The mention of wind power today generally conjures up images of rows upon rows of wind turbines lazily spinning in the wind. A Japanese technology company, however, plans to change the world’s conception of wind power with their own building sized wind turbine invention. While the plans sound like they may be a bit far-fetched, the people behind it are certain that they have a hold on the best possible way to generate wind power.
The project, which is simply called the Wind Tower, is the brainchild of the researchers at Zena Systems in Fukuoka, Japan. The idea is to build a fifty meter hexagonal tower that serves as a way of gathering wind from all possible directions, funneling it through a series of tunnels into a main central chamber that would then push the wind down to the facility below the building. Within the facility, the wind would then work its way into a series of turbines that would act in a way similar to that of a normal propeller based wind turbine in order to generate renewable energy.
According to Zena Systems, the Wind Tower represents the ideal method of gathering wind power thanks to the fact that it covers a larger area and can take advantage of higher wind speeds than a normal propeller wind turbine could handle. Zena also believes that the wind tower is more effective overall due to less noise pollution, no concern over the spinning blades striking migrating birds, and the fact that they believe the Wind Tower could be used as a basis for other buildings.
Zena has suggested that in the future Wind Towers would not only generate wind power but could also serve as the foundation for observatories or restaurants that could be built on top of the system. They have also outlined potential plans for using the Wind Tower complexes as bases for administrative or commercial properties and have mentioned the implementation of a desalination system that would prove particularly useful in a coastal or island setting.
Currently the Wind Tower remains only a concept, though Zena is prepared to push forward their wind power plans and develop the first Wind Tower in Kurome, Fukuoka, Japan (pictured above). Until it is completed it will be hard to tell just how effective it can be, but it will be interesting to see what they can make out of the project.
Article by Richard Cooke, appearing courtesy Justmeans.