Windstalks May Be The Future of Wind Power_Featured_, Alternative Energy Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
A new concept for harnessing the power of the wind is currently being built in the United Arab Emirates by New York design firm Atelier DNA. Their design, Windstalks, consists of tall carbon-fiber stalks that utilizes piezoelectric materials that create an electrical current from the compression that occurs when the stalks sway in the wind.
“Our system is very efficient in that there is no friction loss associated with more mechanical systems such as conventional wind turbines,” says Darío Núñez-Ameni, a founding partner at Atelier DNA.
Since wind isn’t constant, installation sites have been designed to store energy like a battery by incorporating two large chambers beneath the site that work like existing hydroelectric pumped storage systems. The Windstalk design also allows rain water to funnel to the ground to promote plant growth.
According to Atelier DNA, one Windstalk should be able to produce as much electricity as a single wind turbine, but could also increase energy output with a denser array of stalks, which isn’t possible with conventional turbines because proper space is needed to avoid air turbulence.
The firm’s long term goal is to build a large system in the United States, either on land, or in the water with their newest concept called Wavestalk, which would invert the Windstalk system to generate energy from the flow of ocean currents and waves.
Full article: http://news.discovery.com/tech/
Image source: AtelierDNA