U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
First Large Building-Integrated Wind Turbines Spin in Bahrain
April 16, 2008
Three 225-kilowatt wind turbines mounted on the newly built Bahrain
World Trade Center spun in unison for the first time on April 8. The
achievement was a milestone for the world's first integration of
utility-scale wind turbines into a building. The turbines are mounted
on heavy bridges that span the gap between two sail-shaped buildings,
which are meant to help funnel the wind into the turbines. Each blade
is about 95 feet in diameter, and once fully operational, the wind
turbines are expected to operate roughly half of the time, generating
11%-15% of the building's energy needs. Atkins designed the building
and Norwin, a Danish company, supplied the wind turbines. During the
coming months, the turbines will undergo detailed analysis and
optimization by Norwin to determine their actual generating potential.
See the Atkins press release and
Web page on the
project, as well as the Norwin and Bahrain World Trade Center Web sites.
Most building-integrated wind turbines have been smaller wind turbines
mounted on the roofs of buildings. One current example is at the
Boston Logan International Airport, which will soon feature 20 wind
turbines mounted on the roof of the Logan Office Center. The
Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) is working with AeroVironment
and Groom Energy Solutions to install the wind turbines. Each wind turbine is six feet in diameter and can generate 1 kilowatt
of power, for a total of 20 kilowatts for the entire project. The wind turbines are expected
to supply about 2% of the building's energy needs. See the Massport press release and
AeroVironment Web site.
A European study published in 2005 examined the potential for such
building-integrated wind turbines in the United Kingdom. The study
recommended further research on the wind regime in urban areas and
around isolated buildings; the structural and noise implications of
mounting wind turbines onto a building; and the optimal design for
building-integrated wind turbines. The report also reviewed the
experience with building-integrated wind turbines. At the time of that
report, the largest such project involved the installation of three
16.4-foot wind turbines on the roof of a building. In contrast, the
wind turbines in the Bahrain World Trade Center are much larger and
are fully integrated into the design of the building. See the
118-page U.K. report (PDF 4 MB).
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