A French startup New Wind has begun installing tree-shaped wind turbines at various locations in Paris. Dubbed the “Wind Tree” these aesthetically pleasing and intriguing turbines mimic the natural structure of trees, all while promoting and generating sustainable energy.
The company’s founder, Jerome Michaud-Lariviere came up with this novel idea while in a Paris square, he noticed the leaves tremble on a seemingly windless day. He realized that there was energy and came up with the wind trees to exploit the small air currents flowing along buildings and streets.
The trunk and the branches of the wind tree are made of steel while the leaves are made of lightweight plastic. Unlike large industrial turbines, which need winds of over 22 miles per hour to function, the leaves can generate electricity in wind speeds as low as 4.5 mph. The trees are also silent, so the issue of noise pollution doesn’t arise.
With a height of about 10-meters and a diameter of 8-meters, the wind tree uses around 63 miniature turbines that resemble leaves. Each wind tree has the potential to generate about 3.1 kilowatts of electricity, 280 days of the year.