Bladeless wind turbines could be the future for wind-energy, bringing them to homes

Imagine a wind turbine, but not as you know it. Instead of the familiar towering structures with rotating blades, picture a compact, hexagonal grid resembling a honeycomb, perched atop urban buildings or integrated into existing structures. This is the essence of Katrick’s design – a radical departure from traditional wind turbines, both in form and function. These turbines harness the power of wind through oscillating aerofoils, a far cry from the spinning blades we’re used to.

Designer: Katrick Technologies

As companies rush to figure out better and more effective solutions for harnessing sustainable energy (while the world grapples with the migration to these energies), the Glasgow-based startup, is making waves (or should I say, catching them?) with their innovative bladeless honeycomb wind turbines. Unlike the towering, rotary-blade turbines that dominate our landscapes, Katrick Technologies’ creation is a breath of fresh air in both design and functionality.

At the heart of this technology are the aerofoils, the unsung heroes of Katrick’s design. They work by capturing wind energy and converting it into mechanical oscillations. These oscillations are then transformed into electricity, providing a greener energy solution. This method not only captures lower levels of wind, making it more efficient in less windy conditions, but also makes the turbines more suited for urban environments, where space is at a premium and wind levels can be lower.

The design philosophy of Katrick Technologies is rooted in creating eco-friendly, innovative engineering solutions. While the firm is relatively new, it’s already carving a niche for itself in the renewable energy sector. Traditional wind turbines, with their considerable land and maintenance requirements, often pose logistical and financial challenges. In contrast, Katrick’s honeycomb turbines offer a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative, especially in urban landscapes where space is limited.

But it’s not all sunshine and breezes. Bladeless turbines, including Katrick’s design, have faced some skepticism. Critics, including those from the MIT Technology Review, have pointed out that despite their lower cost and environmental footprint, bladeless turbines might not be as efficient in energy generation as their traditional counterparts. However, Katrick’s innovative approach might just tip the scales. According to the company, just 1 kilometer of their roadside panels could charge a significant number of electric vehicles or power hundreds of homes annually.

Moreover, the design’s safety and environmental features can’t be overlooked. The slower-moving aerofoils in the honeycomb structure are likely less hazardous to birds than traditional turbines. Plus, their unobtrusive design, small footprint, and minimal environmental impact make them an attractive option for urban settings.

Katrick’s wind turbines being tested at Glasgow Airport.

This Cadillac Concept looks like a Wind Tunnel Test brought to life

The purpose of the wind tunnel test is to determine how air flows around a speeding object. It’s an indicator of overall aerodynamics, but with the test, you also get to visually plot how air bends to accommodate your moving vehicle, and how it regathers once it gets to the back. Although mainly a function-driven exercise, it’s also rather pretty to look at, and it looks like the kind of aesthetic Seongmin Kim was going for while designing the Cadillac A-RROW, a conceptual car that’s exterior is dominated by continuous lines.

Designer: Seongmin Kim

Look at the car and you instantly notice how dominant these straight continuous lines are. They stretch from the front to the back, wrapping the top and sides, but not defining their surfaces entirely. The car still has its own character in between those lines, which looks beautiful, but there’s something exhilarating about the A-RROW’s design, and that probably stems from the fact that it looks like it’s in movement even when it’s standing still, giving it a sense of speed.

“I was deeply moved by the beauty of the continuous line,” mentions Seongmin. “The lines seemed to represent the past and the future, the universe and the flow of existence. They reminded me that they contain the flow and change of time, and that they harbor infinite possibilities.”

Envisioned as a futuristic EV, the car treads into luxury territory with its gorgeous design and swooping silhouette. It sports a stunning panoramic windscreen that arches all the way from the front to the rear, covering even the sides to create a bubble-like cockpit for the driver and the lucky passenger! The metallic paint job, and LED-strip headlights and taillights enhance the automobile’s futurism, and let’s just say that I wish more car manufacturers turned their branding logos into glowing light patterns!

Tree with Solar Panels and Wind Turbines gives Nature-Inspired Clean Energy

In the quest for sustainable energy solutions, New World Wind has unveiled its revolutionary Aeroleaf Hybrid technology—a micro-wind turbine shaped like a tree, combining the forces of wind and solar energy to provide a clean and unlimited power source. This innovative approach not only meets the growing demand for electricity but also addresses environmental concerns associated with traditional energy production methods.

