10 Innovations In Wind Power
Categories: Wind Power
When nuclear power plants melt down, and the people of our planet have been using up oil at record rates, big business bows to public demand by seeking out better, cheaper, green methods of producing energy to the masses. But with the connectivity of the internet, we are able to share ideas around, and the implementation of big ideas could never have been faster. It won't be long now before every home can be built self sustaining, and maybe we look forward to sustainable cars of the future through solar, wind power, or other great tech inventiveness. ~David Webster
One of the most promising alternative-energy technologies has, in recent years, garnered more skepticism than praise. Horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT), those massive, bladed towers that turn a windy day into clean energy for the grid, can also kill birds and bats, require expensive regular maintenance, have issues with efficiency and just generally annoy local residents with suddenly hindered views and undesirable (and possibly unhealthy) noise levels.
U.S. wind-farm installation has accordingly slowed, but an influx of government funding in 2012 may offer new hope for wind power [source: Hurdle]. Research has been yielding some amazing possibilities in features and generation methods; a lot of the machines on the drawing board look and function very little like the "windmills" we're accustomed to.
The future of wind may not be in blades, in farms, or even fixed to the Earth. Here are 10 of the most unique approaches to improving the ways we turn wind into electricity. Some are a wee bit dreamy, others in various stages of design and prototype, and a couple boast tentative dates for commercial sale.
We'll begin with one whose inventors say captures far more wind than conventional designs and may be on the market in 2013.