Wind turbines offer a great way to generate clean power, but they doesn’t exactly work in a city. So Professor Farzad Safaei, Director of the University of Wollongong’s ICT Research Institute, decided to do something about it. Safaei has created a wind turbine that can be installed on skyscrapers or large apartment buildings and can generate energy even safer, quieter and more affordably than current turbines.
Safaei’s turbine is called the PowerWINDow, and instead of using large, rotating blades, it is made up of gently moving panels, which blend in with architecture. It can even be painted to match the building that it is installed on. “I wanted to create a wind turbine that better integrated with living environments, [and it] looks like a window with a sparse venetian blind – the blades move vertically up and down,” says Safaei. Because there are no large blades, it is safer for humans and birds and it doesn’t generate the same noise.
PowerWINDows are in the testing phase right now, and the university has signed a deal with Birdon, an Australian engineering company, to build a commercially viable prototype for further testing and evaluation. If all goes well, it could mean a whole new way for bringing clean energy to cities.