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The new 'Architecture Wind' system is highly efficient, features a bird shield, and looks stylish atop urban roofs.  (Source: Aerovironment)

A series of the devices sits perched atop a city roof. Aerovironment is look to generate interest in preparation to mass produce the product and bring it to market in cities worldwide.  (Source: Aerovironment)
While some wind power may just blow, Aerovironment looks to be sleek and stylish

Wind power is an oft maligned source of alternative energy.  One common complaint aired is that it’s not cost/resource effective.  On a similar track, people often accuse it of producing too little power to be helpful.  Finally, some accuse it of being too obtrusive.  Even some environmentalists knock wind power for allegedly killing birds that fly into the slowly spinning metal turbine blade.

While it can't change such opinions overnight, Aerovironment is looking to slowly warm people to wind power by providing direct solutions to the frequent criticisms. And in the process, it hopes to transform the face of modern cities around the world.

Aerovironment produces building-mounted turbines, smaller than those typically seen on wind farms.  By mounting the turbine structure to the tops of buildings, the benefits are twofold.  First, the cost in resources of building a pole to support the turbine is eliminated.  Secondly, the turbines can be elevated much higher, exposing them to stronger winds.

The nearly silent turbines snap onto the parapet of urban structures, forming a design that Aerovironment calls ‘Architectural Wind’.  The rows of turbines not only catch cross currents, but also the frequent currents that develop up the side of buildings.  The result is a 30 percent increase in energy production and even better, a great savings in hassle, in that the turbines are quick to snap in.

While the system is extremely well designed and efficient, many will be drawn to its style.  The system's curvy design looks more like a modern art sculpture than a cutting edge alternative energy design.  This in turn adds to the urban appeal.  Part of the structure even serves another utilitarian use -- the large metal plate over the turbine acts as a bird shield, in an effort to minimize avian casualties.

Aerovironment describes their product stating, "Architectural Wind is designed to install easily onto the building parapet, operating in plain sight as an attractive complement to the building’s architecture. Additionally, based on its proprietary system design, Architectural Wind turbines rotate at low wind speeds, resulting in a form of ‘kinetic architecture’ that communicates clearly the generation of clean energy. Working alone or in tandem with other renewable energy technologies, Architectural Wind is designed to offer an attractive ROI and cost per kW of installed capacity."

A module weighs 200 lbs, allowing relatively easy installation, but also ensuring that it won't blow away.  They measure 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide.  Installations start at 6 kW of power production and can be scaled up to produce much more.  Almost any rooftop is suitable to the nonintrusive installation.  The product is in development, but the company hopes to mass produce the new turbines on a large scale, making them relatively affordable, and ensuring the systems turn a profit in energy costs.

While wind farms leave some with little to be excited about, Aerovironment's new approach seems an intriguing fit to bring wind power to an urban atmosphere and start cutting costs.  

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I like it
By nvalhalla on 6/12/2008 10:00:13 AM , Rating: 4
This is where I see wind and solar going. I don't think that the huge wind and solar farms some companies are building will be cost or space efficient. I think people will begin providing their own power with these technologies, with nuclear and hopefully tidal providing the stable power for the grid

RE: I like it
By Master Kenobi on 6/12/2008 10:08:09 AM , Rating: 2
Tidal power is quite interesting and I think there is a lot of potential there. Far more than Wind/Solar anyways.

RE: I like it
By tpurves on 6/12/2008 11:03:09 AM , Rating: 5
I don't know, by absorbing lunar tidal energy you'll be sapping marginal energy from the moon thereby gradually accelerating it's eventual spiraling orbital collapse into the earth and killing us all.

RE: I like it
By therealnickdanger on 6/12/2008 3:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget robbing the ocean of tidal power, thus destroying the oceanic food chain. We'll starve to death before we can evn see the Moon fall to Earth.

RE: I like it
By kontorotsui on 6/12/2008 5:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, by absorbing lunar tidal energy you'll be sapping marginal energy from the moon thereby gradually accelerating it's eventual spiraling orbital collapse into the earth and killing us all.

Wasn't that energy lost anyway (wasted) in attrition (wear) between the water molecules?
I don't see a way for that energy to "go back" to the Moon.

Even if you increase the Moon's spiraling orbital, what would that be? 200 million years earlier? In less than a century we're supposed to have reliable fusion power, we won't need tidal wave anymore. Probably we could even replace the Moon in an higher orbit in a few centuries, if needed.

RE: I like it
By hadifa on 6/12/2008 8:08:16 PM , Rating: 2

He just forgot to put the <Sarcasm> tags,

Chill out!

