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A company has shrunk the wind turbine from being as tall as the Statue of Liberty to a 10-foot bladeless box that provides more power than 15 solar panels.
They are designed for small-scale, commercial use, as they’re noise free, and incapable of killing birds. Because they sit on the edge of roofs, they pair well with solar panels. If a building also has batteries to store the energy, it could be near to total self-sufficiency.
The relentless march of innovation in renewable energy continues at breakneck speed. Perhaps more so than solar, wind power is plagued criticism of the danger it presents to wildlife, and high maintenance requirements.
Called Aeromine, their boxy turbines generate energy in 50% greater amounts then a solar panel, and 16-times as much when the wind is right.
It takes works off the fact that when wind strikes a flat building wall, it accelerates as it rushes up and over the obstacle. Catching these wind gusts through a small opening, it channels the force towards an internal propeller located at the bottom of the unit.
“I like to think of this as kind of disruptive and complimentary to the solar business,” Aeromine cofounder and CEO David Asarnow told Fast Company. “Our production can be stronger. At the same time, when you pair the two, you really have a path for on-site energy independence.”
Asarnow explains that 20 or 40 could line the walls of a building while leaving most of the roof free for solar panels.
Aeromine will first look to sell its product to warehouses and other large flat-roofed commercial buildings where it will have the maximum impact. In a current pilot, one of the units is being tested on the roof of a BASF factory near Detroit.