MNN Galleries

9 ingenious wind turbine designs

Grimshaw Aerogenerator

Photo: Grimshaw Architects

2 of 11

Grimshaw Aerogenerator

This antennae-looking turbine appears more like a radio beacon for contacting space aliens than a way of generating power from wind. Nevertheless, this unexpected design by Grimshaw Architects has the potential to generate roughly three times more power than a conventional offshore turbine of equivalent size.

The Aerogenerator uses a rotating vertical shaft, as opposed to the horizontal shafts of more familiar windmill designs. This simple conceptual adjustment has a number of advantages. First, it removes the need for the turbine to always be facing into the wind; gusts coming from any direction can cause it to spin. Secondly, it makes the turbine more cost effective to maintain and repair, since the gear boxes are located at ground level rather than at the top of a tower.

Check out a video animation of an offshore Aerogenerator in action here.