre, PrahaPartizan

      would have to be a different design, like the vertical axis wind whips and spirals that are being developed. A big propeller on top of a building is kinda scary, too.
      But these vertical ones take wind from all directions, including up and down drafts, they are scalable (some are used on buoys in the North Atlantic) and what they lack in efficiency is made up by proximity, no line loss from the roof to the basement.
      There are also designs (I think it was a Chinese architect) that has a kind of wind-catching center section with about 10 floors of huge fans catching that energy.
      It can be done, it'll take innovation and investment.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:39:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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