Seven years ago, a truck passed me on the highway, lugging what looked like the wing of a Boeing 787. But it wasn’t part of a plane – it was a wind turbine’s blade. Needless to say, these things are massive. And while they do a great job at maximizing a much-needed renewable source of energy, the people who live near them are not unanimously in favour of the technology.
Aside from their size, they allegedly cause chronic sleep loss, they interfere with the landscape, and they kill birds. People like the idea of wind turbines and how they could impact energy consumption. They just don’t want the revolution to start in their backyard.
Fortunately, several tech companies are working on improving the design of wind turbines, including German company, Festo. They developed a machine inspired by the animal wind turbines pose a threat to – birds. And it is very different from a conventional turbine.
The DualWingGenerator mimics the way a bird’s wings propel them as they flap up and down. In the case of the DualWingGenerator, the wind that hits its wings is what propels them up and down. Because there are two sets of wings that are purposely not in sync, one is always being lifted, which produces twice as much energy.
While there is no mention of noise reduction, these machines can allegedly out perform their turbine predecessors, particularly in lower winds. Also, because their design doesn’t include giant blades, they will likely be much safer for birds.