Traditional wind turbine designs are HAWT. You know, not hot hawt, but HAWT like a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine." A HAWT design is what you probably think of when you picture a wind turbine (it's the thing that looks like a big propeller on a stick), but the next generation designs may be all about the VAWT, not the HAWT.
Bigger wind turbines generate more power, but you can get just as much power by using a bunch of smaller wind turbines. The question is, which way do you go if you want to produce more power while staying as environmentally friendly as possible? We totally gave it away in the hed, but the scaling is such that truly gigantic turbines are an inevitability.
A study published this week in the journal Nature Climate provides evidence that wind farms are responsible for localized temperature increases of up to 0.72 degree per decade. While some people equate this with wind farms "causing" global warming, the reality is that just about everything humans do to our environment causes climate change.
Trials have just been finished on a new kind of wind turbine — an inflated, helium shell containing traditional blades that floats in the air stream. The airborne turbine is designed to capture stronger, high-altitude winds to provide a clean, portable and power energy option.
If you want to have a super green outdoor party that even Al Gore or Ed Begley Jr. would be happy to attend, make sure you get yourself some of these new wind-powered pendant lamps from Ikea.
Out in the ocean, stuff sinks. Usually this is a bad thing, but if you're a submarine or one of these newfangled wind turbine systems from WindFlip, sinking is exactly what you have in mind.
Of all the different kinds of renewable energy, wind might be both the easiest to manage and the most frustrating. Turbines are relatively cheap and easy to build and deploy, but wind is a fickle mistress, and an idle turbine is barely fit for birds to poop on. Solution? Send the turbine to the wind instead.
Called "Green Power Island," the goal here is to leverage not just one green energy solution, but mash a bunch of them together to create one whopper of a renewable powerhouse. It's more than what you see on the surface, too, thanks to some clever engineering.
In what can't possibly fail to be a symbolic gesture, old coal mines in Germany are being repurposed into giant storage tanks for wind energy.
Renewable energy's dependence on weather is one of the factors that's kept it from replacing oil and coal and nuclear and other nasty evil polluting power sources for day-to-day use. In a stroke of genius, scientists in the U.K. have stuck a solar powered generator onto a rain and wind-powered generator to make an all-weather power harvester.