Tuesday, 19 Oct, 2010 Environment

Windstalk - Another Way of Harnessing Wind Power


Windstalk is a revolutionary concept designed by Atelier DNA, a design company based in New York.

The concept is part of a clean energy production project/tourist attraction developed for Abu Dhabi's Masdar City.

Windstalk features 1,203 carbon fiber reinforced resin poles that are 55 meters (180 feet) high and at their base have a diameter of 30 centimeters (12 inches). At the top the poles are 5 centimeters (2 inches) in diameter. These poles are attached to the ground with the help of concrete bases. The latter have a diameter between 10 and 20 meters (33-66 feet).

It would be interesting to note that the poles feature a number of piezoelectric ceramic discs. Between these discs there are electrodes linked by cables that run along the entire length of each pole. There's one cable that connects the even electrodes and another one that connects the odd electrodes.

Here's how it works: when the wind blows, the pole sways and the piezoelectric discs compress, thus producing a current through the electrodes.

Each pole has a LED lamp installed at the top 50 centimeters (20 inches) of each pole. The lamp indicates the amount of power the poles produce. The stronger the wind the brighter the lamp shines.

In order to collect power, designers thought about placing two big chambers on top of each other. These chambers have the same shape as the poles' bases, but are inverted. During a windy weather, part of the electricity produced is use to power a series of pumps. The latter are used to move water from the lower chamber to the upper one, reports Gizmag.

After the wind calms down, the water goes from the upper chamber into the lower chamber, making the pumps play the role of generators.

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