We all know it is important to be careful with our energy. We are still learning and discovering how we can lower our own footprint as to keep this planet prosperous for the future generations without discomforting ourselves. Calculated is that if all start living the most sustainable lives in Leiden it still will need close to 20 PJ of Energy. The current forms of renewable energies that are the most used in the Netherlands are sun, wind and geothermal energy compared to the gravity, hydropower, movement and bio-energy. But focusing on the wind energy there are still complaints being voiced.
Complaints against windmills.
But so many people keep complaining about windmills. what is wrong with windmills? The long blades are in a constant movement so bird get hit by it. They may have an effect on the air flows and need a certain perimeter. They are not pretty to look at and are noisy. But what if next to these windmills can have our small creations on our own roofs or at the side of our houses? Not just moving it offshore or far from the cities but also moving wind energy into the city scenery in the form of artistic creations. They’ve founded something interesting in America at Cornell university already back in 2010.
It is made by using piezoelectric transducers. Piezoelectricity makes use of the response of materials to applied mechanical stress and is made of a ceramic or polymer that emits electrons when it is put under stress (Ju 2010) for example by bending (Dechev, 2016). There’re bladeless, the effect on air flows small and they need less space. If they’re pretty is in the eye of the beholder but it was inspired on the creation of a kinetic sculpture. The noise it produces: Listen yourself with this link of the creators. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhG9OStqWY0) This can give an output to 54 W/m2 which is lower than the solar panels which have an output between 60 and 100 W/m2 but fairly close to the bottom.
But what makes this interesting is that it’s able to work with wind speeds of just 2 m/s. If looked at Leiden the wind speeds are at average higher than this value if looked per month. As seen the average wind speed lies above/around the 5 m/s. As shown by the world weather & climate information site (Weather and Climate, n.d.).
Not on its own.
Just imagine every roof having such a system standing on top of the houses and providing energy. Of course it is not a solution that can stand on its own as solar panels alone can’t provide the necessary energy either in the current situation. But if this new technology can be combined with solar panels, wind turbines, maybe even as they are trying out in Germany, Wind turbines connected to hydropower (De Ingenieur, 2016). After all the cleaning of the water is being done in large lakes. Put one hollow wind turbine there and make that a place to store some energy of a region while at the same time it can be cleaned in a natural way.
If the idea interest you here are some articles about it:
Cornell chronicle, (2010). Students harness vibrations from wind for electricity.
Dechev, N. (2016). Piezoelectric Sensors & Actuators.
De Ingenieur. (2016). Windturbine heeft zijn eigen waterreservoir. [online] Available at: https://www.deingenieur.nl/artikel/windturbine-heeft-zijn-eigen-waterreservoir [Accessed 7 Jan. 2017].
Kluger, J., Moon, F. and Rand, R. (2013). Shape optimization of a blunt body Vibro-wind galloping oscillator. Journal of Fluids and Structures, [online] 40, pp.185-200. Available at: http://web.mit.edu/jociek/www/Kluger_JFS_2013.pdf [Accessed 7 Jan. 2017].
Weather and Climate: Average monthly Rainfall, Sunshine, Temperatures, Humidity, Wind Speed. (n.d.). Retrieved January 07, 2017, from https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Wind-speed,leiden-zuid-holland-nl,Netherlands