8 Cool and Amazing Wind Powers Innovation

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Wind power is a great way to generate clean renewable energy, and the innovations in wind technology being pursued over the last year or so are a reminder that with the right tools, we can turn the movement of the air above us into fuel for our energy-hungry lifestyles.
The latest designs and ideas in the wind energy sector are very different from the windmill style turbines that have led the way. Much of the innovation has been driven by the fact that traditional turbines are not suitable for all weather conditions. There is now even a wind turbine that can generate power when there is no wind. We have compiled 8 cool and amazing wind powers innovation.

Eco Whisper Turbine

Cool Eco Whisper Turbine
Want wind power, but think that those tri-bladed behemoths are just too loud? Well then, Australia Renewable Energy Solutions has just the thing for you: The Eco Whisper wind turbine. This sharp-looking little contraption may only have a 20 kW generating capacity, but the company claims that the turbine is “virtually silent”. It’s also, allegedly, more efficient.

A hybrid wind-hydro turbine

A hybrid wind-hydro turbine
How does a wind turbine generate electricity when there’s no breeze? Typical turbines simply can’t, but a new project from Max Bögl Wind AG and GE Renewable Energy pairs traditional bladed turbines with hydropower technology for the world’s first hybrid wind-hydro energy generator. Set to be located in Germany’s Swabian-Franconian Forest, the project will initially feature four wind turbines with a capacity of 13.6 megawatts.

The Typhoon Turbine

Tokyo-based engineer, Atsushi Shimizu, has invented the world’s first typhoon-powered wind turbine to tap into the huge amounts of energy generated by tropical typhoons. Based on the Magnus effect, which is what makes spherical objects such as balls curve when thrown, the design features a central rod and three cylinders and doesn’t rely on a propellor to spin—meaning it can generate power from wind blowing in all directions.

Bird-friendly Catching Wind Power

Bird-friendly Catching Wind Power cool stuff
One of the oldest designs in this roundup was created by an 89-year-old military veteran who is also a bird lover. In 2012, Raymond Green designed the Catching Wind Power generator, which funnels wind currents with what looks like a giant megaphone and then compresses the incoming air in order to create more power at the turbine within. There are no external moving parts to pose a threat to birds or bats, though, making Catching Wind Power a lot safer than traditional designs. Green designed the system to be scaleable, hoping that both residential and industrial installations can generate renewable energy without endangering birds.

Wind Turbine Lenses

Wind Turbine Lenses cool stuff
Japanese researchers say that they’ve discovered a simple way to make wind turbines up to three times as efficient. By placing a ‘wind lens’around the turbine blades, they claim that wind power could become cheaper than nuclear.

IceWind CW-1000

Icelandic company, IceWind’s vertical axis wind turbines have been designed to generate energy in both low wind and extreme wind conditions. Not only that, they are architecturally pleasing to the eye and could be mistaken for artistic installations. Able to completely power a home or farm, they are almost silent and do not impact wildlife in the same way rotating turbines do. The company also offers a smaller version, the IceWind RW, which can be installed on telecommunications masts and surveillance towers to provide power in difficult weather conditions. It can withstand winds up to Category 4 Hurricane speeds.

Wind Harvester

Wind Harvester
The new Wind Harvester is based on a reciprocating motion that uses horizontal aerofoils similar to those used on aeroplanes. It is virtually noise-free and can generate electricity at a low speed, which may result in less opposition to new installations. It will also be operational at higher wind speeds than current wind turbines.

Manmade Island Wind Battery Concept

Coolest Manmade Island Wind Battery Concept
The Green Power Island makes use of pumped hydro, a storage strategy that’s already in wide use. Conventional pumped hydro systems use vertically separated reservoirs to utilize the power of water and gravity; during times of low demand (off peak), water is pumped using excess energy from the lower to the upper reservoir. As demand increases, the water is allowed to flow downhill into the lower reservoir, generating electricity in the process.