Researchers at the University of Wollongong’s ICT Research Institute, led by Professor Farzad Safaei, have developed a new form of wind energy harvester that does away with the large rotating blades of traditional wind turbines.
The design uses softly rotating paneled windows that resemble venetian blinds, with the blades moving vertically to produce electricity.
The unique design means that it can be installed on the tops or sides of large buildings. It it is also quieter and cheaper to run than current wind turbines – and it does not have large rotating blades that might be dangerous for birds.
According to Professor Safaei, the design will blend better with urban environments, as the window-like forms can be painted to match the surrounding buildings.
The University of Wollongong has signed an initial two-year agreement with the engineering company, Birdon, to build a commercially viable prototype to enable more extensive testing and evaluation of the design.