A World Of Wind Beautiful – We Pick Some Of The Prettiest Wind Concepts Out There
It started with a simple picture of a proposed solar farm by Conergy Australia in the French South Pacific territory of New Caledonia. The solar farm, created by 7,888 German made solar panels, was formed into the shape of a heart.
The Conergy Press Release suggested the nearby ‘Coeur de Voh’ (‘Heart of Voh’ in English), an area of nearby wild mangrove vegetation that had naturally formed into the shape of a heart was the inspiration.
And wow, the graphic for the solar panel plant was stunning. Certainly enough of an attraction to have every pilot in the area diverting their aircraft on a slight detour to get a bird’s eye view of this ‘engineering pretty’.
So, as we are Wind TV, not Solar TV, we were, of course, very impressed but left with a burning question:
What conceptual examples are there in the world of pure wind beauty?
And off we set to find the wind equivalent of that wondrous solar heart shape.
Of course, we know individual wind turbines can be beautiful, but we wanted ‘wind different’. We wanted beauty, we wanted it to be stunning, but we wanted a look that was attractive for reasons we couldn’t actually work out. In essence, we wanted the wind equivalent of Uma Thurman.
One of the first examples of ‘wind pretty’ came from New York based AtelierDNA Design Laboratory whose 2010 ‘Windstalk’ concept for Masdar in the United Arab Emirates had us swooning, literally.
The concept was for a public space on which a total of 1203 stalks, each 55 metres high, would sway in the wind creating electricity for LED lights at their tops
In France we found the so-called WindTree created by Jerome Michaud-Lariviere, the founder of NewWind.
Each leaf on the WindTree is a mini turbine, creating consumable electricity from even the slightest waft of air.
Aesthetically pleasing, functional, and certainly a talking point.
From Italy, famous for it’s great bridges such as the Rialto Bridge and Bridge of Sighs in Venice, we found a new type of bridge – a ‘Solar Wind Bridge’. This incredibly pretty concept bridge created by Francesco Colarossi, Giovanna Saracino and Luisa Saracino, had wind turbines built into its support structure and even included solar roadways on the crossing itself.
The Italians gave us the word ‘aqueduct’ when they created a bridge that transported water, from the Latin meaning ‘water’ (aqua) and ‘to lead’ (duct). Two thousand three hundred years later their great-great-great-100generations-grandchildren are offering us a new variant. A bridge that didn’t supply water, but pure energy.
The bridge was possibly fraught with many engineering difficulties, but it was elegant, purposeful, and futuristically sleek – and certain to become an instant tourist attraction should the moment come when the first brick is laid.
Over in Japan, where Professor Yuji Ohya’s wind department at Kyushu University is based, some of the futuristic designs for where wind lens technology may be going have thrown up some wonderfully pretty concepts.
Some of the visuals are so pretty that they do raise the question whether aesthetics may actually be a bigger factor in the future than getting an extra Mw here or there in locations where they would look better than traditional three blade wind turbines.
For the steampunks among us, those crazy guys who love everything Victorian in design and like it to twist with modern technology, the Sheerwind Invelox might be better for your conceptual taste.
Finally, a truly pretty wind concept was the proposed 135 storey Anara Tower skyscraper planned for Dubai by Tameer Holdings. The elegant design was most notable for the large wind turbine planned for where the penthouse suite would normally be located.
A skyscraper that was also a sky catcher – taking the winds associated with tall buildings and using them to power the building itself.
Gorgeous, sleek, functional, and housing one hell of a power pack when needed.
There are many other designs, concepts, and real wind structures to pick, but these gave a taste of what’s possible. We can see that the alternative and conceptual wind designers and engineers certainly throw some seriously good looking projects our way – and some even equal or surpass the natural beauty of the heart shaped solar panels.
Even so, I think most of us are still happy with the look of a sleek three-bladed 80 metre tall traditional wind turbine, working hard and cleanly on our behalf in a windswept and beautiful part of the world. When positioned correctly, the right wind turbine has the power to remind us of the simplicity and elegance of a child’s wind flower, a lone palm tree on the beach, or as a beacon to the world that energy change can be pleasing to the eye.