Energy from wind is the fastest growing source of electricity in the world. While much of this wind power production has taken place on a large scale utilizing turbines that are as tall as five-story buildings and often criticized for being noisy and obtrusive, several new companies have focused on developing small, backyard suitable turbines that could produce as much as half of the average home’s power needs per year.
The key is to design turbines that are productive in less than optimal wind conditions. Large commercial turbines typically need winds of at least 22mph to produce energy – a level of wind that is not typically present in the average backyard. That’s where the whimsically designed Wind Tree comes into play. Developed by New Wind, the Wind Tree can consistently produce electricity in winds as light as 5mph.
New Wind was founded in 2011 and created its first prototype in 2013. After working through several possible iterations, the company settled on a “seemingly chaotic” arrangement of leaf-turbines on each branch. The latest design is just under 30 feet tall and 23 feet wide, sporting a total of 54 leaf-turbines that can capture up to 5.4 kilowatts of energy at a time and produce around 2,400 kWh annually.
Available in several different color options, it might just be the coolest way ever to charge your Tesla.
Photos courtesy of New Wind