‘Tulip Turbines’ Cut Space, Need Less Wind; ‘Ideal For India’, Says Anand Mahindra

tulip wind turbine

Flower Turbines has innovated ‘eco-art’ in the form of ‘Tulip Turbines’, which are low-cost and take less space, but generate more power. Anand Mahindra took to Twitter to say this innovation could be what India needs.

When travelling through the outskirts of Rajasthan or Tamil Nadu, one can spot windmills spread across acres of land. Even though wind farms are a great alternative to hydro or solar electricity, they require a lot of money and space.

This is why Indian businessman Anand Mahindra wrote on Twitter, “I often wondered how massive allocations of land (and air, given their height) for traditional turbines would be sustainable.”

With this, he shared a video of an innovation of tulip-shaped wind turbines, which “take up less space and produce more electricity even during times of less wind”. These are ‘eco-art’ turbines developed by Flower Turbines, a collective based in the UN and Netherlands. 

Flower Turbines has installations across Rotterdam, Amsterdam, parts of Germany, Israel and Colombia. “The company aims to democratise green energy for everyone and make small wind farms a leading player in the green energy industry,” reports The Guardian.

How does it work? 

While traditional wind turbines are giant spinning metal blades that often produce loud clanking noise, these tulip turbines are colourfully designed in the shape of the flower’s petals. 

The video says, “Two vertical blades can produce clean energy from any direction. Wind, even if at a lower speed, enters the turbines and then hits both blades at the same time. The horizontal ribs reduce turbulation and increase efficiency as well as allow the turbines to produce more energy.”

These turbines can be installed anywhere, from houses to parking spaces and offices to shopping malls. Unlike traditional wind turbines, these require no tall towers and wide vacant spaces. 

Moreover, a traditional wind turbine requires up to 80 acres of land and has complicated installation procedures. Most of these mills are found in rural suburbs as the massive blades can prove dangerous in an urban area.

“For India, tulip turbines are ideal – lower cost, lower space and useful in both urban/rural settings,” tweeted Mahindra.

If there is sufficient wind, the tulip turbines are said to produce more energy than solar or traditional windmills. 

Tulip turbines can also be placed close together in clusters just like the petals of the flower, without affecting the turbulence. 

Other than the technological benefits, tulip turbines are a sustainable alternative in many ways. “It causes no danger to birds and other wildlife, particularly in urban areas. They also create noise at a low frequency undetectable to humans,” reports The Guardian.

“Big turbines definitely produce noise, flicker and some degree of environmental degradation. I was looking for a way to solve these problems, to make wind energy available for everybody. I felt that there had to be a missing solution that would work for the combination of houses, large buildings, and the environment — close to people. In other words, how could you make something that could be quiet but also efficient?” asks the CEO of Flower Turbines.

The turbine has not yet entered the Indian market, but as Mahindra says, it seems like a great option, given the population, pollution, and greater need for energy sources. 

Sources:
Flower power: how one company is beautifying the wind turbine, published by The Guardian on 2 June 2021.
Watch: Anand Mahindra shares video of innovative wind turbines says, ‘Ideal for India’, published by LiveMint on 22 October 2022.
3 Innovations For A Cleaner Environment You Never Heard Of, published by 1 October 2022.

Edited by Divya Sethu; Feature image credits: Instagram/Flower Turbines

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