RE: I like it
By masher2 on 6/12/2008 10:11:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "I don't see a way for that energy to "go back" to the Moon."

The tidal bulge forms a lower-energy configuration for the earth-moon system; resisting the motion of that bulge increases the gravitational losses of the system, and does increase the rate of orbital decay.

Still, having said that I don't see that the amount of that increase would be even measurable, even after a few hundred million years or so.

RE: I like it
By derwin on 6/13/2008 4:47:42 AM , Rating: 5
The tidal bulge does not form a lower energy configuration, the tidal bulge occurs nomatter what. When the tidal bulges of two gravitationally interacting bodies are aligned, it does (like Mercury and the sun, or our moon and the earth).

The "tidal bulge" you seem to be speaking of has nothing to do with the waves you see on the sea (however, the inverse is true, the waves are because of the tidal bulge...).

A tidal bulge is what happens because of the effect of gravity warping spacetime, causeing things in the axis facing the gravity source to seem longer than they are (kinda like how it would seem to take you millions of years to reach the center of a black hole? same thing), thus the object seems to get stretched along the axis facing the source of the gravity, creating what is called a tidal bulge. However, this is much more apparent on the smaller of the two objects (in our case, the moon), as the gravity from the larger creates a much larger tidal bulge on the smaller object than the gravity from the smaller makes on the larger.

Now, I'm only an undergrad physics major, so I couldn't even tell you exactly what math to do to understand the percentage of energy of the moons orbit we are sapping, but to get a rough estimate, consider the basic formula for potential energy of an object affected by neutonian gravity, E = mgh:
m = mass, g = acceleration of gravity, h = distance from gravity source to object (the crust of the earth).

The total energy of the moon above us is approximated as follows:
mass of moon ~ 7*10^22 kg
g ~ 9.8 m/s^2
h ~ 385000 km = 3.85*10^8 m
so, E = mgh = 7*10^22 * 9.8 * 3.85*10^8 ~=~ 2.64*10^32 joules (kg m^2 / s^2), or 2.64*10^29 killojouls...

So, consider that the DoE approximates the year 2000 energy usage of the United States at 90 quadrillion BTU, or or about 9*10^16 killojouls.
So lets say we want to run the United States alone off the power of the moon:
We could run that for approximately (2.64*10^29 kJ of moon energy/ 9*10^16 kg/year) 3*10^12 years, which is about 600 times the age of the solar system.
Its probably not going to be a problem; but then again, I am just an undergrad.

All sarcasm aside, the closer we pull the moon, the more the gravitation pulls of both the earth and moon affect eachother, however, there is also the consideration of the alignment of tidal bulges (storing potential energy). You really would need to ask someone more studied than I to give you a real answer, but I hope that my off the cuff estimations could put to ease at least the snap repulsion of tidal energy.

RE: I like it
By therealnickdanger on 6/13/2008 12:46:15 PM , Rating: 3
Speaking of bulges... nerdgasm.

RE: I like it
By Curelom on 6/12/2008 11:07:24 AM , Rating: 4
With tidal, though, we will need to put in fish shields. Solar power, we will need to buy the birdies some sun glasses. Nuclear, we will need to get the squirels lead suits.

RE: I like it
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 12:00:59 PM , Rating: 4
Squirrels are plotting to kill us anyway so they deserve to die. Yeah, them running in front of your car? They know what they're doing. They want you to swerve. Off a cliff. Into a tree. Into oncoming traffic.

Nuclear all the way.

RE: I like it
By Curelom on 6/12/2008 12:09:24 PM , Rating: 4
Oh they need to make a spoof of the late Alfred Hitchcocks movie "Birds" called "Squirrels"

RE: I like it
By Hakuryu on 6/12/2008 1:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a History Channel program about turbines that don't use any blades, and wouldn't need any shields like the ones in this story. Basically they were like tall cylinders, and the wind enters the side of the cylinders which had multiple 'scoops' around the circumference leading inside the turbine.

I looked quickly on Google, but dont remember the name of the guy or his company so didn't find a link. If anyone finds it, it is obvious the way the guy designed his turbines is leagues ahead of the ones in this story.

RE: I like it
By Hakuryu on 6/12/2008 1:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, no edit...

Also, the turbines I saw on that show could catch wind from any direction without changing their facing... powere from 360 degrees of wind rather than from one direction like the ones in this story.

