Deveci Tech is a company based in Istanbul, Turkey, that is developing an innovative piece of technology called ENLIL, named after the ancient Mesopotamian god of wind. It is a smart vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) that is able to turn the winds created by passing vehicles into electricity. It is intended to be strategically placed near roadsides and railway tracks. ENLIL also includes a solar panel as an added way to generate power.
Earlier this month, Deveci Tech recently won the first prize in the Technology category at the Mercedes-Benz Turkey startup competition.
Deveci Tech’s vertical wind turbine
The wind turbine has so far been tested on major roads in Istanbul. Deveci Tech claims that ENLIL can produce 1kW of energy per hour, which is enough to meet the power requirements of two homes. The device can also take measurements of air quality, humidity, CO2, and even earth tremors.
Deveci Tech’s device is known as a Darrieus wind turbine, a specific kind of VAWT formed by curved aerofoil blades fixed to an upright rotating shaft. This is different to the much more common type of wind turbine technology you’ll see, known as a horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT). ENLIL’s design allows it to utilise the maximum amount of wind energy.
The company wanted to be able to capture the energy that is generated by modern cities. However, Sam Tonge, a writer over at YouGen, says about the technology:
The design does raise a few questions. For example, could the close proximity of the turbine result in increased drag on larger vehicles such as buses and lorries? Some comments have even questioned whether turbulence created by vehicles even qualifies as renewable energy, but instead just increasing the efficiency of fuel spent by vehicles.
Deveci Tech has stated on its website that the ENLIL wind turbine is still in its developmental phase. Its design is still being tested and improved to ensure that the technology is as efficient and durable as possible.
The need for alternative sources of energy
With the global populating rapidly rising, the demand for energy is increasing day by day. Non-renewable sources of energy are running out, so continuing to rely on them is not a viable, long-term strategy. The benefit of the ENLIL wind turbine is that it offers a pollution-free alternative to the burning of gas, oil, and coal for the production of electricity.
Many people are using wind turbines in order to simultaneously reduce their energy costs and their impact on the climate. There are a number of reasons why homeowners could benefit from using VAHWs instead of HAWTs. Conserve Energy Future highlight:
- You can build your wind turbine close to the ground so if you do not have a suitable rooftop for placement, or if you live where there are hills, ridges, etc. that prohibit the flow of air, they work wonderfully for your needs.
- Since VAWT are mounted closer to the ground they make maintenance easier, reduce the construction costs, are more bird friendly and does not destroy the wildlife.
- You do not need any mechanisms in order to operate the wind turbine
- Lower wind startup speed.
- The main advantage of VAWT is it does not need to be pointed towards the wind to be effective. In other words, they can be used on the sites with high variable wind direction.
- You can use the wind turbine where tall structures are not allowed.
- VAWT’s are quiet, efficient, economical and perfect for residential energy production, especially in urban environments.
- They are cost effective when compared to the HAWTs. It is still best to shop around and check prices before making a purchase, however.
- Many of the turbines are resistant to many of the different weather elements that you may experience. It is imperative to choose a unit that offers this valuable protection and extra durability when you need it the most.
Nevertheless, there are some disadvantages to VAWTs, as Conserve Energy Future points out:
- Decreased level of efficiency when compared to the HAWT. The reason for the reduced amount of efficiency is usually due to the drag that occurs within the blades as they rotate.
- You are unable to take advantage of the wind speeds that occur at higher levels.
- VAWT’s are very difficult to erect on towers, which means they are installed on base, such as ground or building.
Overall, the benefits of VAWTs are wide-ranging and seem to outweigh their downsides. Cities around the world should certainly consider implementing the kind of technology being developed by Deveci Tech. We have untapped sources of energy that we can’t afford to waste.
About the author: Sam Woolfe @samwoolfe
Sam is a freelance writer who is particularly interested in space exploration, sustainability, tech, and agriculture.