Eiffel tower renovation includes wind turbines

As part of  a high profile renovation project, one of the most iconic sites in the world has become the latest venue to embrace renewable energy as two vertical axis wind turbines are installed on the Eiffel tower.

US-based renewables specialist Urban Green Energy (UGE) announced that it has fitted the two turbines and that they can deliver 10,000kWh of commercial electricity annually. This effectively offsets the power used by the commercial areas on the tower’s first floor.

The company added that the two turbines are “virtually silent” and have been painted to resemble the rest of the tower.

The height of the turbines, 400 feet above the ground, was specially chosen to maximise the energy production of the devices, allowing them to take advantage of relatively steady winds.

Although vertical axis turbines are known to deliver lower outputs than conventional turbines, the design is often used in urban areas where wind direction is less predictable and can come from multiple directions.

Chief executive of UGE, Nick Blitterswyk, said the project represents a good amount of publicity for the global renewables industry.

“When visitors from around the world see the wind turbines, we get one step closer to a world powered by clean and reliable renewable energy,” he said.

The turbines are part of a major retrofit project for the Eiffel tower, which has also involved installing energy efficient LED lights and a 10 metre squared solar thermal array that will provide for around half of the hot water needs of the two pavilions on the site. A rainwater recovery system has been put in place and heat pumps have also been installed to heat the facilities.