Wednesday 31 October 2007

Urban Wind

I've always felt that urban environments weren't right for wind power, for three reasons:

1. Lots of small turbines would be ugly - even worse than the forest of TV aerials that we see now.

2. There often isn't much wind in town, especially when the towns are built in the shelter of hills, like Lewes is.

3. The wind direction changes all the time, which makes the turbines less efficient.

Well, I've just seen an article describing a number of new designs that challenge these assumptions. Some vertical axis designs that look quite elegant, and are less sensitive to changing wind direct. And, a design that exploits the funnelling of wind by the buildings themselves.

Of course, these aren't going to be suitable everywhere, but they could help to increase the range of suitable sites.

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