Wind power has so far been relegated to areas off-shore and rural, but a Cleveland State University professor wants urban centers to be able to join in on the fun too. Dr. Majid Rashidi has designed a helical wind tower that can harness wind from atop city buildings.
The spiraling towers, outfitted with miniature turbines at each spire, are expected to have a power generation ratio of 4:1, which would power the tower itself as well as contribute power to businesses, hospitals, schools or residential buildings.
While turbines are still the most efficient technology for harnessing wind, these towers would allow wind power to be generated in places where large, open space isn't available and could help bring renewable energy to where large populations live. One of the major drawbacks of wind power has been the transfer of energy from rural areas to populated areas. These towers allow electricity to be generated onsite, which is usually far more efficient.
Dr. Rashidi stresses that the towers aren't a replacement for turbines, only a way to complement them in urban settings.
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