Designer: New World Wind

The conventional methods of electricity production, often reliant on burning fossil fuels, contribute to environmental degradation and climate change. New World Wind’s Aeroleaf Hybrid offers a compelling alternative by seamlessly integrating wind and solar power. The tree-shaped turbines are equipped with rotating leaves that capture wind energy, complemented by solar panels at the base, ensuring a continuous and efficient energy production process.

New World Wind draws inspiration from the beauty of nature, ensuring that the Aeroleaf Hybrid blends harmoniously with both urban and green landscapes. Unlike conventional wind turbines and solar panels, these tree-shaped energy generators appear as if they naturally grew in their surroundings. This unique design feature allows for a more aesthetically pleasing integration into various environments.

New World Wind’s commitment to green energy is evident in its global installations. The first Aeroleaf Hybrid, welcomed in Birmingham, UK, stands tall on a hill, showcasing its ability to harness wind and solar power in unison. The collaboration with Tom Tits Experiment, a science museum in Sweden, further emphasizes the technology’s versatility and its potential to power significant institutions with clean electricity.

A variant of the Aeroleaf Hybrid without Solar Panels

Recognizing the diverse energy needs of consumers, New World Wind offers three variations of the Aeroleaf Hybrid—Wind Tree, Wind Palm, and Wind Bush. The Wind Tree, with its numerous rotating leaves, is suitable for larger spaces and can even serve as a multifunctional lamp post or charging station for electric vehicles. The Wind Palm and Wind Bush cater to different scales, providing flexibility for installation in various settings, from public gardens to smaller neighborhoods.

New World Wind’s Aeroleaf (Hybrid) technology is based on a patented micro-wind turbine with a leaf-shaped double blade and a vertical axis. This synchronous micro-generator with permanent magnets allows for installation in diverse locations, including rooftops, terraces, pylons, and low-wind areas. The technology, with a single Aeroleaf generating a minimum of 300 watts, has already been deployed in 130 locations worldwide, spanning countries like Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Portugal, Nigeria, France, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Apart from its functional benefits, the Aeroleaf Hybrid also offers a customizable experience. Consumers can choose from various color options, allowing the turbines to seamlessly integrate with their surroundings. This level of personalization enhances the technology’s appeal and further encourages the adoption of green energy solutions.

By mimicking the elegance of nature, this technology not only provides a sustainable energy source but also exemplifies the potential for beauty and functionality to coexist in our pursuit of a greener tomorrow.

This deconstructed windmill installation design highlights the power of wind

Wind turbines are currently in popular demand due to the growing necessity of green energy, but there’s a deep sense of calm involved in watching a much less advanced windmill for the land (turn forever, hand in hand). That’s the idea behind the W.I.P.: Windmill In Play installation by Taiyi Yu, a graduate student in industrial design at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Netherlands.

Windmill In Play is a deconstructed windmill, meaning it takes the classic windmill design and simplifies it using everyday parts that make it easy to build and deploy. You can watch the process of constructing Taiyi Yu’s handmade DIY windmill design in the video linked below, meaning anyone with the time and energy can learn to build one of their own.

Designer: Taiyi Yu

As the windmill turns, it physically powers a series of mechanisms that shuffle sand from the base of the installation into a hopper that gradually displaces the collected sand in a unique shape as the wind moves the windmill around in 360-degree radius.

Most of the materials used in the Windmill In Play design are simple to work with – like wood, fabric, and piping – and it appears that they’re mostly recycled materials sourced directly from the trash. An especially impressive part of the design is the pink sail fabric, sourced and cut from old umbrellas as seen in the construction video.

Windmill In Play is not just a cool science project that creates a potential outlet for recycled materials. According to designer Taiyi Yu, it serves an artistic purpose as well, saying, “The project questions how winds have been harvested through windmills and reflects on how we perceive and appropriate winds.”

“The windmill, as a concrete example but also as a metaphor for modern industrialisation, is implicated in the dichotomy between humans and nature. It exemplifies the rationality of seeing the natural world as a resource, a power that reconstitutes experience through its mechanical structure.”

Even though the windmill itself isn’t designed to produce electricity, it could serve as a direct example of what’s possible with everyday materials – and hopefully, it could become a starting point for even more designers and creators who want to develop their own green energy solutions.

This 3D printed wind turbine design uses solar arrays for 24/7 green energy

The global climate crisis is an ongoing, and worsening, part of everyday life. As a global phenomenon, it is now undeniably pushing the needle on everything from agricultural collapse to global civil unrest, due largely to society’s dependence on CO2-emitting fossil fuels for transportation, heating, and electricity. But there’s always hope. Sustainable design is growing more and more prevalent in efforts to combat global climate change and lessen the resulting destruction of our one and only livable planet. Take this solar-powered aircraft or this sustainable coffee cup-turned-planter as recent examples of sustainable design pervading product design on a macro and micro level.