RE: I like it
By Curelom on 6/12/2008 3:22:01 PM , Rating: 3
I think I saw that too. A Full production model was supposed to be like 1/2 mile high. It's a little like a chimney where the air sucks in from the bottom and out the open top. Fabric is used at the bottom to channel the wind.

RE: I like it
By Curelom on 6/12/2008 4:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
RE: I like it
By 67STANG on 6/12/2008 7:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
A company called Clipper Windpower is getting ready to install the largest wind turbine in the world off the coast of the UK around the end of this year. This single turbine generates 7.5MW of power. 7.5MW! That's nuts for a single turbine. It's massive of course, but that's a ton of power.

RE: I like it
By lukevader301 on 6/14/2008 11:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
RE: I like it
By psychmike on 6/12/2008 4:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
For a moment I thought you were thinking about vertical axis turbines which also don't have exposed blades. Anyone know the pluses and minuses of vertical axis versus traditional wind turbines?


RE: I like it
By Smartless on 6/12/2008 3:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Was it something like a savonius?
Maybe the technology has gotten better on these. Heck at this point I'd take anything that can make use of the huge wind gusts on my condo. Some window-washers were having a blast the other day.

RE: I like it
By Einy0 on 6/12/2008 11:23:23 AM , Rating: 3
I say lets diversify our power production sources. The more energy sources the less likely we are to become dependent on one source ever again(ie. Oil!!!). Why not harness the power the earth gives us for free like wind and wave... And of course the power of the sun. I'd like to see a future where every roof top has wind and solar power collection. At least solar what better place to put solar panels than on wasted roof top space. Cost is the only factor holding me back. I hope that changes sooner rather than later...

RE: I like it
By aeroxander on 6/12/2008 11:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
There was a great show I saw, can't remember the name of it. Essentially they were talking about research going on to recreate photosynthesis. Basically we would turn our roof's into giant leaves. You'd go to your local home depot or whatever, and buy giant rolls of this stuff to lay on your roof.

It was a fantastic idea, I really do think we will reach this goal just a matter of time.

RE: I like it
By spluurfg on 6/12/2008 12:05:18 PM , Rating: 3
Doesn't sound like a fantastic idea to me... photosynthesis is the conversion of light energy to chemical energy. You'd need lots of water, and in the end you'd end up with sugars, which would then have to be converted into electricity, which wastes more energy.

Why not skip the unecessary step and use solar, or just grow stuff on our roofs and eat it?

RE: I like it
By heeros1 on 6/15/2008 2:55:07 PM , Rating: 2
I like the idea of photosynthesis, if they can make it work without loosing too much energy through the conversions, but the problem with solar panels is that they're at a little over 20% efficiency at the moment. there are companies though that build structures of mirrors and lenses to put on top of solar panels to increase the efficiency to about 40% (

RE: I like it
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 12:01:58 PM , Rating: 5
Had environmental groups not paralyzed the country in fear on nuclear power, we might be a lot less dependent on oil for our power generation than we are today.

RE: I like it
By RjBass on 6/12/2008 10:57:04 AM , Rating: 2
Well actually it depends on how and where the wind farms are used. For example, just outside of Salina Kansas they are building a new wind farm. That wind farm wouldn't do much to lower Kansas City's need for fossil fueled electricity, but it will do wonders for the sparse population out there in farm country.

RE: I like it
By Stacey Melissa on 6/12/2008 4:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
I've noticed that wind farm springing up out of nowhere on the last few trips I've made to my hometown. I could hardly believe how many turbines went up, and in such a short time.

They should keep putting them up out in the western Kansas plains, too, instead of just the hilly area there on I-70. The plains winds are insane and practically nonstop, especially in the summer.

RE: I like it
By jbartabas on 6/12/2008 3:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
This is where I see wind and solar going. I don't think that the huge wind and solar farms some companies are building will be cost or space efficient.

A 6kW "unit" at 30% capacity factor could be an interesting offset for a standard household. Unfortunately I haven't seen a cost estimate (initial & maintenance).

They pretend that buildings (size?) could accommodate ~ 100 units so assuming such a building would have a comparable number of households, that could be a substantial source of energy. It remains to be seen if it is at an acceptable price though.

RE: I like it
By Spuke on 6/12/2008 4:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
I know the home units cost upwards of $30k.

RE: I like it
By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 4:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
With economies of scale, I'm sure we could see a rather rapid reduction in price with widespread adoption.

