Check out this story from EnergyDigital.com on a new wind turbine design without the blades which cause problems for birds, bats and people from the noise of conventional wind farms. (Jan 30, 2013)
A design firm from New York, Atelier DNA, has developed a concept that uses cattail like stalks instead of traditional turbine blades for harnessing the power of wind. Planned for the city of Masdar, being built just outside of Abu Dhabi, the “Windstalk” project came in second in the Land Art Generator competition, generating renewable energy in an artistic way from a plethora of international submissions.
Traditional wind turbines' biggest downfalls include noise pollution, inadvertent bird death trapping and general difficulties in installing such large structures. Atelier's new stalk design generates electricity when the wind sets them waving—minus the dreadful noise or danger posed to birds. Another advantage will be the density at which the stalks will be able to be built whereas turbines need to be spaced about three times the rotor's diameter from each other.
The pilot project calls for 1,203 stalks at 180 feet high each, anchored by concrete bases that are between 33 and 66 feet wide. With each stalk containing alternating layers of electrodes and ceramic discs that generate a current under pressure, the discs compress as they sway, creating a charge.