"Vertical wind turbines are a bit more compact and aesthetically pleasing."
As fossil fuel reserves are depleting, the need for sustainable energy is greater than ever. Seven students from the Aeronautical Engineering programme at Inholland Delft decided to tackle this problem, and developed a vertical wind turbine to generate energy for offices and apartment buildings.
The minds behind the GOWind systems project, Simon Blomme, Sam Camphyn, Sven Geres, Kim Johnson, Ruby Jane Krikke, Casper Linsen and Maria Smirnova, developed a prototype that shows how they intend to supply people in modern society with sustainable energy. During their preliminary research, they found that a quarter of the European population live in flats where traditional sustainable energy equipment such as solar panels cannot be used. The same goes for certain office buildings. To solve this problem, the students invented a wind turbine that can be attached to the sides of buildings and generate sustainable energy.
'We developed various concepts to find the most efficient design for our prototype, and we had to take into account the architecture of the buildings, for instance. That's why we decided on a vertical wind turbine, as they're a bit more compact and aesthetically pleasing', Sven says. Contrary to what you would find on existing wind turbines, the students developed a formwork for their prototype that would allow them to optimally harness the wind speed. 'Our goals is to allow people to live in a more sustainable way, and save money in the long run.'
The enterprising students calculated the lifespan of their prototype and consulted a professor at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), among others, in order to map out the pros and cons of their design. 'At the moment, our wind turbine is still in the development stage. We're taking the opportunity to refine our prototype and lengthen its profitable period. There are various techniques for wind energy and blades for the formwork.'
Despite the fact that the project is still in its infancy, the students have already piqued the interest of an international company that specialises in green innovations. The Climate-Kic company has offered to further develop our prototype.' The students are currently considering that proposal.
Read about the other projects that have been nominated for the Wij Inholland award 2017.