RE: I like it
By Spuke on 6/12/2008 5:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
In my area, it's cheaper than solar and since it's windy more often than not (dead calm days are extremely rare), it's a pretty decent alternative to solar. Solar does edge out wind here with over 345 days a year of sun but it costs more (7.5kW = $50k). I live in a rural are too so we don't have restrictions on wind turbines (I think you have to have at least one acre of land to build a turbine).

RE: I like it
By Spuke on 6/12/2008 5:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
Need edit button! RURAL AREA

RE: I like it
By masher2 on 6/12/2008 10:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
> "With economies of scale, I'm sure we could see a rather rapid reduction in price "

Wind power in particular is expensive because the turbines require such a vast amount of metals and other resources per unit of power generates. Economies of scale aren't going to help that, in fact it will actually work in reverse, as building them on a massive scale would cause resource shortages, driving up not only their prices, but everything else made with the same resources.

RE: I like it
By AnnoyedGrunt on 6/13/2008 1:36:49 AM , Rating: 2
The entire unit only weighs 200 lbs. Considering the relatively few number of parts and small amount of material required to build a 200 lb turbine (relative to say, a car, with ~3000 lbs of material) then it seems reasonable that significant economies of scale would allow these to be ~$10,000 each (judging from the cost of motorcycles, segway scooters, industrial robots of various types, etc.) These units do not seem to contain any special materials that would cause a ramp in volume to begin to cause an increase in the prices of raw materials due to resource shortages.

RE: I like it
By flipsu5 on 6/14/2008 12:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
Is smaller turbine better because it is lighter? Can it be designed to catch more wind?

RE: I like it
By flipsu5 on 6/14/2008 12:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
Good points but need to consider isn't this rather general: for example, wouldn't solar compete for silicon wafer supply, driving up the prices there?

RE: I like it
By heeros1 on 6/15/2008 3:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know if that would happen, since silicon is a semiconductor that is extracted from sand (very abundant). But if that DOES happen, there are other semiconductors that might work (even if not as good)

RE: I like it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2008 4:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
This is nice and all, but you know what ? California needs Nuclear power whether they like it or not. This isn't really a solution except for a small minority of people.

RE: I like it
By kfonda on 6/13/2008 3:04:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, lets put it on top of one of the fault lines.

Chernobyl irradiated more than 500,000 people between the initial victims and the 100's of thousands of soldiers/ miners, and others called on to try and clean it up. And on top of that the metal cap they put over it was supposed to last 30 years and is already falling apart after only 20 years. According to the Russian authorities involved, If the molten uranium slag had melted through the concrete floor and hit the pooled water underneath, the resulting explosion would have left most of Europe uninhabitable as well as a big chunk of Russia.

Don't get me wrong, I think nuclear done right is a great idea, just look at the nuclear powered subs, but I don't trust the government enough to fund and oversee it safely.

I just don't think the vast majority of people in this country care enough about there jobs to do nuclear the way it needs to be done. Just look at the recent news about the firing of the top military and civilian leaders of the air force. One of the things they were charged with was the undocumented flight of six nuclear weapons across a large part of our country and the disciplining of Navy sub officers for faking documentation about tests on the sub reactor.

With the current level of apathy, corruption, and even stupidity (think reality tv) in this country it would be very difficult to do this safely. When the government still had there own research labs, the people that were there were mostly there because they loved the work they were doing and felt a sense of pride in helping there country (such as the Manhattan Project). None of the engineers or techs were getting rich there. I know this first hand, I worked for the Army Advanced Research Labs for 15 years before the BRAC commission basically shut down our branch by moving it out of state, very few of the talented people made the move, most chose to leave the government instead, this is not the kind of talent that can be replaced easily. Now most of the labs are being shut down or staffed by low bidder contractors. They are closing down Fort Monmouth in NJ which houses the Communications and Electronics Command as well as several other commands that are critical to the support of the soldier in the field, especially during an active war.

Sorry for the rant, but once I got started I just couldn't stop. If you want, I could go on about the people that don't want a wind farm a mile off the New Jersey coast because it might look ugly from there beach front homes.

RE: I like it
By Zoomer on 6/14/2008 12:11:04 AM , Rating: 2
I seriously hope your post was meant as a joke.

Fault line: Just engineer to account for it. No biggie.
Chernobyl & Govt: I didn't know we had these USSR leaders for our goverment.
Corruption: There will always be some of it, and being unveiled is better than having it being kept in the dark.
Govt inattention: I believe most, if not all, power plants are privately owned.

RE: I like it
By SlyNine on 6/15/2008 12:01:19 AM , Rating: 2
Plus Homer Simpson could work at it, Comon I dont care what you say. after like 20 years of working there as safety inspector they never once had a melt down.

