"Wind Tree"

 These Creative Wind Turbines Will Have You Rethinking What You Know About Wind Power

Wind turbines don’t have to all look the same. Here are some that are helping cities go green—and look like art in the process

A “wind tree” installed at the COP21 climate talks in Paris. Each tree produces enough energy to light 71 parking spaces (or power one average American home for four months). (Courtesy New Wind)

By Alison Gillespie

smithsonian.com January 12, 2016

turbines

Although a lot of people are excited about wind energy, few are excited about the pinwheel-shaped machines that often produce it. Branded as noisy, blamed for spoiling bucolic views and proven deadly to some bats and migrating birds, the giant, white-bladed horizontal axis wind turbines that now dot the landscape of the American West have earned a fair number of detractors—even among environmentalists who generally favor renewable power.

But what if you turned the idea sideways, and created a turbine that could spin like a carousel? And what if you made a turbine small enough to sit on top of a building or inside an urban park? Could the result produce enough power to really matter? Read more.