A French start up called NewWind Energy Solutions, has made a design for silent wind trees that have been installed at the United Nation’s Conference on Climate Change (referred to as COP21). The trees, outside of the Climate Generation zone, are made of 72 leaf-shaped mini-turbines in the form of a tree. The leaves use tiny blades inside the leaves to generate power from air currents in an urban environment.
The idea, created in 2014, is simple and takes advantage of wind currents at tree-level in urban areas. In urban areas, there’s not only a different requirement for design due to space restrictions, but wind flow is also different. So despite the fact that the trees are not as efficient as large wind turbines in non urban areas, these tree wind turbines are designed for cities and the small air currents that flow around buildings, alley ways and streets. They could also be installed in urban parks or schools, even yards.
In a cost comparison, these trees would run around $35,000 versus a conventional wind turbine install cost of $50,000 to $80,000. But these trees, around 26 feet high, could be profitable after a year of wind speeds averaging around 7.8 miles per hour according to the start up.
The company believes these wind trees will blend in better to environments which is one of the main debates about wind energy and urban wind turbines. The company plans to have products ready for market in 2016.