Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The Power Flower by NL Architects
June 12th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: NL Architects
Power Flowers, or Urban Windmills, are the result of an ongoing investigation into the sculptural potential of wind energy. Can we turn windmills into objects of desire?
Until recently we focused on turbines with 3 blades. These omnipresent mills are at this moment the most successful producers of wind energy.
In order to be fully effective, to neutralize the effect of turbulence, the spacing of these windmills needs to be 5 times the rotor diameter. Since they require these enormous intervals, our main concern was to find ways to optimize space consumption. Can we ‘densify’ the grid?
Scale enlargement has advantages: more output per m2, fewer turbines required, less maintenance. But the impact becomes more significant as well. The new generation features its rotor axis at 120 meters and has a total height of 180 meters. Besides the visual disturbance there is the noise to deal with. And ice that might form on the blades poses considerable risk… As a consequence the windmills need to be placed relatively far from the places were the energy is desired. This requires a heavy duty infrastructure.
With the emergence of smart grids it perhaps becomes feasible to use smaller units that are less effective, but also less obtrusive. Can we ‘domesticate’ the turbines?
For this study we deployed a turbine that is already on the ‘market’: the eddy. Eddy is strong, affordable and silent. Because of the vertical axis design eddy can produce energy with wind from any direction. It can be mounted virtually everywhere… Our effort is to design an attractive fixing device. How to orchestrate these flower-like turbines in a refreshing way?
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Category: Power Plant