Are bridge-mounted wind turbines a viable option?
Wind turbines might be common sight all around the world, but situating them in open fields or on breezy ridges isn't always a practical option. Ideas like placing turbines under bridges have been proposed, but is that a viable alternative? According to new research out of Europe, the answer is yes.
The study is based in models and computer simulations, which were carried out by researcher Oscar Soto and his colleagues in Kingston University (London)
The researchers from Spain and the UK, used the Juncal Viaduct in the Canary Islands as a basis for computer simulations designed to establish whether the wind blowing between the pillars on bridges is sufficient to move turbines and create energy.
The study showed that the best way to create power would be to use two different-sized turbines, or even to create a matrix of 24 small turbines because of their low weight and the amount of power that can be produced by each unit.
In terms of practicality, however, the study suggests that the best option would be to use two identical medium sized 0.25 MW turbines, which could theoretically generate enough energy to power 450-500 homes, as well as reduce CO2 emissions compared with fossil fuel sources.
"This kind of installation would avoid the emission of 140 tons of CO2 per year, an amount that represents the depuration effect of about 7,200 trees," said researcher Oscar Soto.
A paper outlining the findings has been published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.