Sunday, January 31, 2010

Air Starck: Wind Turbines for Urban Communities and Residential Use

Hey World Family,

The buzz around Philippe Starck’s new design for a small wind turbine that can harness wind from any direction and starts at a mere $3,500 has been mixed, mostly because some fail to understand the potential of this urban air revolution.

Pramac has developed Revolution Air:a series of vertical axis windmills that harness it all, quietly, and can even gather torrents and exhaust blasts-there is a twin blade and a triple blade model. They are small, so less likely to pull in wildlife that could be harmed by other types of windmills when installed on their migratory paths.

The original research concerning these small but mighty designs were done in Britain, and clearly the researchers were only focused on assessment for their arena, not the U.S. and other urban markets world wide. The design has tremendous potential since what won’t work in London will do just fine in places like: the East Coast of the U.S., Chicago, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Hawaii, The Pacific Northwest, The Caribbean, India, The West Coast of Africa, New Zealand, etc. The research just wasn’t broad enough, or frankly, visionary enough.

Here’s the thing: many urban areas have strong wind currents that must work around structures. This design makes that a snap, since it will harness currents from any direction. It is noiseless, so that’s a bonus. It is small, so less disruptive, and best of all, cheap and easy to install…for the most part. Urban areas that have large tracks of land where buildings have been demolished can make use of a ‘farm’ of these windmills, and small businesses and neighborhood ‘co-ops’ could save millions of dollars, lower the proverbial carbon footprint, and bring some strong energy independence to those who need it the most.

Here’s one of the most important points: it reduces the carbon footprint big time. Communities where clearer air is so important could use these with schools, senior centers, hospitals, and reduce their dependency on dirty coal. Combine this kind of technology with retrofitting and energy saving appliances, as well as community farms, personal gardens, and improved wastewater infrastructure…well the improvements could be huge. You won’t have to wait for this one-the Italian developer is ready to move this product this year. Very nice.

The triple blade can do 400W, and there is even a kilo version. This small wind turbine is huge. We should pay attention to it, and communities should start to look at ways to bring this kind of design to their doorstep.

This is not a toy for rich urbanites, this is possibly another tool to go in the box of community enfranchisement and energy independence on an affordable level for urban and rural areas world wide.

Let’s make sure we stay abreast of these kinds of developments, and don’t allow special interests to remove these tools from our collective grasp.

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