Environment

Artificial Wind Tree provides a fig leaf for unsightly turbines

Artificial Wind Tree provides ...
The Wind Tree turbine is designed to generate power from low-speed winds
The Wind Tree turbine is designed to generate power from low-speed winds
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The team is set to install a Wind Tree prototype at the Place de la Concorde in Paris in March 2015, a demonstration it says will raise awareness around renewable energy in the city
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The team is set to install a Wind Tree prototype at the Place de la Concorde in Paris in March 2015, a demonstration it says will raise awareness around renewable energy in the city
With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds with a power output calculated at 3.1 kW
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With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds with a power output calculated at 3.1 kW
The Wind Tree is the brainchild of Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, who has founded the French company New Wind to bring it to market
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The Wind Tree is the brainchild of Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, who has founded the French company New Wind to bring it to market
With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds
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With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds
New Wind envision that it could either be hooked up to buildings via the main switchboard or connected to the grid with an inverter
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New Wind envision that it could either be hooked up to buildings via the main switchboard or connected to the grid with an inverter
The steel tree stands 11 m (36 ft) tall and measures 8 m (26 ft) in diameter
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The steel tree stands 11 m (36 ft) tall and measures 8 m (26 ft) in diameter
With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds
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With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds
An earlier iteration of the Wind Tree
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An earlier iteration of the Wind Tree
The Wind Tree turbine is designed to generate power from low-speed winds
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The Wind Tree turbine is designed to generate power from low-speed winds
The steel tree stands 11 m (36 ft) tall and measures 8 m (26 ft) in diameter
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The steel tree stands 11 m (36 ft) tall and measures 8 m (26 ft) in diameter
Operation is said to by completely silent, with all cables and generators integrated into the leaves and branches
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Operation is said to by completely silent, with all cables and generators integrated into the leaves and branches
The steel tree stands 11 m (36 ft) tall and measures 8 m (26 ft) in diameter
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The steel tree stands 11 m (36 ft) tall and measures 8 m (26 ft) in diameter
View gallery - 12 images

Generally speaking, the peculiar appearance of wind turbines coupled with the fact they perform better when up high and out in the open sees them banished to uninhabited countryside, or even out to sea. But a French entrepreneur believes that sculpting them in the form of an artificial tree could lead to wider adoption in urban centers, making use of low winds that circulate around buildings and streets.

The Wind Tree is the brainchild of Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, who has founded the French company New Wind to bring it to market. His team is set to install a Wind Tree prototype at the Place de la Concorde in Paris in March 2015, a demonstration it says will raise awareness around renewable energy in the city.

With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds. The developers say this can extend to breezes blowing as slowly as two meters per second, making the turbine useful across more than 280 days of the year. Its power output is calculated at 3.1 kW.

With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds
With 72 artificial leaves serving as micro-turbines spinning on a vertical axis, the Wind Tree is designed to harness more gentle winds

The steel tree stands 11 m (36 ft) tall and measures 8 m (26 ft) in diameter. Operation is said to by completely silent, with all cables and generators integrated into the leaves and branches. New Wind envision that it could either be hooked up to buildings via the main switchboard or connected to the grid with an inverter.

We have seen similar attempts at domesticating wind turbines in the past. In 2011 a team of Dutch designers revealed its Power Flower concept, which would also use vertical-axis turbines. Having already produced prototypes, however, the Wind Tree team does seem little closer to offering a real-world solution.

If it does eventually make it to market, the Wind Tree will be priced at €29,500 (US$36,500). You can see its leaves blow in the video below.

Source: NewWind

L'Arbre à Vent® à la Cité des Télécoms "Dans les branches de l'arbre.."

View gallery - 12 images
4 comments
Mel Tisdale
With 2014 lined up to be the hottest year on record and even the politically inspired 2 C maximum temperature rise certain to be completely unachievable, we are going to need as many sources of non-CO2 energy production as possible as soon as possible.
Whilst I do not like the countryside blighted by wind turbines, thanks to all those who fell for the 'its all a hoax' nonsense put about by the fossil fuel industry that has successfully wasted so much valuable time while that industry has made even more profits, the matter of tackling climate change is now too urgent for us to enjoy the luxury of selecting those solutions to the problem we like from those we don't. The 'it's all a hoax' brigade have a lot to answer for, including forcing us to blight our countryside with wind turbines.
bajessup
Mr. Tisdale's claim that atmospheric CO2 concentrations from human activity cause "global warming" is empirically false. This is readily demonstrated by consulting geological time temperature and CO2 charts. or even wikipedia.
The wind tree turbine is a clever engineering idea. Unfortunately at current prices it appears to be a poor investment. To use very optimistic estimates: If the tree can generate 2 KW of power for an average of 15 hours a day, for 300 days a year (all optimistic figures), it would produce 9,000 kwh per year. If the local wholesale price is $0.10 per kwh, $900 per year gross sales on an installed investment of about $40,0000 is only a 2 percent gross return, without even considering capital, operating and maintenance costs. In short, it would lose money.
Much as low wind generators would seem to be desirable environmental solutions, the reality is that power density rises as the cube of wind speed. Slow air just does not have enough power in it for much electricity generation, although it did help to slowly sail ships and grind grain for centuries.
Fred Borman
It will save many bird lives I think.
S. Willey
Might be wise to note that the size of the wind turbine defines how much wind it intercepts, and the wind speed determines the amount of energy in that wind. The photos and video shows a rather small intercepted wind area, and claims of catching low speed wind compound that doubt that such as pictured could produce even 100 watts.