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Wind turbines on the tops of high voltage line towers?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Of course, there's lots of talk about wind power.  Some people think turbines are ugly whether off shore or on hilltops and pull a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)....others are all for them.  But what do you think about building turbines on top of high voltage line towers?

 

Well...looks like three people won the Metropolis Next Generation Design Prize for the idea:

 

Quote:

A French team of an engineer and two architects have won this year's prestigious Metropolis Next Generation® Design Prize for "Wind-it," a design to place wind turbines inside existing high-voltage electricity pylons.  The winners are Julien Choppin, 31, and Nicola Delon, 31, partners in the Paris architecture firm Encore Heureux, and Raphaël Ménard, director of Elioth, a 20-person conceptual and experimental research arm of the large French engineering firm Iosis Group...
 
Wind-it answers one of the greatest challenges to the development of wind power: where to site wind turbines.  Choppin, Delon and Menard's design uses existing infrastructure - the towers and pylons that dot the more than 157,000 miles of high voltage power lines in the U.S. - to locate their turbines, which can be stacked within already sited structures.  Moreover, Wind-it solves the problem of linking energy generation and electricity transmission in the same way - by co-locating them.
 
"Wind power is great in theory, but NIMBY concerns have hampered its deployment.  I'm proud that our Next Generation Prize winner provides such an elegant solution to a thorny problem," said Metropolis publisher Horace Havemeyer III.  "Julien Choppin, Nicola Delon, and Raphaël Ménard have combined technical authority with design imagination that is audaciously simple."

 

Here's an article from Metropolis Mag about the idea.

 

Any thoughts?

post #2 of 8

It's not a bad idea in terms of NIMBY but what if this happens?

 

 

Wouldn't the wind turbine pieces end up causing issues potentially with the electric lines?

post #3 of 8

Interesting idea, though I don't think NIMBY is a terribly big deal when it comes to wind turbines.  I don't think the 'exploding turbine' example would happen frequently enough to be a concern with the adjacent power lines.

post #4 of 8

 I had contact with Rafael Menard on another web site - he answered some of my not too polite points in a nice manner.

 

They are not talking about using existing towers - no way they would support the load. They call for their concept to be designed into new towers. They could then use the cost of the existing tower to mitigate additional costs associated with their design.

 

They are not suggesting building tops or anything like that. The judge quoted in the article seems to have been takling without thinking.

 

One big problem would be the cost of numerous step up transformers/equipment to get to line voltage.

 

They feel they have a new design for the blades on the VAWT rotor which will overcome the historic inefficiency of those units.

 

I told Rafael thanks for his clarifications & good luck. 

post #5 of 8

The turbine (Darrieus type) would be inside of the tower - there are sites that do have decent representations of that. 

post #6 of 8

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ View Post

 I had contact with Rafael Menard on another web site - he answered some of my not too polite points in a nice manner.


Really good to know. Undoubtedly cost will be an issue, but it seems like any major change to a different energy source will require a fair amount of capital.

 

Building the turbines into new towers is a great concept in terms of consolidating the NIMBY concerns. Here's an image from metropoloismag:

 

post #7 of 8

That illustration above - the horizontally oriented blades within the tower frame, and 3 of them in each - seems like a really good idea... it does make sense to be on perhaps an HVDC line to help with efficiency - I'll let the electrical engineers figure out how to do it on the large AC lines...

post #8 of 8

The real challenges engineering wise are:

 

1. Civil - foundations for the increased wind load & uplift

2. Mechanical -

     a. it will require a totally different tower

     b. improvement of the VAWT efficiency - to date the efficiency has been poor compared to the HAWT's

3. Now electrical - to step up from low voltage to possibly 220 kva - this is not a minor increase in voltage & it seems it would have to be done at each tower  - not cheap

 

The towers seem to envision three different rotors which would have three different support bearings, sets of connections etc.

 

Maintenance of these turbines within the towers may be tricky when the system is charged - someone with knowledge of maintining standard towers could say if there is a problem there. 

 

 

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