Large, utility-scale wind turbines are fantastic and can generate a lot electricity, but they also require a lot of land and infrastructure. What if we could harness the power of the wind closer to home in an unobtrusive way? NL Architects explored this idea of 'domesticating' wind power with Power Flowers - tree-like structures outfitted with multiple vertical axis wind turbines. These small, almost noiseless generators could be placed in urban settings and serve as both distributed generation and artistic sculptures.
NL Architects has been exploring the idea of advanced wind power generation since 2006 and Power Flowers is their latest iteration. Vertical axis wind turbine technology has advanced their ideas to capture even more wind and become more efficient. Power Flowers relies on 4 kW Eddy turbines by Urban Green Energy and mounts them in groupings of either 3 or 12. These wind trees need less space, can be installed where the power is actually used, create very little noise, do not need to be directed into the wind and have an interesting and aesthetically pleasing design.
Power Flowers could easily be integrated into the urban landscape similar to cell phone towers, lights, electric poles and art sculptures. Less land intensive than even a pole-mounted residential horizontal axis wind turbine, the Power Flowers could easily fit in a back yard. By domesticating wind energy into a form that can be used as distributed generation, we can make wind power more accessible for everyone and as easy to integrate as rooftop solar systems.