Has a New Kind of Leaf Been Discovered?
Since the introduction of wind turbines they've been met with hostility over their appearance and function. Many have criticized them for being too large, unsightly, and too noisy for their property. Luckily, French firm New Wind has re-imagined the turbine and made it more desirable.
Instead of a traditional turbine, New Wind has created the Wind Tree - a structure that will stand 26 feet tall and have 63 blades that generate electricity and closely resemble leaves.
The tree's leaf-like blades are called 'aeroleaves' and are essentially micro wind turbines. They work at speeds as low as 4.5 mph and are much quieter than their counterpart. So they can potentially be installed along buildings, streets, or in backyards.
The tree can generate approximately 3,500 Kilowatt hours to 13,000 kWh annually. This means that the power generated from the tree can power 15 street lamps, 83% of the electrical consumption of a typical family household, or one electrical car for 10,168 miles in a year.
Unlike large turbines that take much stronger gusts to move, each turbine can move with wind speeds as low as 7 km/h and can withstand winds up to 178 - 208 km/h.
The goal of each tree is to not only generate electricity but also blend into its surroundings. That is why the company is working to develop an assortment of leaf colours, tree barks, and eventually introduce flowers and bushes.