Wind energy system installed on Eiffel TowerMarch 2, 2015
France’s iconic tower embraces more renewable energy.
Early last week, BusinessGreen reported that Urban Green Energy (UGE), an American-based firm specializing in onsite renewables, announced that it has successfully attached two wind energy turbines to the Eiffel Tower that have the capacity to generate 10,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity every year, which is equal to the amount of power that is used by the commercial areas located on the tower’s first floor.
The turbines are part of a high profile renovation project designed for the famous French structure.
UGE has said that its two vertical axis UGE VisionAIR5 turbines, are nearly silent and the turbines have been painted the same color as the tower to match the rest of it. The company also explained that the site selected for the wind blades was chosen strategically.
The turbines have been installed 400 feet above the ground so that they can benefit from the best winds that will maximize energy generation. This is particularly important because vertical axis wind turbines are typically not as powerful as traditional turbines. However the vertical axis variety has been purposely designed to function in urban areas where winds are not as predictable and can blow in several directions.
Wind energy is only one part of the massive project designed to make the tower “greener”.
In addition to the installation of wind turbines, the energy efficiency of the Eiffel Tower has also been improved with the installation of a more than 32 foot (10 meter) squared solar thermal array, which will provide about half of the hot water required by the site’s two pavilions. In addition to the solar array, LED lights and a rainwater recovery system has been added, as well as a heat pump system to provide heat to facilities.
The chief executive of UGE, Nick Blitterswyk, said about the wind energy project that “The Eiffel Tower is arguably the most renowned architectural icon in the world, and we are proud that our advanced technology was chosen as the tower commits to a more sustainable future.” He added that when visitors from across the globe see the turbines on the tower, “we get one step closer to a world powered by clean and reliable renewable energy.”