Potential Wind Power for Cities

Metropolitan areas may see a new roof top decoration in the form of helical wind towers that would supply neighboring buildings with local power.

| December 2008 Web

In addition to wind farms, Majid Rashidi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Cleveland State University, believes that wind generated power can be produced in metropolitan areas as well as towns. Rashidi created a helical wind power harnessing system in the form of a tower that would be installed on city structures’ roof tops.

Rashidi’s wind towers just may be the answer to the future of wind energy. Wind is among the fastest growing renewable energy sources today, and it is supplying about 1 percent of the nation’s power. One of the downsides of wind energy is the inability to transport it over long distances; however, Rashidi’s wind towers would supply hospitals, schools, businesses and homes with locally produced electricity, thus solving the problem.

The spiraling tower looks like a large screw with two rows of mini turbines that extend down the tower at opposite ends to deflect wind. Although the self-sustaining wind tower will not create as much power as a traditional wind farm would, because of the size of the turbines and the city location, it has a power-generating ratio of 4 to 1.

More about wind energy

•  Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why the U.S. wind market has soared.

• Check out Times Square's wind- and solar-powered billboard.

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