Using the surrounding environment to optimise renewable energy generation is nothing new. Solar PV arrays are known to be most effective when placed in a south or south-westerly direction at an angle of 45 degrees, whilst wind turbines are best placed where there is a constant flow of wind throughout the year.
However a pioneering wind turbine being tested on the streets of Istanbul takes this to a new level. The ENLIL turbine has successfully generated energy from the wind created by passing traffic, by being positioned in unusual places such as near major roads or cycle lanes.
Deveci Tech who designed the turbine, claim that ENLİL can generate 1 kW of energy per hour, enough to handle the power needs of two homes. A solar PV panel is fitted to the top to add to its generation capacity, whilst the device has the capability to take measurements of air quality, humidity, CO2 and even earth tremors.
You’ll probably have noticed that the ENLiL turbine looks a bit different from what you’d see at your average wind farm. This technology is known as a ‘Darrieus wind turbine’, a particular type of vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) formed by curved aerofoil blades fixed to an upright rotating shaft. This differs from the horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT), by far the more common wind turbine technology.
The ENLiL was designed to capture the energy created by modern cities, like wind created from passing vehicles. However the design does raise a few questions. For example, could the close proximity of the turbine result in increased drag on larger vehicles such as buses and lorries? Some comments have even questioned whether turbulence created by vehicles even qualifies as renewable energy, but instead just increasing the efficiency of fuel spent by vehicles.
According to the Deveci Tech website, the ENLiL turbine is still in its developmental phase whilst the design is tested, improved and made as efficient as possible.
Image credit: Andy Clifton