Small wind turbines mounted on roofs or bridges enlarges the possibilities to use renewable energy sources directly in city centers. In addition to solar panels the installation of small wind turbines makes especially sense in cities like Gothenburg - with a lot of wind hours. Besides the maximum wind speed is found in winter, the time of the year when the solar energy output is lower due to cloudy weather and longer nights. So wind energy could be an effective complement to solar power.
But what's about the drawbacks of this technology? Does these small wind farms in the city have a negative effect on our well-being? Besides the obvious risk of disturbance through noise critics often mention vibrations caused by the turbines and their extra weight as the big disadvantage.
Referring to the technical progress that has been achieved in the last years and already realized projects the benefits of city wind turbines can be proved anyhow. With the right solutions and expertise the efficiency of small wind mills has been raised in a great manner.
First of all the right placing of the turbines in relation to the building has a big effect on the amount of generated energy. Either rose above the middle of the roof or attached to the edges of a building the turbines are using regions of accelerated airflow. Just the double wind speed would result in eight times more energy.
Furthermore smaller dimensions, spherical forms and especially the introduction vertical axis wind turbines highly reduces the impact of noise and vibration. Because the background noise level in a city is omnipresent and increases with stronger winds, the sounds of the turbines in use is seldom audible.
In a near future all these technical improvements will hopefully have a positive impact on the reputation of small wind turbines so that more and more people reconsider it as a sustainable energy source reducing our CO2 emission.
[bild 1: http://www.86wind.com]
[bild 2: http://www.quietrevolution.co.uk]