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.
The design team conceived the Solar Wind project for a contest that aims to repurpose some old, unused viaducts near Calabria, a region in the toe of Italy. It would cost about $55 million to demolish the viaducts, so town officials held a contest for proposals that would re-use them in an environmentally friendly way. The wind turbine bridge took second place.
The proposal also includes a solar-paneled roadway to provide another 11.2 million kilowatt hours, Colarossi and colleagues say. It turns the entire viaduct into a park, with spaces to pull over and take in the view off the Italian coast. Travelers could stop and buy fresh produce grown in solar-powered greenhouses located along the bridge. The whole roadway would be covered in a dense grid of solar cells coated in a thin, transparent plastic, the designers say.
All in all, the system would be capable of generating 40 million kWh each year, enough to power 15,000 homes.
Interesting and great way to use up unused space.
what was first place, i wonder...
This is exactly what Seattle neads instead of a tunnel thats going to wind up being the worlds biggest fishbowl after the next quake.
"what was first place, i wonder..."
who wants to live under a bridge with cars rolling over and over? stupid
That is SO cool!
The circular arches are by their very nature also super strong.
The Romans wish they had thought of this for their aqueducts!
The overall idea is very good.
However this attractive visualization look very much as a first dream, without minimum consideration of feasibility.
They should have consulted with structural engineers. To make it a realistic idea, without engineering nonsenses.
And then it would look quite a bit different.
The huge flat areas exposed to the wind pose great horizontal forces on the structure alone, which was not design for that, not even close. The flat areas has no function but require costly solutions to counterbalance the new forces. Assuming it is not beyond the performance of current technology, even the cost intensive ones. And then we did not mention the drag on the turbines itself yet. Furthermore the bending forces acting in the connection point of turbine holding columns - which look too thin indeed - and the rings, which would be a great difficulty and likely costly and fragile solution to engineer (symmetric, multi joint mounting is better as it distributes the forces and is not generating life complicating torque). Adding the possible vibrations, another effect not accounted for in the original structure, it is a graphic designer rampage, without engineering and economical rationality and feasibility.
I agree with racztomi
Still, cool design
also if there were planes that flew threw there, that wouldn't be useable now...
looks like that would take forever to build.
im surprised people havent been incorporating a vertical axis based windmill system, you cover more surface area without taking that much space beats the giant normal outdated windmills
yeah i agree racztomi! 55 million to demolish or 55 trillion to make this idea work. and the best news is it will save 55 thousand in electric bills. It will pay for it self in 55 billion years. but it is a cool idea nonetheless. then again do you think if we just stuck solar panels or wind turbines in ANY negative space ANY where in the world, like in between sky skyscrapers, I am sure we could enter about 1000 different architect contests and win.
It looks very inefficient. The turbines are different sizes and can't be replaced easily. And the filling between them is more of a work of art than a technical element.
All the nah-sayers, did you miss the part where it said "The wind turbine bridge took second place"
"Someone has to save out skins"
Ahhhh the differences between engineers and architects-
engineer- "This is what will work."
architect-"This is what looks prettiest."
Also, I'd like to give big KUDOS to Popsci for this new captcha and spam filter, well done!
i would like to add that all the environmentalist, or rather animals rights groups, would go crazy with this design. "Helpless birds would fly right into the blades"
You can't make everyone happy. One things for sure, thinking out of the box will lead to great breakthroughs.
If this were to be built I would imagine It would look less pretty, have 1 or a couple standard prop sizes for replacement ease and do away with all the solid vertical surfaces. For the animal rights people, look at all the nooks for nests!
Environmentalists would question the designs impact to bird migration. Engineers would question the impact to the existing structure from the stronger lateral forces due to wind. Economists would question the operation and maintenance cost for so many different turbine sizes. The contest wasn’t a senior year college design project where you go crazy and design the wackiest cool thing you can imagine; I believe the designer lost touch with the point of the contest. I’m surprised they won 2nd place...
Great, you only need 240 of these bridges to replace a single coal plant.
I can't really imagine a thing like this and pleople are really building it I liked the concept of multi use road as well as the wind mill
I love the concept, absolutely love it.
That said, now for the nitpicky engineering analysis:
The tower portions of the turbines look rather skinny relative to the rest of them. Remember, they need to provide structural support and power transmission, as well as access to the nacelle for maintenance (could drop in from the top too, but it wouldn't be safe next to spinning blades). Ideally those webbing looking pieces would have access tunnels to the base of the turbines and also hold all the power transmission wiring. Also, their estimated MW seem rather high to me in comparison to the largest existing wind farms. Especially since it would be much harder for these turbines to take advantage of rotating their angle of attack with those walls in the way.
But like I said, I love the idea. I can tell it is mostly conceptual at this time.