A visualization of X-Wind’s vertical-axis wind turbines placed next to a road. The turbines could provide a renewable energy source to electric railways and in other places where there is limited access or restricted space. (Source: X-Wind)
Certainly a great idea. I wonder about the return on investment. It looks like the article says they will need a turbine every 100m, so that's quite a few turbines on the average commuter rail. Let us know how the five turbine trial goes.
That is amazing Battar. Are these environmentalists proposing an alternate effective solution? One often finds that people jump on a bandwagon without understanding the ramifications. A classic example is the closing of slaughterhouses in the United States. Celebrities and animal lovers across the country jumped on that bandwagon. However, none of them offered to take in the unwanted horses that would result. I am a life long horse lover and I find it heartbreaking that these animals who would have been slaughtered humanely are now being crammed in horrendous conditions in trailers and hauled across the border to be slaughtered where there is no regulations for humane treatment of animals, or the horses that are being slowly starved by people unable to afford to feed them. On the face of it, slaughterhouses sound horrible, but however unfortunate it is that there are unwanted horses in the world, slaughterhouses serve a real purpose. I know this seems off topic but not really - it frustrates me when people protest something with promise like using wind power, without thinking through all of the ramifications. Some people object first and don't even bother to ask questions and that is a shame.
I have read articles by environmentalists campaigning against wind turbines ( kills birds, blocks the view, makes a noise). I have read articles by environmentalists campaigning against electric railways (ELF radiation, blocks the view). So the biggest hurdle is to get this technology past the "greens" - who, in my corner of the world, object first and ask questions afterwards.
I think this is a great idea if it's economically feasible and it works to develop and deploy these windmills to power infrastructure like trains that use so much electricity. I also think X-Wind's design vision is quite future forward in their care to eliminate noise and impact on the environment. Now if the subways could also be powered by renewables somehow, or perhaps even energy harvesting, that would be even better.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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