Green energy is a huge (and rapidly growing) part of sustainable design, but one of the key issues with large-scale green energy production – drawing mostly or entirely from natural energy sources like solar and wind, which produce zero carbon emissions, therefore slowing the roll of climate change – is solar panels and wind turbines provide far less energy than coal or oil power plants for the amount of land they take up. Many countries’ power grids are still mostly dependent on fossil fuel sources as a result, and since climate change ripples across the entire globe, the complex process of reaching a single unified solution is inevitably going to require the collaboration of the entire global workforce.

Soleolico is doing its part by putting several green energy sources together in the same space with its newly revealed photovoltaic “sails”, which are basically vertical-axis wind turbines (they have tall blades facing forward attached to a hub that’s facing upward, allowing the turbine to spin in a horizontal circumference) with solar panels mounted on the front part of the blades. As of October 9, one fully operational Soleolico unit is placed outside of the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander, Spain, with hopefully many more installations to come.

Designer: Soleolico

Soleolico’s core idea is providing a 24/7 green energy source. Its individual blades are designed to automatically orient to the direction and strength of wind through the company’s “patented magnetic system”. Moreover, if either wind or solar become unavailable, the same system can lean on whichever resource is available, even storing excess power in built-in energy storage systems.

Generating green energy isn’t Soleolico’s only function. It also scrubs CO2 out of the air via a 3D-printable coating made of “natural agents” that make it similar to a tree. The company even goes as far as calling it the world’s “First Technological Tree”, given its ability to integrate naturally into forests and other important and complex ecosystems while providing a higher energy production capacity than traditional wind turbines.

The aforementioned 3D-printable coating, currently produced at the LaMáquina manufacturing center in Barcelona, Spain, uses Pure.Tech organic 3D-printing technology. According to Aldo Sollazzo, the Director of Pure.Tech, “the installation of 1,000 units of Soleolico absorbs the same amount of CO2 as 287 trees in a year, according to our calculations, based on data from the European Environmental Agency and our certified laboratories”.

That’s not all. Soleolico’s “sails” design can also display advertisements and branding imagery, making them function as self-sustaining electric billboards. It’s unclear how quickly it (and other technology like it) will catch on en masse, but the fact that such an invention exists and can be produced quickly thanks to new advancements in 3D-printing tech is ultimately hopeful.

New Sleek Airstream Trade Wind is customized to go further while enjoying the comfort of your home

Are you ready to embrace off-grid journeys that immerse you in the breathtaking beauty of nature? If so, then the all-new Airstream Trade Wind Travel Trailer is your brand-new option for unparalleled freedom and exploration.

This remarkable travel trailer boasts the most extensive solar capacity, the largest battery bank, and an array of features designed to let you roam farther and stay longer in the great outdoors. With its 25-foot size and a single floor plan, it strikes the perfect balance between comfort and flexibility for your living, sleeping, and relaxation needs starting at $129,400.

Designer: Airstream

Trade Wind’s off-grid ability is made possible by an internally stored 810Ah heated lithium battery bank, ensuring you have the power you need when you need it. Topped with 600W rooftop solar panels and a 3000W inverter, the new Airstream trailer allows you to charge your devices, operate onboard power points and appliances directly from its battery. It can even run the air conditioner and convection microwave simultaneously.

The Trade Wind boasts a recirculating water heater to conserve water from its 39-gallon fresh water tank, further extending your off-grid adventures. With a solar windshield, a 3-inch lift kit for added ground clearance, rugged tires, and front rock guards, you can tow your new Airstream on all types of challenging terrains.

Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by the warm embrace of gorgeous oak wood finishes and luxurious textured seating fabric. The interior design evokes the feeling of home, which is enhanced by a separate bathroom and shower facilities, a fully-equipped kitchen, bedroom with queen bed, and a comfortable lounge featuring a stowaway table to make for additional sleeping space, when you have guests over. The space left vacant by the table can even double as storage for your fishing poles, paddleboards, or a kayak.

Capable of sleeping up to five people, Trade Wind travel trailer offers an option for a pair of twin beds instead of the queen option while rear and roadside awnings add shade and style to the outdoor space. The trailer features an optional rear hatch door with a sliding screen to ensure convenience and extended living. So, when you arrive at your destination, open the hatch, pull down the screen, and enjoy al fresco dining with incredible views while keeping pesky bugs at bay.