Gallery: NANO VENT-SKIN: CO2 Filtering Solar Micro-turbines!

Agustin Otegui's Nano Vent Skin

There’s nothing like a towering wind turbine to inspire NIMBY sentiment from neighbors and city councils alike. Enter a striking new alternative energy concept by Mexican-born Agustin Otegui, who works with economies of a much smaller scale. He has conceived of a next-gen Nano Vent-Skin that sheathes structures in a shimmering solar weave studded with micro-turbines. The concept takes advantage of a structure’s maximum available surface space, and its modular composition allows it to retrofit our old buildings instead of pouring resources into new ones. Plus, the stunning superstructure incorporates micro-organisms to soak up C02.

In the past we’ve covered approaches to alternative energy that seek to synthesize solar with wind. It’s an exciting area to watch as technology improves and processes are streamlined, and Ostegui’s concept charts some innovative new territory.

The Nano Vent-Skin is a zero-emission material that takes a tri-partite approach towards energy efficiency. First, it soaks up sunlight via a photovoltaic layer, and transfers energy via nano-wires to storage units at the end of each panel. Second, its tiny turbines employ “polarized organisms” to create chemical reactions, generating power each time the turbine makes contact with the structure. Third, the organisms present in the inner skin of each turbine soak up C02.

At the core of the technology is an elaborate system of bio-engineered micro organisms which “have not been genetically altered; they work as a trained colony where each member has a specific task in this symbiotic process.” Ostegui even has plans for the system to be self-healing: “Every panel has a sensor on each corner with a material reservoir. When one of the turbines has a failure or breaks, a signal is sent through the nano-wires to the central system and building material (microorganisms) is sent through the central tube in order to regenerate this area with a self assembly process.”

Ostegui’s NVS may reside at the far end of future-forward thinking for now, but it presents some exciting concepts that may surface as science and technology work together to converge our existing energy systems.

+ Nano Vent-Skin

Via TreeHugger


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  1. arul manikandan August 13, 2012 at 8:31 am

    wonderfull project
    but why there is no updation of details about this nano vent skin….

  2. peninjausambilan February 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    a brilliant innovation indeed.
    but this was posted last couple years ago.
    just wondering if theres any progress and latest update for this project..

  3. Lucky77 April 24, 2010 at 5:54 am

    So many \”intelligent scientists\” are around the world honking around their \”accademic\” points of view instead to give an hand to help to improve the ideas of such are looking to enter the future with new streets … good boys!
    The world needs other type of approach …!!

  4. lookinaround March 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Oh! Sorry – I asked where is the setup to convert rotational to kinetic!!!! Thats a typo. Rotational is kinetic, I actually wanted to ask ‘where is the setup that converts this kinetic energy into electrical energy?

  5. lookinaround March 14, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Nano-Vent Skin is just an untested concept which has gathered some heat. The idea is revolutionary but seemingly far-fetched. Though theoretically correct, there are many questions that arise.
    * Won’t these CO2 sucking microbes create some side effects?
    * In case the skin is gonna be photovoltaic – what about the costs?
    * If the turbines change direction as per the wind, and if the ends of these turbines are fixed as per the diagram then how is the rotational energy gonna be transferred? Where is the supposed magnetic setup of a generator that converts the rotational energy into kinetic energy?
    * If this thing is gonna be a skin cladding then most of the surface is gonna be backed by a wall and wind passing through this won’t have enough force to generate any kinda electricity. How is the wind energy of any use then?
    Small turbines in rows might be more effective than this, and if they have wings of photovoltaic material with CO2 sucking microbes sprinkled on them – we have a more effective design.

  6. yasmeen March 13, 2010 at 4:54 am

    could u tell me .. how much energy does the Nano Vent-Skin provide the building ???? .. i mean .. when we want to build a green house .. can we use this system ?? is it benefit ??

  7. mvilimek December 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    This is beautiful science fiction, I am sure every third rate wanna be venture capitalist is flocking to throw money at this. If one doesn’t understand the fundamentals of engineering and science, I guess anything is possible. Especially if you have very good renderings to “prove” it is possible.

    While highly creative in many aspects; the thought of it, the quality renderings, the brilliant writing and getting it published. The best use of such a creative mind is to go study more science and engineering to actually come up with another innovative concept that is based in reality so that it could actually make a difference within our lifetime. Though I am sure this would be much more expensive and tie consuming than going out and getting a high paying job at IDEO or some other creative agency.

    Plus I think the modern university systems still can not deal with such a creative mind and would either bore the him to death or alienate him from his peers. Which is such a pity, we take our most creative minds and have them make entertainment or work on other things that can not effect sustainable change.

    We humans like our terrible customs, even those who “believe in change” don’t actually know what that means, it is merely an identification that we need to sustain our egos.

    As for those other comments, those that understand this doesn’t work shouldn’t be so hostile and negative towards those that don’t know. Showing off your brilliance and/or education only furthers the aforementioned problems with humans and our education systems.

    And those that think they understand shouldn’t try to prove that you have enough education and/or understanding to pass judgement either. Citing what you have read about, written by someone who’s job it is to write about things in the 3rd to 5th grade level means that 99.999% of the real science/engineering is left out. Which is why a trained person will say “ridiculous” and “Far Fetched”.

  8. rt_rational June 11, 2008 at 4:06 am

    Marvelous! We are presented with a concept for something with absolutely no available means for the underlying elements described using a bunch of bafflegab.

    “polarized organisms … that have not been genetically altered; they work as a trained coloney where each memeber has a specific task in this symbiotic process”

    If that is not enough bafflegab for anyone, I don’t know what is. And what are these symbiotic colonies going to do? They are going to “absorb CO2″. Well boys and girls what happens after they have absorbed a whole bunch of CO2? Do they burst like the mother of all Carol Doda specials?

    Then we have PV collectors that cover only a tiny fraction of the surface area Sure that’s what everyone needs, low efficiency PV.

    Add to that: large, complex mechanical structures all built from nano materials If it says nano it has to be cool, right?

    Then there are the microdiameter turbines with negative clearance to the housing They are actually supposed to transfer their energy while blocking the airflow and wearing on the structure. Yeah, right.

    All thoe impressed with this concept, please send me $5.00 and I will explain the great investment opportunity that awaits all gullible enough to buy into this nonsense. Cash only please!

  9. J Bob June 9, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I don’t see that this is ridiculous at all. Far-fetched, perhaps, but so was a 3G iPhone when Atari was hot stuff. Now we have supercomputers using hardware designed for the PS3 game console running at Petabyte rates–Trillions of calculations per second! New tech is always far-fetched, if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be new. Bravo to the innovation, I hope to see more developments like this in the not too distant future.

  10. dixon1e June 4, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Brilliant. What are the next steps to making this a reality? And where can we find out?

  11. ummm June 4, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    This is the most far-fetched ridiculous idea I’ve ever seen.

    1. make up “technology”
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

  12. Done June 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    How brilliant is this, in theory unbeleivable, question is there any energy transfer or CO2 loss as it it gathered up, processed and moved along to make it an economical model And the polarized organizms,to what extent to they capture or generate power? There has to be a operational equation that makes this all efficent and functional. Other than that I don’t have anything to say. And I wondering if in fact I said anything at all.

    Best of Luck

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