RE: I like it
By winterspan on 6/12/2008 5:21:52 PM , Rating: 5
Let me say first that I agree with you that distributed solar and wind energy will be a part of the future.

But the idea that large scale renewable energy infrastructure isn't "cost or space efficient" is just nonsense. Centralized plants are more efficient/productive in many situations for a variety of reasons. This is the same principal why there are large coal and nuclear plants. Every household doesn't have their own mini-coal furnace powering a 1500W steam turbine.

First of all, larger installations can utilize more expensive technology and techniques that would not be cost-effective or available on a "bob's roof" distributed approach.

As an example, the concentrated solar-thermal plants that use parabolic troughs to vaporize a liquid into a high pressure gas for traditional generator turbines can use expensive highly-efficient generators, they can employ advanced techniques to capture and re-use waste heat, and they can use special energy storage techniques like underground pools of molten salts in order to continue generating power at night.

Likewise, these same plants become more space-efficient and cost-effective as you scale up the production because of the large overheard and fixed costs.

Also with solar, by it's very nature, the vast majority of the prime energy-generating real-estate is empty, barren desert that can't be used for any other purpose. It's thus a perfect opportunity for large solar plants.

Wind, geo-thermal, and wave/tide power generation also are most efficient when used in large arrays.

By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 10:10:25 AM , Rating: 5
I think it is a wonderful concept and design - and could serve urbania very well in reducing brown-out potential.

However, with food prices rising every day due to the silly ethanol-subsidies, the inclusion of a bird-shield is ludicrous.

I mean, if they did not include the shield, corporations across America could install these on buildings and dramatically cut cafeteria costs!

I mean, lets analyze this further:

1. Birds have protein
2. Birds have bones which can be send to the glue factories
3. Birds have nitrates in their feces which can be sent to the sausage and pepperoni factories for use as preservatives (or used in the cafeterias to help save the food for leftovers for the next day)
4. Birds taste like chicken
5. A bird-free zone is a zone which needs less carwashes
6. They can make your V8 Juice have extra zing!

The benefits outweigh the consequences! COME ON PEOPLE

Corporations across America could not only reduce their power bills, but also provide a more affordable way to feed their employees in their cafeterias.

Today on the menu - Quail a la A Jus
Pigeon Soup with bone broth
Blue Jay Pie
Apple Turnovers with Cardinal Sauce

What is the world coming to? This is one of the greatest economic advantages that the company is completely overlooking.


By Amiga500 on 6/12/2008 10:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
However, with food prices rising every day due to the silly ethanol-subsidies, the inclusion of a bird-shield is ludicrous.

I know your being sarcastic, but the "bird shield" is mainly there to catch thermal flow up the side of the building and give it a decent velocity component across the fan blade.

By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 10:35:34 AM , Rating: 5
oh absolutely - it would serve to increase volume considerably which I am sure is the primary intention.

I suppose they could put a bird feeder in front of the fan and a jumbo sized bucket in the back. ;) Once they are on the feeder there would be no escape. If they try to fly away they'll bump their heads and... oh... That's the sound of more fresh food on the way!

I think that would be a fair compromise. I'm hungry darn it.

By Mitch101 on 6/12/2008 10:37:33 AM , Rating: 2
THWAK! Bird soup.

I dont think it will be long before they have to include some sort of cage to prevent birds from getting blended flying into them.

By bobsmith1492 on 6/12/2008 10:34:47 AM , Rating: 2
But might the common pigeon be snuffed out as quickly as the passenger pigeon was?

I don't know if anyone would be terribly sad, though.

Your post reminds me of "A Modest Proposal." :D

By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 10:44:07 AM , Rating: 2
It all depends on the airspeed velocity of a non-laden common pigeon versus the historical passenger pigeon...

By pheffern on 6/12/2008 11:03:55 AM , Rating: 5
African or European non-laden common pigeon?

By theapparition on 6/12/2008 11:49:13 AM , Rating: 5
BRIDGEKEEPER: Stop! What... is your name?
ARTHUR: It is 'Arthur', King of the Britons.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What... is your quest?
ARTHUR: To seek the Holy Grail.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
ARTHUR: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?
BRIDGEKEEPER: Huh? I-- I don't know that. Auuuuuuuugh!

When quoting scripture of the greatest movie have to get it right!

By Nyamekye on 6/12/2008 11:21:09 AM , Rating: 1
A modest proposal indeed. Now if humans could fly and we had too many children around...

