10/12/2012

The Windstrument


At a time when clean domestic energy production is commonly mentioned in todays media and news outlets, the young wind power industry is constantly at the design table, developing more cost effective, manageable, and site neutral models for this effective but costly form of energy.  FastCompany ask "how can wind power be brought to a wider variety of landscapes, including urban ones, as opposed to the rural, mountainous, or desert areas where you typically find fields of hulking turbines?" Also, how can designers and entrepreneurs lower the technology's impact on local ecosystems?



A new manufacture thinks they've figured it out with a new turbine design called the Windstrument.  They claim the product is a truly affordable wind energy system that is quiet, bird safe, and scalable.  The technology is compact and unobtrusive enough to be installed in an urban area for smaller-scale use.  For homes and businesses who don't require much power, a pole with a single, four-foot turbine would suffice, and a rooftop mounting option is available.  For power needs of an entire neighborhood or an industrial complex, many turbines can be added to a single pole, a configuration the company calls a "Windorchard."



The shape of the turbine's blades are called conical helicoids, inspired by the design of racing sails and capable of sustaining their functionality even in fierce winds.  The Windstrument also disperses the air in a way that birds do not get sucked in.  The company performed two years of trials in a wetland heavily populated with birds, and not a single one was harmed.