Wind Trees in Paris Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Mar 23 2015

Location: 

Paris, France

Traditional wind turbines may require vertical shafts higher than 40m and spinning blades over 50m long in order to capture wind energy efficiently. While these devices are some of the best at capturing clean energy, their height and shape put large limitations on the way that they can be used. In fact, one of the biggest complaints about windmills is that modern windmills, with their towering sizes and slender shapes, are not "aesthetically appealing" and "too noisy" for the local communities.

A French company called New Wind is trying to combat these complaints by making short, stout, nature-inspired designs that can be placed in crowded, urban spaces. The "Wind Trees" as they are called, look just like a 25m metal and plastic tree, only their leaves can spin on a vertical axis.

The tiny leaves, with their low masses, let them capture very slow-speed winds (as low as 4.5mph) like those found in some cities. The first set of installations have gone up in Place de la Concorde in Paris.

While the trees do not generate much energy, their aesthetic appeal and small space of operation make them useful functional art installations that can showcase how sustainable energy can be local and beautiful.

New Wind is currently trying to develop the prototypes further to be more sustainable, introducing ideas like solar panels and natural materials into the design, dropping the cost per kilowatt generated.

Posted by artandactivism on

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