A new bladeless wind energy unit, patented by Aeromine Technologies, is tackling the challenge of competing with rooftop solar as a local source of clean energy that can be integrated with the built environment. The scalable, “motionless” wind energy unit can produce 50% more energy than rooftop solar at the same cost, said the company.
The technology leverages aerodynamics similar to airfoils in a race car to capture and amplify each building’s airflow. The unit requires about 10% of the space required by solar panels and generates round-the-clock energy. Aeromine said unlike conventional wind turbines that are noisy, visually intrusive, and dangerous to migratory birds, the patented system is motionless and virtually silent.
An Aeromine system typically consists of 20 to 40 units installed on the edge of a building facing the predominant wind direction. The company said the unit can minimize energy storage capacity needed to meet a building’s energy needs, producing energy in all weather conditions. With a small footprint on the roof, the unit can be combined with rooftop solar, providing a new tool in the toolkit for decarbonization and energy independence.
Buildings and the built environment account for nearly 50% of all carbon emissions globally, according to Architecture 2030. Building operations contributes about 27% of emissions, while buildings materials and construction, and other construction industry energy use are estimated to account for another 20%. This represents an opportunity for buildings to be made more efficiently, and to adopt innovative technologies to generate emissions-free electricity.
“This is a game-changer adding new value to the fast-growing rooftop power generation market, helping corporations meet their resilience and sustainability goals with an untapped distributed renewable energy source,” said Aeromine CEO David Asarnow. “Aeromine’s proprietary technology brings the performance of wind energy to the onsite generation market, mitigating legacy constraints posed by spinning wind turbines and less efficient solar panels.”
BASF Corporation is currently testing the Aeromine system at a manufacturing plant in Wyandotte, Michigan. The patented technology was validated through joint research with Sandia National Laboratories and Texas Tech University.