I saw a story fairly recently about someone who wanted a windmill but couldn't have one because there were regulations against having one in his location. So instead either he or someone he knew made a sculpture that also functioned as a windmill. Calling it a sculpture made it something that was allowable.
But now I can't remember where I saw the story. Does this ring a bell with anyone? It might have been a pump instead of a windmill but I am pretty sure it was a windmill.
Help please. Need to show the story to a friend because it might be a solution for him as well.
I love the idea of making renewable energy installations beautiful and integrating renewable energy into art, but we need to keep things real.
I often see technologies rolled out for "demonstration" purposes in locations where they just don't make sense. What are we teaching people when we over-advertise the benefits? Putting 100 KW of solar panels on the roof of a skyscraper will not provide enough energy to power the building. It will offset a small fraction, and is a step in the right direction, but we shouldsell the technology by being excited about what it can actually do, not exaggerate the capabilities by many orders of magnitude.
In the case of the wind trees... Many of us have looked at a fluttering leaf and wished to harvest the energy to create electricity, but in my artistic opinion, this expression of a "tree" is little better than a cell tower disguised as a red spruce and towering 30 feet above all other trees in the vicinity. As an educational installation, coupled with diagrams and descriptions of how it works, what it does, and how much energy it is making, I could see how this makes sense. With wind, it is important to remember that the amount of energy available is proportional to the speed of the wind, cubed. Therefore, when the wind speed doubles, the amount of energy available is multiplied by eight. The article about the wind tree states that it can generate up to 3.1KW. I have not been able to find the wind speed required to generate this level of power, but at street height, these trees will spend a lot of time producing little to no power.
Now, take one of these wind trees, and put it at a school - provide information about how it generates electricity, and for one week each, challenge a classroom to operate using only the electricity the tree provides, and that's a worthy demonstration project.
Making large systems fit in urban environments is the key. Nimby, not in my backyard. People don't want unsightly power farms near them, hence the need for artistic installations of large scale systems. Doesn't have to be traditional 3 blades, and black and blue pv cells. There's a lot of new technologies out there. Hence website above. They have some charts and information under 'education' about zero and low emission energy, compared to our current standards.
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