New motionless tech harnesses wind energy from rooftops – Freethink

by | Oct 21, 2022 | Energy

A new motionless wind energy system promises to increase the amount of renewable energy generated from rooftops — helping us meet our goal of a future free of fossil fuels. The challenge: Electricity and heat are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, so transitioning those sectors to renewables, such as wind and solar, is key to combating climate change, and this transition doesn’t just have to happen at the utility scale, either.Thanks to a steady decrease in the price of solar panels, rooftop solar installations are on the rise in the US. But because the sun doesn’t always shine and batteries are expensive, most solar-powered buildings end up pulling electricity from the grid, too, continuing our dependence on fossil fuels.Electricity and heat are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.Wind turbines can generate electricity at night and in cloudy conditions, making them well suited to complement solar tech. But small turbines can’t generate much power, and large ones are better suited to open plains, hills, or the ocean than residential rooftops. “When it comes to residential, most areas have limits of towers you can install on your house or something, so you can’t really get a turbine up very high,” Matthew Lackner, director of the University of Massachusetts’ Wind Energy Center, who wasn’t involved in the development of the new system, told Popular Science in May. The idea: University of Houston spinoff Aeromine Technologies has developed a rooftop wind energy system that’s more compact than a typical turbine and works with wind speeds as low as 5 miles per hour — traditional small turbines require average wind speeds of at least 9 mph.One Aeromine unit can generate as much power as an array of 16 solar panels while taking up 10% of the roof space, and when manufactured at scale, the system c …

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