Eco-Living Magazine

A Solution to the Wind Power NIMBY Problem.

Posted on the 13 January 2014 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

windMost people agree that wind turbines are an exciting green energy technology.  Who wouldn’t want to harness the wind to provide our energy needs?  No need for large open areas which are required for solar power to be effective and none of the drawbacks of nuclear power.  While everyone may be on the wind energy page, not everyone wants the wind farm in their proverbially backyard.  Unfortunately wind farms fall into the NIMBY (not in my backyard) category that haunts other projects that are for the social good, or that everyone agrees are needed, as long as it is not near me.  The Yucca mountain  nuclear storage facility comes to mind as one such project.  Seems like a good idea to centralize our storage of nuclear waste, as long as it is not centralized near me.   Unfortunately wind turbines have the same issue.  Wind turbines are loud and noisy and the 100 meter towers required to mount the turbines ruin sightlines.  Case in point was the proposal to place a wind farm off of Cape Cod which would barely be visible from the shore, but visible enough for the residents of Cape Code to squash the project.  In addition, there are concerns about wildlife mortality as a result of these large turbines blades. 

An article in a recent Atlantic Monthly article noted a potential solution to the wind farm NIMBY problem.  Below is an excerpt from this article:

“Researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have led the development of a “windmill” that converts wind energy into electricity without using any moving parts.  A prototype of the Electrostatic Wind Energy Convertor, designed by the Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo, has a rectangular frame bridged by horizontal steel tubes, which are lined with electrodes that generate a negatively charged field. Nozzles on the tubes spray positively charged droplets of water. When wind blows through the frame, the positive particles are pushed off the tubes, against the force of the negative field. The separation of positive and negative charges generates potential energy that is converted into electricity. Unlike traditional windmills, which convert rotational energy into electric power, this one is silent and is expected to require minimal maintenance.” 

All this sounds good and may pave the way for faster growth in the creation of energy from wind power.

Source: Atlantic Monthly


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