Harvest Wind Power from Electrical Poles

French designers/engineers have proposed retrofitting existing transmission towers with wind turbines as a means of generating green power without requiring more land to be ceded to wind farms (part of the Next Generation competition).

The pictures below speak for themselves. I imagine the prairies in particular would have vast stretches of power lines that would be suitable for such an upgrade, though I question the ability of these small, closer to the ground turbines to hit the same level of ROI as freestanding ones. Whatever the case, a great example of innovative thinking.

EDIT: Also see LAT on training tomorrow’s green workforce.

wind-it-tower

wind-power-telephone-pole

3 thoughts on “Harvest Wind Power from Electrical Poles

  1. Interesting.

    One thing that I wonder about is if the existing towers could withstand the increased wind resistance?

    During the 1997 Ice Storm ice built up on these towers which increased the wind resistence and caused them to collapse in the wind.

  2. Hmmm. Was it the wind resistance from ice buildup or the weight of the ice that bought towers down? Either way, I see what you’re saying, particularly for the bottom “Telephone Pole” design. I think the other design would be OK, as the turbine is standing within the tower, and the electrical tower itself doesn’t have any more resistance.

  3. I distinctly remember reports saying it was the ice build increasing wind resistance.

    It’s possible that the ice weight contributed but if they can’t hold a few hundred pounds of ice can they hold the windmills?

    It would be nice if future models could be designed with this in mind.

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