Alongside the advent of rooftop solar panels, we think it’d be amazing to see more parts of the home generate clean electricity. Breakthroughs in cost and technology are helping pave the way for such innovations. One of the most intriguing and delightful that we’ve seen recently is called the Wind Turbine Wall, and it’s a large wall-shaped structure, almost like a stylized fence or backdrop.
Filled with spinning blades, the kinetic machine is more like a sculpture than a power generator, but that’s what makes it so fascinating. This aesthetically pleasing design means that homeowners could capture clean power while keeping the look of their home’s uncluttered and beautiful. The work of Joe Doucet and Partners, we love both the function and design, which we imagine could usher in a new type of eco-friendly architecture.
Doucet even imagines this wall concept being scaled up, replacing highway fencing and retaining walls, creating energy-positive structures in their place.
“Wind energy has played a key role in helping national grids around the world reduce dependence on fossil fuels to generate energy, but wind turbines for the home have encountered very slow uptake due, in part, to their intrusive physicality.
Designed to be as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional, this “kinetic wall” is made up of an array of rotary blades that spin individually, driving a mini generator that creates electricity. The electricity is utilized in the home or business, can be stored in a wall-mounted battery, or can even be fed back into the national grid to provide revenue for the owner.”
Doucet has built a prototype for a single spinning rod and run simulations based on that. The average annual electricity consumption for an American home uses a little over 10,000 kilowatt-hours per year. One of these walls would be enough. But where Doucet sees true potential is in larger-scale commercial buildings and even cities. “Instead of the typical retaining walls along roads and freeways, you’d have an array of these,” says Doucet, who says he’s in conversation with several manufacturers to help him bring the product to market. “With the added wind boost from trucks, our highways could take care of all our energy needs.”