Could skyscrapers be outfitted with wind turbines? That's the aim of a professor from Australia's University of Wollongong. After spending more than four years creating PowerWINDows, Professor Farzad Safaei is preparing to make his blueprints a reality thanks to a two-year partnership between the university and Birdon Pty Ltd, a marine engineering company in Australia.
Unlike conventional turbines that utilize large rotating blades, PowerWINDows take a new approach to alternative energy, utilizing smaller blades that rotate slowly along a wind path, a design that decreases turbulence, noise and structural stress on nearby units.
Furthermore, modularity reduces operational costs for the manufacturer as well as scaling costs for the consumer. Its unique form also allows for smart, low-impact integration into urban environments, such as the sides or tops of tall buildings, though these rotating windows can also be used in wind farms.
The University of Wollongong and Birdon will build a prototype to analyze PowerWINDows' efficiency compared with existing wind energy harvesting methods. If all goes accordingly, we might see a commercial version down the line.
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