Gallery: Power Generating Wind Dam by Chetwood Associates


As part of our ongoing investigation of viable and sustainable solutions to generating alternative power, our heads really turned when we came across this proposal for a power-generating “wind dam” by UK architects Chetwoods Associates. The Wind Dam Project uses a giant spinnaker sail suspended in a mountain gorge near Northern Russia’s Lake Ladoga. The £2.5 million dam will include a unique cup-shaped spinnaker sail, an original design, which will capture and harness wind to generate renewable energy by funneling wind through an attached turbine.

The spinnaker shape is similar to the mainsail of a yacht, and is thought to be particularly effective in capturing the wind with it’s kite-like properties. Project architect Laurie Chetwood stated that the shape of the sail was influenced by functionality and a desire to produce something “sculptural”. “The sail looks like a bird dipping its beak into the water, which will be much less of a blot on this beautiful and unblemished landscape…It is also highly effective at capturing the wind because it replicates the work of a dam and doesn’t let the wind escape in the way it does using traditional propellers.”

If the project is approved by next year, the wind dam will be approximately 25m high and will span 75m wide. Chetwood Associates is also looking at applying for planning permission for another project in a nearby gorge of the Lake Ladoga region. If all moves forward, we could be sailing into the future with solutions that are as poetic and imaginative as they are practical and environmentally grounding.

+ Chetwood Associates

Via dezeen


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  1. Pompass October 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Very nice very expensive toy. Using Natural Gas, oil or coal or even nuclear fuel will be a lot less costly in the long run. This is an idea that will never reach economic viability.

  2. otuttle December 13, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I don’t think this design is practical. I’m a sailor, and use kevlar sails when I race. While only racing about twice a week, the sails need to be replaced nearly every season. Kevlar is strong but brittle. That wind dam wouldn’t last a year. Also, the spinnaker shape is optimized for pressure/pull, not for diverting wind. I would suggest more of a cone shape.

  3. enviroman August 26, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    This is a test, to see if it will work, you don\’t test with the environment!
    We know that when a water dam is built, it destroys environment upstream from the dam, as the water backs up.
    With this, what will be the effect to the environment down stream from the dam, there are systems that need a steady wind to grow properly.
    Second, the size, and the cost. Can\’t this all be assessed with a model in a wind tunnel, or is it just the fact they have 2.5 million to throw away.
    My fear is that once it is constructed, it will not ever come down.
    We have seen this type of project before.
    To say it bluntly, it will be a blight on the landscape

  4. Nature Guy March 6, 2008 at 1:10 am

    hey i really dont think we should joke around with the nature like this… Im an industrial design major but this is just wrong… last place to put men made stuffs should be inside of beautiful preserved nature. Are we going to keep building new stuffs? or are we going to try to fix stuffs that we have so we don’t have to keep making stuffs?
    Just because you make something that is going to look beautiful with nature, is that going to be a good design? I really don’t know if I should ever agree to this kind of design. It’s blocking sun light to certain areas and definitly scientific look. I think the big issue to me is the size and the placement.

  5. Jillian December 21, 2007 at 4:16 am

    and me, with the brain i have, went “wait, didnt they just put up HUGE wind diverting sculptures in calgary to SLOW the wind down?”….between the really high buildings in a city where its more often than not very windy. what with the chinook winds and all
    they could do that in just about any city if the turbine didnt need to be rooted to the ground and being rooted to a building instead worked.
    just pitch a sail and hang a trubine from it between two buildings and then voila, wind energy

  6. gabriel December 12, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    so what if the wind blows, or even severely gusts, in the other direction?

  7. Northern Russia Wind Da... December 1, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    […] This is a proposed project for a lake in northern Russia.  The sail would be 25 meters x 75 meters and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of £2.5.  Read more at Inhabitat. […]

  8. Tech News » Blog ... November 28, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    […] Thanks to [Inhabitat] […]

  9. The Wind Dam « Ir... November 25, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    […] The Wind Dam November 25, 2007 at 6:13 pm | In CG, FutureTech, Technology | An ambitious proposal to harness the power of the wind directly. […]

  10. MILITANTPLATYPUS »... November 19, 2007 at 11:55 am

    […] Just like it sounds, the wind dam blocks a funnels the wind into a turbine, therefore creating a sustainable source of power. The jury is still out on its overall environmental impact, as well as its efficiency, but over all the project has some very exciting implications. […]

  11. J. November 17, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    It may come to projects like this in future, if we continue to mess up the environment at thecurrent rate. For now, though, surely there better alternatives …

    … because this is simply an ugly blight on a beautiful landscape.

  12. Erik van Lennep November 15, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I agree with TinTex on the bird issue. But I would like to see how the power generated compares with a hydro electric dam in a similar location. If the wind dam turbines could be stacked or set in relays, could they obviate big power dams and all of their monstrous social upheaval and ecological destruction? Many power dams are also situated in gorges where the wind dam would presumably work. Of course the wind dam would not necessarily need the water would it?

  13. TinTex November 15, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Hopefully it will include some means to prevent funnelling birds and other wildlife, as well as wind, through the turbine.

  14. Daan Murray November 15, 2007 at 2:35 am

    definitely a giant banana hammock. but a sustainable one at that

  15. Nick Simpson November 14, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    That’s stunning (although I can see the bikini reference… Not that it’s a bad thing either…). Will it work if the wind blows in the opposite direction though? Either way, I think this is a genuinely beautiful and seemingly efficient energy solution…

  16. Colin November 14, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    “bird dipping its beak into the water” or GIANT BIKINI BOTTOM?

  17. Colin November 14, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    “bird dipping it beak into the water” or GIANT BIKINI BOTTOM?

  18. √ Progetti ecososteni... November 14, 2007 at 9:56 am

    […] – Fonte: Inhabitat] (Nessun voto ancora)  Loading […]

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