A new type of wind turbine harvests not only electricity from the wind, but clean water from the air, by condensing humidity from even the driest climes. One prototype turbine is apparently collecting 16.3 gallons of water an hour from the desert air over Abu Dhabi, according to the company that builds it.
By Peter Andrey SmithPosted 03.19.2012 at 10:12 am 5 Comments
To demonstrate what the Advanced Structures and Composites Center's new lab will do to wind blades, Larry Parent, an engineer at the University of Maine, takes out his bifocals and begins bending them. The 230-foot-long fiberglass composite blades will suffer greater strain; most will be bent until they begin to break. The Offshore Wind Laboratory is busting blades to design the toughest ones possible, capable of handling the extreme weather conditions 20 miles off the coast, in the Gulf of Maine.
A new paint made of power plant waste and carbon nanotubes can automatically detect structural faults, alerting authorities before damage occurs. It could be a cheaper, easier way to monitor facilities like bridges, mines and even wind turbines.
As wind turbine designs grow ever larger, engineers need new facilities to test their mettle, measuring their energy-generation capacity and making sure they can withstand the windiest conditions.
A new rig for extreme turbine rotor blade tests is set to open this summer in Germany, built to assess a new generation of mega turbines.
A new bridge concept incorporates wind and solar energy into its design, generating 40 million kilowatt-hours per year — and looking pretty slick to boot.
The Solar Wind concept would use the space between an existing viaduct in southern Italy to install 26 wind turbines, which designers Francesco Colarossi, Giovanna Saracino and Luisa Saracino say could provide 36 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year.
Future airborne wind turbines could spin with greater gusto in the faster winds found at high altitudes, and send power back to Earth via nanotube tether cables. Swarms of energy-harvesting kites, whirling blimps or balloons could stay aloft for a year, and could be reeled in during storms or for maintenance.
The Philadelphia Eagles announced a partnership with Solar Blue to completely re-green their stadium (and to make endless puns about "greening" the team with the deep green uniforms). It's actually pretty groundbreaking stuff: They plan to use a combination of on-site wind turbines, solar panels, and a dual-fuel (biodiesel and natural gas) plant to run on completely self-generated renewable energy by September 2011. It'll be the only stadium in the world that can make that claim.
DENVER — Bad news for bats: Mother Nature is not the only thing wiping them out. Anthropogenic climate change and renewable energy technology are also wreaking havoc on bat populations throughout North America. Biologists are looking for ways to protect bats not only from a devastating fungus, but from wind turbines and global warming.