Thanks to a friend I follow on StumbleUpon I read this article on Discovery.com today. “Wind Power Without the Blades: Big Pics” by Alyssa Danigelis is an amazing read about a project that came in second in the Land Art Generator competition sponsored by the planned city, Madsar, in Abu Dhabi. (Madsar itself is a work of environmentally-conscious design art.)
The Windstalk project is the product of the New York design firm Atelier DNA and as proposed calls for 1,203 180-foot high resin-reinforced carbon-fiber “stalks” that spring from a 33-by-66 foot concrete base, starting at about a foot in width and tapering to two inches at the top. The stalks rely on a piezoelectric effect triggered by the sway from wind to generate power. Additional power is generated in the bases which contain a torque generator that converts the kinetic energy from the stalk into energy using shock absorber cylinders similar to the kind being developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Levant Power. Atelier DNA estimates this system would generate power equivalent to that of a wind turbine farm installed in the same land area.
Pretty cool, eh? No noise and looking like a work of art as well. Ms. Danigelis quotes Atelier DNA founding partner Darío Núñez-Ameni as saying “Windstalk is completely silent, and the image associated with them is something we're already used to seeing in a field of wheat or reeds in a marsh. Our hope is that people living close to them will like to walk through the field -- especially at night -- under their own, private sky of swarming stars.”
Not content with reinventing wind power, Atelier DNA is also working on an underwater version they call Wavestalk.
Please visit Discover.com for more detail and to see the other images of this remarkable concept.