Photovoltaic systems have the advantage of flexibility, since they can be installed in various places, such as parks, residential rooftops, water reservoirs and noise barriers on highways. On the contrary, wind turbines require either large tracts of land or installed at sea. There are some various futuristic projects that involve integration of wind turbines in urban infrastructure, but most of them are considered to be non-feasible.
A prerequisite for the efficient exploitation of wind power are the turbines and the propellers to be big. For this reason, wind turbines are often “unwelcome” by residents of areas that do not want wind farms in their neighborhood.
A new study re-examines the possibility of integrating the wind turbines in infrastructure. For example, wind turbines could be installed within the tall legs of viaduct. Researchers at Kingston University, London used a viaduct construction in the Canary Islands, Spain. Based on mathematical models and simulations, they show that the wind passing between the pillars of the bridge can move the propellers and converted to pure wind.
The construction of such systems could integrate wind energy into "heavy" infrastructures.
"This kind of installation would avoid the emission of 140 tons of CO2 per year, an amount that represents the depuration effect of about 7,200 trees," Oscar Soto, a researcher on the project, told the Spanish-language SINC.
The combination of two power turbines of 0.25 MW each of them could meet the energy needs of 450 to 500 local households and prevent the emission of 140 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
Similar studies have been conducted in the past in Italy, but this is the first that promotes to this extent the concept of wind power in small space.