By BansheeX on 6/12/2008 11:25:52 AM , Rating: 2
However, with food prices rising every day due to the silly ethanol-subsidies

Not a fan of subsidies at all, but I hope you're kidding. Corn, sure, because it's lowering the food corn supply. But this does not even begin to account for everything else, food or otherwise.

By JustTom on 6/12/2008 12:24:09 PM , Rating: 3
Of course ethanol subsidies effect foods other than corn.

1. Beef- higher prices for feed.
2. Wheat, soybeans and other crops- less acreage planted because farmers are switching to corn since profits are so much higher.
3. Tortillas and anything made from corn products.

The corn market does not exist is isolation from the rest of the food market. Disruptions in the corn market - increased demand due to ethanol subsidies - both directly and indirectly impact the rest of the food market.

By AntiM on 6/12/2008 12:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
However, with food prices rising every day due to the silly ethanol-subsidies

Not a fan of subsidies at all, but I hope you're kidding. Corn, sure, because it's lowering the food corn supply. But this does not even begin to account for everything else, food or otherwise. :

I wish he was kidding. There are people on Wallstreet that have never seen an ear of corn that are making millions. And what about biodiesel ? Are you aware that American tax payers are subsidizing biodiesel that gets shipped overseas? The old splash and dash trick >>

By Ringold on 6/12/2008 8:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
Why would traders, whose function in the market is to observe supply and demand and then execute a price discovery process, thus providing liquidity along the way, need to see an ear of corn? The properties of corn itself are irrelevant.

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 6/12/2008 12:39:01 PM , Rating: 3
These would be great in Chicago...the windy city. The added bonus of nailing birds would be great too. We could feed the homeless.
Make them strong enough to take out a Canadian Geese. Not sure which we have more of: Canadian Geese or Rats - If you count politicians as rats, well the rats would have it.

By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 12:48:19 PM , Rating: 4
Well, the advantages to adding politicians (rats) to your diet is they contain extra gristle.

I'd be great for your teeth!... Now with more tartar control...

By Curelom on 6/12/2008 5:09:09 PM , Rating: 3
You could just have the politicians speak into the the windmills. Endless supply of hot air.

By GTVic on 6/12/2008 4:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
Are you knocking our Air Force? The Canadian Goose is a very cost effective method of bombing the US. If you kill a few we have millions more.

By GTVic on 6/12/2008 4:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to say that if it can keep seagulls from perching on the roof, making all that noise and crapping everywhere then I would install it just for that.

By JonnyDough on 6/12/2008 10:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
take out a Canadian Geese

There's so many things wrong with that, I'm not sure where to begin.

<begin sarcasm>
Maybe you would like some tasty mouses to go with that canadian geese of yours? Or maybe you would like me to just kill you some more geeses?

It's a goose, a goose, and I hope you don't get loose.
</end grammar lesson>

By JonnyDough on 6/12/2008 10:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, I threw in an intentional error besides the one I corrected. Can you find it? Where is MY mistake? First one to point it out wins a free grammar lesson!

By masher2 on 6/12/2008 10:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
Just one error? I count a comma splice, use of colloquialism, several plural form errors, the starting a sentence with a conjunction, and a few others.

By theflux on 6/13/2008 12:57:52 AM , Rating: 2
Starting a sentence with a conjunction is a matter of style.


By JonnyDough on 6/13/2008 3:05:46 AM , Rating: 2
As someone working for/representing DT, you should be the LAST person to be giving out advice for corrections. Now if you wanted to try getting DT to actually edit a few of these opinionated second-hand (let's face it, DT gets its news from other websites) articles, THEN you can talk. Besides, I've seen your posts, I'm not sure that big words like "colloquialism" are words you should be throwing around so lightly. Leave it to online moderator/bloggers to be experts in everything.

By PhoenixKnight on 6/15/2008 11:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
"There's so many things" should "there are so many things". Why did no one else notice that obvious error?

By PrinceGaz on 6/12/2008 3:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
4. Birds taste like chicken

That might be because a chicken is a bird :p

By JonnyDough on 6/13/2008 3:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
It is? Are you sure?

That joke was fowl. Pun intended.

By tmouse on 6/13/2008 7:56:08 AM , Rating: 2
On a philosophical note do birds only fly into the slowly spinning metal turbine blades from the top? This is in line with the do bears crap in the woods adage.

By aeroxander on 6/12/2008 9:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
Is that supposed to read, "a 30% decrease in power consumption"?

I am confused by this article since it does not state what the reduction in a buildings power consumption.

