Want To Create More Energy From Wind? Build A Tree

Many acres of land around the world have been given over to wind turbines to produce much needed electricity from what have been euphemistically termed "wind farms." They create a great deal of noise and some people find them unsightly. Not only that, if apocalyptic science fiction movies are correct, those giant blades will one day get loose and cause major death and destruction when the storm to end all storms hits. Now there is Tree Vent. A smaller, quieter, and more stylish way to harness wind energy.

Tree Vent (Image via Daily Mail)Tree Vent (Image via Daily Mail)

The Tree Vent is a new idea from the French company NewWind. Each of the tree's "leaves" is a small vertical wind turbine that moves much more quietly than the traditional windmill ones. They are also capable of being turned by lighter winds so that they are more efficient at harnessing the energy of the wind.

The concept was created by Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, a French entrepreneur, when he was watching the movement of real trees in the wind and how the leaves moved. It got him thinking about the possibility of using that idea to generate power.

 Tree Vent (Image via Daily Mail)Tree Vent (Image via Daily Mail)

The tree itself has the appearance of a piece of modern art so that it can fit into just about any urban or even suburban setting. This way the use of them would not require the use of miles of open space. The trees can be grouped together for an intriguing visual effect and to increase the amount of output for a single area. At this point each tree has an output of 3.1 kilowatts per hour.

Each tree is 36 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter. The white frame is made of steel and can hold up to 72 turbines. The turbines and structures are able to withstand Category 3 winds (111-129 mph). NewWind will be placing a Tree Vent on the Place de la Concorde in Paris between March 12 and May 12 this year for a real life test. This will allow the general public to see what these trees look like and get an idea for how they operate.

Tree Vent (Image via Daily Mail)Tree Vent (Image via Daily Mail)

An additional 40 trees are being prepared to be installed around France in September. Mass production is not scheduled to begin until summer of 2016 and will initially only be available in France and neighboring countries. So if you want one for Downtown, U.S.A., you are going to have to wait a bit.

Michaud-Larivière reportedly hopes to expand on his Tree Vent idea and give the trees roots to harness geothermal energy and cover them with bark made of photosensitive cells for solar energy collection.

Sources: IFL Science, Daily Mail, Tree Hugger