Print 101 comment(s) - last by PhoenixKnight.. on Jun 15 at 11:55 PM

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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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.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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