Wolt: An innovative project to harness wind energy in vineyards


With all the talk about renewable energy doing rounds, there is a new project that claims to produce clean and green wind power. According to this new invention, electric power can now be harnessed in vineyards which are generally used only for manufacturing wines and bubbly. This is a really good use for a resource that otherwise stays unexploited when wines are not being manufactured. An excellent news for all wine businesses and vineyards out there as it gives them a chance to earn extra revenues and become self reliant power generators. A highly efficient and enduring technology, it requires minimal investment and resources.

The technology applied

The Humdinger Windbelt Technology principal has been used here. Usually wind energy is harvested with wind turbines which have a rotor slotted in. But in this method a slightly different mechanism has been used to generate wind power. The system makes use of wind oscillated bands to produce power. The contraptions used for power generation are affixed to posts around the vineyard. Some are also fastened together above the ground. All elements used are hard wearing and the set up will last long.

The good news

This system will help to conserve energy as power generated is more than that required for wine production. This is excellent news considering all the brouhaha about the impending energy crisis. It will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and power grids. What is even more wonderful is the fact that the set up doesn’t require too much investment. You are utilizing an infrastructure that already exists; only some additional apparatus is added to it. This means cost of production decreases and electricity is generated is quite cheap. Also, it puts to use productive resources that were otherwise left vacant. After wine is manufactured, the vineyards are practically left idle for the rest of the year. Utilizing them for wind power generation is a brilliant idea that exploits a resource that was going waste.

Where the inspiration came from

This is a great move towards decentralization of power generation. Also, the cost involved in the distribution of power is done away with. The motivation behind the finding was to come up with a technology that is economical and proficient – something that will bring about self sustenance. Most wind power projects are developed on a large scale but this was a power generation attempt on a grass root level. The idea of building such a project on the micro level was taken from the field of ‘Micro Energy Harvesting’ or ‘Kleinvieh macht auch Strom’, its German translation.

How the basic premise was adapted

The challenge was designing a mechanism on the concept of micro energy harvesting. It would have to be a system that worked in vineyards. This required exhaustive research on the concept and the basic design and functioning of vineyards was also studied in depth. The designer then had to work on various aspects like installation, operation, maintenance, regulation and output capacity of the proposed experiment. A design was then finalized that fitted right into the settings of the vineyard without any need for a modification in its natural layout. Dubbed as ‘Wolt’, this is a radical move towards decentralization of power generation. This outstanding design was an entry at the James Dyson awards also.

Via: James Dyson Awards

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