NL architects: power flowers NL architects: power flowers
mar 01, 2011

NL architects: power flowers

‘power flowers’ by NL architects images courtesy of NL architects

amsterdam based studio, NL architects has designed ‘power flowers’, urban windmills that can be used in densely populated areas. resulting from an ongoing investigation into the potential of wind energy, the turbines feature multiple branches with propellers of a reduced scale.

the altered design, available in two sizes, allows multiple turbines to be closely grouped

unlike the omnipresent three-blade turbine that requires an open radius five times their diameter and a heavy duty infrastructure, ‘power flower’ provides a less obtrusive option that can be located in domestic environments.

the tree-like design is safer and more welcoming then the traditional three-blade model

the reconfigured design features a vertical axis design that can produce energy with wind from any direction. intended as a tool that can be used alongside other sustainable initiatives, the turbines can be connected to smart grids and solar panels.

detail of the miniature propellers

two models – a larger and a smaller – generate a range of energy output and mounting options, making it ideal for both commercial and residential use.

the new design can be located next to the source that requires energy

the turbines can be mounted virtually anywhere

detail of propeller

top view of small and large turbines

diagram of spacing required for ‘power flowers’

diagram of spacing required for three-blade turbines

technical drawing of small model

technical drawing of large model

  • yeah kill the birds! kill kill! only blood and feathers left

    hitchcock says:
  • * pigeon-slicers.

    * energy inefficient: please hire a physicist

    * nature is not regular but grown: please hire a designer

    phew says:
  • A real designer should have concerns with this proposal. How does the rotational movement of the propellers actually connect with a dynamo? Normally it’s a direct axle connection, as in the ‘detail of propeller’ photo. This system must rely on flexible axles (novel!) which must then mesh together at the main stem (super-complex!). If that’s been thought about, then NL might offer some explanation in their ‘technical drawings’. If that thinking hasn’t been done, then shame on them for such a shallow exercise. Photoshop will not save the planet.

    Martin says:
  • Hoy utopia, mañana realidad!! Muy interesante la idea, especialmente para dentro de un par de años

    maria Cba says:
  • It is astounding to read the hate in the postings. Although criticism is important should also be backed up with the right information. Helix-like turbines are known to revolve at low speeds, thus, not killing or slicing wildlife. Second if you analyze the image of the detail it clearly illustrates where the dynamo would go. Check the link above for a product that is available which could be incorporated to this idea.
    http://www.oregonwind.com/revolutionfacts.html
    I personally applaud the effort of trying to conceive solutions for low-impact power-generation and as NL explains, this is intended to be combined with other sources such as solar panels, it is NOT intended to be the silver bullet to solve all energy problems.
    NL, Good Job!

    DsgnCrit says:
  • tree-like design… NO!
    mykonos ?… NO! NO!
    San pietro… NO! NO! NO!
    please install them elsewhere (perhaps just on buildings…)

    Hasko says:
  • Okay, just because its shaped like a tree, doesn’t make it one with the earth. I am seeing Huge wind storm liabilities. what happens if these spinning tops get hit by a strong wind? You obviously haven’t been to Kansas!! How about real trees. Those work really well. I would think that small wind harvesters could be mounted on roof tops and be housed in some sort of cage so the birds don’t get killed.
    it would have to be cone shaped so it wouldn’t hold snow….etc.

    skibeth says:
  • what about noise????

    gdfdsfd says:
  • Good effort!!!!
    I like the idea of scaling down energy production and forming it’s “factories” into “natural” shapes.
    But now how about scaling down a bit more. Could the rotors be the leaves of a tree? Could they start looking like a tree? Can they provide other things apart from energy that will make them more treelike, like shadow or shelter from rain or camouflage or etc etc?
    This ain’t over yet!!!!

    S says:
  • :X

    pepe says:
  • This is brilliant!!! And so aesthetically beautiful. This appealing design would fit into almost anywhere!! This new concept will no doubt trigger more ideas for ecological protection!
    The birds? If they are city birds they are pretty savvy!
    A flock blew out the transformer (and computers) on our block last week!!

    toadstooldiva says:
  • I think this is a great concept. Of course it needs some refining but a great start! I love the idea of breaking energy production into smaller components and scattering them across a city. And there’s a lot more dangerous things for birds in a city than these. People who post useless hate comments should take their heads out of their asses and start to think more optimistic on things. If you criticise make it constructive or back it up with facts why something wouldn’t work.

    @phew: “nature is not regular but grown: please hire a designer”… umm.. what?

    @Hasko: come on, that’s all you got to say about this project? Cool down, they’re only photoshopped pictures, examples of how these trees could be used not plans for real placement.

    @skibeth: How exactly do you use a real tree as a source for energy? I don’t think they intended to replace all trees with these..

    nc says:
  • Very low efficiency idea

    g* says:
  • don’t know the technical aspects but in terms of aesthetics it should be refined a lot…also in photoshop (San Pietro square is totally disproportionate..and I prefer Mikonos scenary without such odd trees)

    ambini says:
  • I think readers lacks of imagination,
    the project is amazing,
    and the pictures are provocative, intriguing and beautiful.
    They should build a skyscraper in San Pietro,
    may be a cross shape skyscraper.

    not a bird says:
  • I do forsee a problem with wildlife till they get adjusted to this. But I would gladly have one in my yard. Put me down as a yes

    roscoe2000 says:
  • Yes, this looks very much like my design of 2006:

    [url=http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Wind_20tree#1149442556]http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Wind_20tree#1149442556[/url]

    I think they might have stolen it.

    Lorenzo says:

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