I think this is a great idea, since most office towers love to waste electricity by leaving lights on even though no one is actually using the building.

Great idea! Love to see the development and evolution of clean energy efforts.

RE: Ummm.....
By jbartabas on 6/12/2008 10:03:06 AM , Rating: 3
I would have thought more something like
The result is a 30 percent increase in power production [...]

RE: Ummm.....
By Amiga500 on 6/12/2008 10:27:50 AM , Rating: 2
I am confused by this article since it does not state what the reduction in a buildings power consumption.

How can you quantify that?

Different sized buildings, different turbine load factors depending on location (wind persistence), different numbers of turbines on buildings.

The only thing you really can do here is quote a wattage.

RE: Ummm.....
By aeroxander on 6/12/2008 10:48:20 AM , Rating: 2
If a test building used x amount of power, having x number of these things installed reduced the buildings power consumption by X%

Sure it would be very variable but would at least give an idea.

RE: Ummm.....
By Amiga500 on 6/12/2008 11:15:42 AM , Rating: 2
Erm... It would be an isolated number that would only apply for one very specific case.

Now you can take your 6 kilowatt figure, multiply it by 0.25 for load factor, then multiply it by the number of turbines and then deduct that from the average power consumption of any building you want.

RE: Ummm.....
By JonnyDough on 6/13/2008 3:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what your math was, it's 3am and I'm not even going to try.

But what you could do is figure out how much energy is generated by a turbine per mph, I'm sure it scales evenly, as 5 mph most likely produces 5X the power as 1mph.

Multiply that by the mean wind speed over the course of an extended period of time in a certain location, say, 5 years on the northwest side of Chicago.

Lastly, adjust for the difference in average wind speed according to the average height of a building there that these might go on.

When quoting an average, also give the background information, as is relevant to the figures.

Also, most and most importantly:

Show the final data in cost savings. The only reason a business/corp would ever put these fugly (whoever said they're neat-o must have bad vision) things on the roof of their building is because it saves or nets them $. Show us yearly savings give the average yearly cost of the energy bill for that building and it makes a lot more sense/seems more economical/appears to be worth doing.

RE: Ummm.....
By Amiga500 on 6/13/2008 5:13:13 AM , Rating: 2
But what you could do is figure out how much energy is generated by a turbine per mph, I'm sure it scales evenly, as 5 mph most likely produces 5X the power as 1mph.

No, it will square with speed for a constant lift coefficient of the wing.

However, the changing angle of attack (due to changing fan rotation speed and changing airspeed onto the fan) will result in changing lift coefficients.

Highly non linear.

The Kilo Watt rating is the best IMO. Any company can work out their local wind conditions (load factor), how many they can fit, and how much electricity that would save them.

RE: Ummm.....
By Zoomer on 6/14/2008 12:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I think the only reason any company would put them up would be for marketing/promotional reasons, for appearing to be "green", both to the general public, as well to their employees.

Bottom line...
By Mr Random Occurance on 6/12/2008 3:33:30 PM , Rating: 3
Ethanol from corn = bad idea
Tide machines = bad idea
Oil from drilling = bad idea
Nuclear fission = bad idea
Not doing anything = bad idea

Cellulosic Ethanol = good idea (
Wave machines = good idea (
Oil from algae = good idea (
Nuclear fusion = good idea
Wind turbines = good idea
Geothermal = good idea
Conservation = good idea
Water "turbines" = good idea
solar power = good idea
subsidizing green energy production research = good idea
informing the public = good idea
harassing your representatives in congress/parliament/governing body until they get the message = good idea

Combination of the good ideas listed above = great idea

RE: Bottom line...
By TETRONG on 6/12/2008 3:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
Sandia has achieved 30% efficiency with concentrators+stirling engines.

RE: Bottom line...
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 4:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
Stone Cold didn't say so. So you're wrong.

RE: Bottom line...
By Ringold on 6/12/2008 8:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that the technology for all of your "good ideas" is no where near capable of replacing any of the "bad ideas", right?

RE: Bottom line...
By Penti on 6/12/2008 10:37:06 PM , Rating: 2
We have a plant here in Sweden producing cellulosic-ethanol. It's raw material is wood chips and the process is hydrolysis and fermentation and they brag about producing 300-400 litres per day. It's absolutely ridiculous compared to our wheat-ethanol plant (50 000 m³ a year) or just against gasification and production of synthesis gas and synthetic fuels from the syngas. And of course from plant material you can just put it in a digester and get biogas instead.

