By Amanda Froelich | True Activist
One of the biggest criticisms of wind turbines is that in addition to being very loud, they’re not very nice to look at. This is likely to soon change – at least in urban environments, thanks to an aesthetically appealing innovation created by the French company New Wind.
When one first glances at a Tree Vent, it appears to be like any other tree. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes very obvious that each ‘leaf’ on the device is actually a vertical wind turbine.
According to Newsweek, each Tree Vent is 11 meters (36 ft) tall and 8 meters (26 ft) in diameter at its widest point. The white frame is comprised of steel and holds 72 turbines – each of which is constructed out of a lightweight sheet of plastic called an Aeroleaf. The “leaves” accumulate micro electricity and can individually generate anywhere from 15 street lamps worth of wattage to the power necessary for over 10,000 miles in an electric car. Of course, installing an ‘orchard’ of the trees would ideal for making a big impact on the homes and buildings nearby.
Normally, wind turbines are constructed to be very tall to capture the wind at its strongest. But Tree Vents are only 36 ft tall, which is why the company designed the vertical turbines to spin with the wind blowing as low as 7 km/h (4.4 mph). In effect, the small ‘leaf’ turbines are twice as sensitive as traditional turbines. Their sensitivity has a downside, however. The turbines are only durable enough to withstand wind speeds of 178 – 208 km/h (111-129 mph). Still, it’s the design of the Tree Vents that makes them perfect for urban or even suburban environments.
Intriguingly, support for the Tree Vents has flourished in recent months, despite the innovations being showcased to the public early last year. In March of 2015, a Tree Vent was installed in Paris’s Place de la Concorde to introduce the public to the concept. Not long after, approximately 40 more units were placed around France.
Fortunately, the devices said to be available for purchase – though they are a bit of an investment. Each tree retails at £23,500 or $33,670. According to the company, the turbines will pay themselves off in a few years due to the money saved on alternate energy sources. Plus, the planet will inevitably benefit – that’s something to feel good about.
Learn more about the Tree Vents by watching the video below and visiting New Wind’s website.
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