Horizontal Wind Turbines: Move With Wind Power

Posted: June 20, 2008 in Man Made Marvels

An Arizona State University student has proposed a very novel way of re-capturing some of the energy expended by vehicles moving at high speeds on our nations highways. We all know how much air turbulence is generated by vehicles moving at speed particularly trucks.

The proposal would involve mounting horizontal wind turbines above the roadway that would be driven by the moving air generated by the passing traffic. The electricity generated by spinning these turbines could be fed back into the grid. Joe’s analysis indicates that based on vehicle speeds of 70 mph each turbine could produce 9,600kWh per year.


The wind turbines shown in the proposal are of a quiet running type. Certainly in many built up areas there is enough constant traffic volume to maintain a steady airflow through much of the day. The big question that needs to be answered is whether the nature of the turbulent airflow could keep the turbines turning. If a turbine could be optimized to work in that environment it seems like it might be a very worthwhile investment. It’s certainly deserving of further investigation.

Courtesy: an e-mail forward.. 😉

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Comments
  1. buildingturbines says:

    We are engineering horizontal wind turbines for building rooftops. Would this turbine work on roof tops? Do you think our turbine would work on highways? Thanks,
    info@buildingturbines.com

  2. Gangadhar says:

    I doubt about these turbines working on roof top but yes, i believe they work on highways..

  3. Jack Don says:

    This is a “FABULOUS” idea and hope to see these in extensive use in my lifetime!! JDon

  4. buildingturbines says:

    Gangadhar, why not on rooftops? Our 5th prototype has been spinning on our rooftop for about 3 months, looks the same as it did the day we installed it. We have been logging the output and other variables required for permitting so that the turbine will be eligable for rebates and government incentives.

    Our local utility company (Austin Energy) does not YET offer rebates for any type of wind turbines. We have been working with them and hope that our model is the first to get approved.

    Back to my question, for what reasons do you think that the turbine would work better on highway than on top of a roof where the wind is amplified from the updraft wind? The building structure is actually part of the turbine.

    We have a blog on wordpress as well as a website.
    http://buildingturbines.com/wordpress.com
    http://buildingturbines.com

    Thanks for checking it out and giving us your opinion. The faster we get on the market the sooner we start using less power!

    info@buildingturbines.com
    512.206.4204

    Fair Winds,
    JR Graham

    • Gangadhar says:

      Graham, first of all, sorry for late reply. The only reason which made me say ‘I doubt’ is the building structure. And yes, as pointed out by you, if the structure is inclined towards installing these turbines on roof top of a building, then why not? It should work as good as we expect it to. 🙂

      And thanks for sharing those links, they look pretty interesting.

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