Also you forgot about tidal stream-power (or at least didn't use the correct name) like the turbines in Norway and Ireland, and are building in Wales and other places. They got a good potential in some areas that definitely should be used, and the economics are not worse then a wind turbine. Which is basically what it is but in the water.

It's with buildings like them built in passive house-standard that really can change how much energy we use in our homes though. Refrigerators, lights, computers, tvs etc don't really use that much power.

RE: Bottom line...
By JonnyDough on 6/14/2008 8:50:15 AM , Rating: 2
And of course from plant material you can just put it in a digester and get biogas instead.

Do you mean like...a cow? How do you trap the methane when it comes out the back end? Is this safe for large beasts? I'm contacting the international animal right activists and getting them to check up on you Swedes.

*hits #2 on speed dial...

Press release?
By masher2 on 6/12/2008 11:37:09 AM , Rating: 1
> "The nearly silent turbines ..."

Given the massive sound pollution complaints from similar small-rotor turbines, I find this a bit difficult to believe. It's suspiciously vague, and reads like something from the company's own marketing department.

RE: Press release?
By TomZ on 6/12/08, Rating: 0
RE: Press release?
By bupkus on 6/12/2008 12:59:20 PM , Rating: 1
...or a liberal environmentalist.

Yah, and aren't they the ones who drive slow in the left most lane?

RE: Press release?
By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 1:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
No, that is Dennis Leary. :)

RE: Press release?
By JonnyDough on 6/14/2008 8:52:43 AM , Rating: 3
Who the hell is Dennis Leary?

*Google Images it.

Oh, that guy.

Now, explain your joke?

Blow Me
By trox5361 on 6/12/2008 10:04:22 AM , Rating: 4
I hope they cover the windy city with these.

RE: Blow Me
By nugundam93 on 6/12/2008 11:10:13 AM , Rating: 2
they should make workstation-sized equivalents of these as well. now you can put one atop your boss' workstation, especially if they spew hot air. :D

How much power do these things kick out?
By jskirwin on 6/12/2008 12:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
A module weighs 200 lbs, allowing relatively easy installation, but also ensuring that it won't blow away. They measure 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Installations start at 6 kW of power production and can be scaled up to produce much more.

Is that 6 kW per module or what? More importantly is that 6 kWh? Also is that an average or production during a hurricane?

For fun I checked into electrical usage by servers in the USA - including their cooling equipment. The statistic I've found is 45 billion kWh in 2005 ("Estimating Total Power Consumption By Servers In The U.S. and World").

So assuming that each module produces 6 kWh, we would need 7.5 billion of them just to power our servers? Is that right?

RE: How much power do these things kick out?
By jskirwin on 6/12/2008 12:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
So assuming that each module produces 6 kWh, we would need 7.5 billion of them just to power our servers? Is that right?

Oops! Forgot to divide by the number of hours in a year.
So 7.5 billion/8,760 = 856,165 units running 100% full out.

By masher2 on 6/12/2008 12:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
Wind turbines are rated just like solar -- by their peak power production. Average power production is generally in the 30% range in highly-suitable areas...less in others.

I wonder...
By mydogfarted on 6/12/2008 10:33:44 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder what my local planning board would think if I tried to mount a pair of these turbines on my house? Replace my gas stove and clothes dryer with electric units if I can get the units to generate enough power to offset the electrical usage.

RE: I wonder...
By The0ne on 6/12/2008 1:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
If anything like what it is now, they'll charge you a monthly flat rate and instead of giving you cash back for energy not use, they'll simply turn the dial backwards. Oh, and there's not battery to store the excess energy as well.

New Bad Day Saying
By Machinegear on 6/12/2008 10:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
Jumping off of roofs just became obsolete.

"I am going to head upto the roof and walk into a windmill!"

"ARRRGGGGGH!! Today sucks. What are you doing this weekend?"

RE: New Bad Day Saying
By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 10:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
You know, that brings up another good point.

This will put barbers out of business too!

Sam: Hey Bob, leaving early today huh?

Bob: Nah, Sam, I'm going upstairs to get a haircut.

Sam: *blank look on face* ... pauses ... "OH!"

Windmill or...
By Clauzii on 6/12/2008 11:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
"Highrise Hairdryers - For Especially Longhaired Citizens."

RE: Windmill or...
By Titanius on 6/12/2008 5:07:45 PM , Rating: 1
CAUTION: Long hair may get caught in giant hairdryer and kill or cause serious injury.

re follow
By molested on 6/13/2008 10:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
i think this collapses and studing fuhtremor is nessessery.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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