A novel new turbine based on Archimedes' screw could bring wind power to urban areas by dramatically reducing the noise pollution caused by whirling blades.
A company in Rotterdam has developed an innovative new wind turbine which features a unique design inspired by the ingenuity of both ancient engineers and the natural world.
The Liam F1 Urban Wind Turbine takes principles which are used by both the Archimedes screw and the shell of a nautilus mollusk to shift liquids, and applies them instead to the medium of running air currents, in order to better harvest energy from their motion.
Its unique design dispenses with the need for lengthy fan blades, which can be a source of considerable noise pollution and invariably necessitate the construction of wind farms at sites situated far from settled communities.
These discrete sound levels mean that the Liam F1 can be deployed in densely-populated areas without fear of disturbing adjacent residents or rousing their concerns over noise pollution.
The Liam F1 possesses other advantages in addition to its acoustic discretion. According to its developers, the turbine is capable of achieving efficiency levels in excess of 80 per cent of the maximum possible energy yield, as compared to its traditional peers which have an upper limit of around 50 per cent.
This efficiency means that even with only a breeze of moderate strength, a single turbine should be able to generate as much as half of the electricity that an average home should require.
The turbine also behaves in a manner akin to a weather vane, following the wind irrespective of the direction from which it originates.
Measuring just 1.25 metres in width and length and 1.5 metres in height, the turbine’s compact design is directed specifically at urban homesteaders hoping to live off the grid despite residing amidst the hustle and bustle of a modern city.
The product’s price tag of just over $5,400 also makes it relatively affordable for middle class families, especially if it manages to achieve savings on utilities bills as promised by its creators.