Wind Turbine Cutting Edge? No Blade.
The Windstalk- Renewable energy without a large wind farm:
“Windstalk” energy devices fascinate us here at the WorkSmith. What has us scratching our heads is… why did it take so long to reconsider Dutch model of large blades and turbines? The Windstalk harnesses the energy at the base of a structure as it sways in the wind!
The devices generate power by way of their simple (and elegant) pole design:
Within each hollow pole is a stack of piezoelectric ceramic discs. Between the ceramic disks are electrodes. Every other electrode is connected to each other by a cable that reaches from top to bottom of each pole. One cable connects the even electrodes, and another cable connects the odd ones. When the wind sways the poles, the stack of piezoelectric disks is forced into compression, thus generating a current through the electrodes.
Unique to the system is the way the “stalks” capture wind energy- and store it for use when the wind is less strong:
Below the field of poles are two very large chambers, chambers as large as the whole site. The chambers are shaped like the bases of the poles but inverted, then inverted again, and again and once more.
There is both an upper and a lower chamber. When the wind blows, part of the electricity generated powers a set of pumps, the pumps move water from the lower chamber to the upper one. When the air is still–when there is no wind– the water from the upper chamber flows down again turning the pumps into generators:
This was such an imaginative concept that it won a “Renewable energy can be beautiful” prize back in 2010