A Leaf on the Wind: Urban Turbines Look Like Artful Trees

urban wind turbine tree

A lovely design from concept to execution, these silent-running wind power generators are designed to look like abstract trees, combining elements of sculptural art and sustainable energy creation.

urban wind farm design

With the rustling of leaves in mind, New Wind has been developing this design to work with low-cost materials and modular parts that can be packed into boxes then shipped to and assembled on sites around the world.

urban wind generator example

energy generating tree design

For now, prototypes have gone up in Paris to gauge public reaction but so far opinions are positive: these don’t exhibit the same tacky fakery found in semi-camouflaged cell towers, managing to look nice while remaining clearly artificial. Additionally, the distribution of power generation (described below) makes the entire system run quietly so as not to add to urban noise.

urban wind tower prototype

urban wind tree generator

Aesthetics aside, the technology is quite ingenious: tiny blades turn inside each ‘leaf’, in turn feeding power back into the branches, trunk and ultimately nearby lights, wifi stations and/or other things needing electric power (much in the same way a leaf in nature generates energy and feeds it back into the rest of a plant.

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See more in Energy & Power or under Science. February, 2015.