The Paris startup NewWind plans to radically change the field of wind energy with its development in the form of a tree, which with the help of “leaves” is able to generate electricity even from the smallest air flows.
The eight-meter “tree” is a steel “trunk” with several dozen “branches” on which more than a hundred “leaves” made of plastic are installed.
NewWind founder Jerome Michaud-Larivier, who invented the wood power plant, plans to bring his invention to the market next year.
“This idea came to me in the yard when I saw the leaves tremble when there was not the slightest breeze on the street. And if you use the energy of a strong wind, storm, or even an earthquake? ”Said the inventor, who then logically concluded that if energy is taken from somewhere, nothing will prevent it from being converted to watts.
A tree prototype already exists and generates electricity. Some time ago, he was “planted” in the telecom city of Plemer-Baudoux in Brittany. Unlike wind generators in the form of huge propellers, which Europeans often criticize for their appearance, the “wind tree” has an aesthetically attractive appearance and is almost silent because it rustles with its plastic “foliage” only in strong winds.
The tree has a generated power of up to 3.1 kW, depending on wind speed. The figure is not impressive – General Electric is currently selling turbines reaching 4.1 megawatts, more than 1,000 times. However, at the same time, a tree needs a breeze to work at a speed of just 7.25 km / h, which means that it can generate energy at least twice as many days a year as a full-sized turbine.
In an interview with Microsoft’s popular French-language blog earlier this year, Michaud-Larivier described how the leaves of his tree act as small wind turbines.
“Our microgenerators provide electricity production almost throughout the year with a production threshold of wind speed of 2 m / s. “Tree” can function smoothly for about 320 days a year, and no one has yet reached such indicators. “
The costs are not so high. One such tree costs about 29 thousand euros and pays off in two years, even if the wind all this time does not exceed 3.5 m / s.
Michaud-Larivier sees the commercial success of his brainchild, including in collective use. The owner may not necessarily be alone, but the tree can also be “planted” on the roof of a residential apartment building. In addition, the development is optimally suitable, for example, to provide energy to street lamps or charging stations for electric vehicles, which are becoming more popular in Europe every year.