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Designer Joe Doucet creates new wind power wall

Artist and designer Joe Doucet has invented a spinning, gridded wall that could harness wind power without needing giant turbines and large spaces for farms.

When someone mentions ‘wind power’, most of us think of massive white turbines in the rural countryside that require a ton of farmland.

They’ve become a huge success in the pursuit of clean energy. Wind power is one of the most popular sources of renewable energy in the US, and is predicted to be worth over $180 billion USD by 2027.

Not discrediting the contribution wind power has made to minimising our dependency on fossil fuels, it still remains a tricky technology to install and maintain. Wind farms can’t be used in heavily developed urban areas like cities, for example, and must be exposed to hefty amounts of wind in order to be reliable.

Designer Joe Doucet has developed a new concept that aims to alleviate some of these inconveniences.

Aptly named the ‘Wind Turbine Wall’, Joe’s design uses 25 small off-the-shelf wind turbine generators within an 8 feet wall construct. The wall can be scaled down or up to fit different spaces and would be ideally suited to heavily populated areas such as New York, Boston, or London, where turbines cannot be used.

In realistic terms, think of Doucet’s turbine wall being used in spaces such as highways, fences, or around buildings. This could allow for wind energy to become much more accessible and be used to power homes, streets, or individual communities.

A prototype has been built by Doucet using a single spinning rod. He has run simulations based on this design and says that a wall could supply 10,000 kilowatt-hours per year, the amount needed to power an average home.

Speaking to Fast Company, he explained that building multiple walls on top of one another would be the most effective way to implement this technology. ‘Instead of the typical retaining walls along roads and freeways, you could have an array of these.’

We may not have to wait too long to start seeing this invention pop up, too. Doucet has said he’s in conversation with several manufacturers and intends to bring his product to market soon.

Credit: Joe Doucet

‘With the added wind boost from trucks, our highways could take care of all our energy needs.’ Exciting times.

There are a few downsides and potential hazards that’ll need to be addressed, however. For one, a turbine wall in an inner city would be prone to vandalism unless protected, either by a shield casing or fencing.

In addition, you would need to accommodate for regular people accidentally falling, knocking, or touching the turbines – they may pose a risk to the general public if not adequately covered.

Imagine drunkenly stumbling into your local chippy at 2 am and discovering your hand has been chopped off by a turbine wall. Big yikes.

Either way, Doucet’s invention is exciting, and could help to make wind energy truly mainstream and affordable. As long as the safety concerns are fully ironed out we’re all for it. Plus, they look cool, which is always important.

 

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