Under its Renewable Energy Program, the Australian city of Cockburn has recently installed, on top of the administration building, the Southern Hemisphere largest windpod system, with a total of 20 windpods. That program is having a great impact in the city: in the previous action, a collection of nearly 600 solar photovoltaic panels has been installed on 10 community buildings across Cockburn.
Following the solar panels, Cockburn's next environmental project has been wind related. Last December, twenty windpod turbines have been installed on City of Cockburn's administration building, as part of a joint research with Windpods International. These turbines were invented by Graeme Attey, a citizen of Fremantle, and are drum-style wind turbines designed to suit urban environments.
According to the City of Cockburn climate change officer, Jennifer Harrison, «wind turbines work by converting the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power and windpods use this power to drive a generator situated at the end of each turbine». The turbines have three sections, with two longitudinal aerodynamic blades in each section and they are encased in an outer frame, making them pleasant to the eye and safe for birds.
Each windpod produces 0.5kW of electricity, which means that the whole system produces 10kW - just as much as 60 photovoltaic panels -, and is expected to generate around 4.5mW·h per year. These windpods can be installed vertically, horizontally or at any angle in between. In Cockburn's case, however, they were placed horizontally and faced south-west, in order to take the most of the wind currents. While being innovative, this installation is not the first one of its kind. Back in 2009, the city of Fremantle has made the pioneer installation of these devices on the roof of the City's council chambers.
These windpods are small and silent, perfect for the city and for the country. Each one costs around 2,000 Australian dollars and the regular household would require about eight of them to become auto-sufficient in terms of electrical power.
See more about this invention in the video below:
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