As the climate crisis unfolds before our very eyes, scientists, engineers, and conservators are doing everything they can to protect the planet or whatever is left of it. One environmental innovation that is gradually taking shape is the Windcatcher technology.
If this technology works as well as planned, it has the potential to revolutionize energy generation as we know it. The inventor, Asbjørn Nes, believes that Windcatchers may become a regular sight not only in Norway and Europe but the rest of the world in the coming years.
Bigger than the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Windcatchers are very big. In short, they are bigger than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. They literally entrap wind on a massive scale and convert it into electricity for onward distribution to homes, near and far. The current problems associated with wind technology have given rise to the need to find an efficient substitute.
Problems with Wind Farms
A lot has been invested into renewable energy, and one of the greatest beneficiaries of increased investment has been wind turbines. Although these turbines cannot generate as much power as fossilized fuel, they serve as close substitutes. However, there are challenges associated with wind farms or wind turbines, as they are sometimes called.
Their power can oftentimes be intermittent, hard to access or very expensive, or a combination of all three. As of 2019, Wind provided only 5% of the global power supply, and there are signs that this will increase.
However, they come with their own unique challenges. For example, the operation and maintenance cost can range from 25%-30% of the total cost of the technology all through its lifecycle. This cost alone is quite prohibitive, and many homeowners and even small businesses can’t afford such exorbitant costs.
Windcatchers of Norway
In terms of costs, Windcatchers hold a certain advantage. They do not require specialized vessels, only elevator systems. So, the need for special maintenance tools is unnecessary, which further reduces the maintenance cost. In addition, Mr.Karlsen has championed the potential of Asbjørn’s design as a major breakthrough in the pursuit of renewable energy.
Windcatchers can spin faster than Wind Vanes. According to estimates, they can spin faster by 17 or 18 rpm per second, faster than any wind vane. Furthermore, the rotors are much smaller and more efficient, so they can generate more power under higher winds. Users can also avoid the challenges of wind vanes called the Wake Effect, among other general concerns.
Windcatchers will require a lot of ground space due to their immense size, but the energy volumes they will produce will more than compensate for the space they consume. And we only hope that they perform as well as they should. If they do, we may begin to see lots of Windcatchers erected in windy regions all over the world.