Wind alternative alternatives

Energy & Sustainability Science

Hack n Mod has a video round-up of wind generating schemes beyond the well-known bladed turbine.

Next Gen Wind Energy you have Never Seen

14 thoughts on “Wind alternative alternatives

  1. Tony says:

    It seems there’s an ease to forget that Savonius wind turbines have been here since the 1920’s and they have the same problems that they had then. True that you can include them where a normal wind turbine wouldn’t be suitable…but as an engineer I find this “new alternative” as pure hype…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree. Although this design looks different than most Savonius turbines, there is a Finnish company who already has this design. It isn’t mounted at both ends, but it is a twisted type Savonius like these. I do like the idea, though.

  3. David says:

    Did I miss the part where it said how much electrical power these things produce?

  4. Tom says:

    I missed the power part too!
    Tony – for those who are not in the know, what was/is the problem with Savonius wind turbines?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Savonius turbines like this are reliable but fairly low efficiency because they’re a drag (rather than lift) turbine — some newer developments such as the Gorlov helical turbine might be better.

  6. Brad Hunter says:

    The helical is still a drag based device. It has smoother torque and does not get the push-push effect of basic types. However, it still brings with it the general inefficiency. I believe they have their place out there. They are productive and infinitely more productive in situations the horizontals are not an option. The environment is a big complex problem and we should welcome any and all solutions that have a positive effect, IMHO.

  7. Jeff says:

    I met Bill, the owner of Aerotecture at the IDSA conference in Chicago about 5 years ago, and I’ve been following his company ever since catching his seminar on wind power there. Very interesting company, and I love seeing them get attention for their efforts. If you want to know more about their machine, including power output, check out their website:

    And if you want to see their machines up close, there’s one in the lobby of the Daley Center in Chicago (as well as half a dozen on the roof).

    I think it’s quite clever that their machines catch wind from any direction, whether mounted vertically or horizontally.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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