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Energy Blog 4 Bizarre uses for Wind Energy

4 Bizarre uses for Wind Energy

Chris Hurcombe
by Chris Hurcombe February 28, 2013
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Wind power has many amazing applications. These include offsetting carbon emissions, providing wind turbine jobs, appearing in adverts for energy companies to show how eco-friendly they are, and giving angry people something to complain about in local newspapers.  You might not think that the uses of wind energy go much further than that. After all, while wind farms might be a great idea, obviously there are a limited number of things you can stick a windmill on top of, right?  Well, you might think that, but you’d be tragically wrong. The wind is being used to power all sorts of weird things, such as:

Wind Energy Phone Chargers

In this day and age if you’re away from your Facebook page for than an hour or more you start hyperventilating and getting heart palpitations. Google has just released special glasses so that even as you’re walking around you’re getting the Internet rammed right into your eyes. Even people who are willing to give up sleeping in a real bed, under an actual ceiling, with proper toilets for some reason can’t cope with the idea of being unable to tweet about it.

Fortunately the solution is here, courtesy of the unfortunately named “Gotwind”. The device, commissioned by Orange, is basically a windmill you can stick on the top of your tent. Using a standard horizontal axis wind turbine, weighing only 150 grams, the device neeeds only 12 hours of charge time in a 12 mph wind to store up enough energy to fully charge your phone, camera and ipod in only a couple of hours.

Wind Energy Breaking Speed Records

We tend to think of wind powered vehicles as all that hi-tech, since we tend not to think of any technology that was used by Vikings as hi-tech. However, while sailboats are undeniably awesome, there are a couple of things they can’t do.

1, they can’t travel on land. 2, they can’t travel at 126 mph. The Greenbird, a “land yacht” driven by British engineer Richard Jenkins has done both of those things. Looking like something out of one of the lesser Star Wars movies, the craft is a testament to mankind’s dream of going really, really fast just, you know, because.

Giant Death Robots

Theo Jansen is basically a super villain. Just because he tells people he’s a “kinetic sculptor” and is doing “art” a lot of people haven’t realised it yet, but what he’s doing is building giant robots constructed from hundreds of plastic yellow tubes and unleashing them on the wild. He’s been doing this since 1990, taking the best designs and “breeding” them together. Yes, that’s right. They evolve.

As an example, take a look at this creature, wandering down a beach. Powered by the wind its many legs march like some sort of giant centipede or Roman legion. It’s terrifying. For those of you who always thought wind power could only be used for good, this is the perfect counter-argument.

A Magical Spinning Skyscraper

This self-sustaining skyscraper, designed by Dr. David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture, is 420 meters high, and has 80 floors, each rotating independently powered by a total of 48 wind turbines between each floor. The design looks sort of like a weird glass tentacle thing.

The construction of the skyscraper will be done in parallell stages, instead of building it from the ground up. There will be a solid concrete core to the building, and then the segments of each floor will be prefabricated at a nearby factory, making this about as close to real-life Lego as you can get.

The skyscraper will be built in Dubai, international home of crazy building designs, where there are 4,000 hours of wind a year. The designers believe they’ll be able to power the skyscraper with just four of its wind turbines, while using the other 44 to support the city’s power grid.

Guest Blog is from – Chris Farnell who is a freelancer writer interested in green energy and recruitment, including solar and wind turbine jobs throughout the UK.

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