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Friday, March 20, 2015

The Eiffel Tower Just Got A Wind Turbine Makeover

When you start to think you can't retrofit your home or commercial building to incorporate renewable energy, remember we've done just that on some of the most renowned buildings in the world, including, as you see below,  the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.  So, get busy with that retrofit and enjoy the many benefits of clean energy.

The Eiffel Tower Just Got A Wind Turbine Makeover

As part of its first major retrofit in 30 years, two custom-designed wind turbines have started generating power for the Eiffel Tower. Located above the World Heritage Site’s second level, about 400 feet off the ground, the sculptural wind turbines are now producing 10,000 kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to the power used by the commercial areas of the Eiffel Tower’s first floor. The vertical axis turbines, which are capable of harnessing wind from any direction, were also given a custom paint job to further incorporate them into the iconic monument’s 1,000-foot frame. At the same time they bring the image of the 1889 tower firmly into the 21st Century.

“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,” said Nick Blitterswyk, CEO of Urban Green Energy (UGE), the U.S.-based distributed renewable energy company that installed the turbines. The publicity provided by the Tower’s seven million annual visitors might add some wind to the sails of the micro-turbine industry as well.

In addition to the wind turbines, the renovation includes energy efficient LED lighting, high-performance heat pumps, a rainwater recovery system, and 10 square meters of rooftop solar panels on the visitor pavilion.

There was no required renewable energy target for the Eiffel Tower’s facelift, but the project developers see it as a major landmark in Paris’ climate plan. The city’s plan aims for a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 25 percent drop in energy consumption, and for 25 percent of energy to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Paris is also host to the critical United Nations’ climate talks at the end of the year in which leaders hope to reach binding agreement to mitigate GHG emissions. The gathering is the most prominent global effort to confront climate change since the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks failed to reach an overarching consensus.

Last year UGE was awarded $77,000 by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of $1.3 million in grants aimed at reducing the cost of small and medium-sized wind energy systems. According to the DOE, the funding aims to assist U.S. manufacturers in improving their turbine designs and manufacturing processes, which will help reduce hardware costs and improve efficiency.

“Advancing efficient renewable energy technology is essential to combating climate change and mitigating its imminent threat,” said Scott Van Pelt, Director of Engineering at UGE. “NREL’s National Wind Technology Center and the support of regional testing centers have been instrumental in advancing distributed wind systems, which provide a carbon-free alternative to conventional generators.”


  1. “10,000kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to the power used by the commercial areas on the Eiffel Tower’s first floor.”
    No !! That’s just a silly misleading statement –
    The first floor includes a 130 seat conference venue with full catering, several Buffets, a 200 seat restaurant, a souvenir shop and exhibits about the history of the tower, open for 14hrs/day, with ~ 19,000 visitors / day.
    The VisionAIR5 Turbine Max Generator UL Rated = 3.2 kW; Average output = 2.5 kW
    If we accept the turbines WILL produce 10,000kWh/yr,
    The tower is open 365 day x 14.5hrs =5,292 hrs/yr
    Therefore 10,000kWh/yr ÷ 5,292 hrs/yr = 1.88kW,
    (that’s less than a kettle - OR - a microwave - OR - one hand dryer in one of the toilets)
    The windmills will provide only 0.15% of the electricity necessary for the tower’s annual consumption.
    The Eiffel Tower consumes 7.8 million kWh of electricity per year (the equivalent of a small village), including
    580,000 kWh for all its lights and 705,000 kWh of heating and air conditioning are also required every year, + cooking , 9 lifts & water pumps for 60,000 m3 of drinking water, etc. The monument also uses 20,000 lamps‘to make it sparkle every night’, for 10 minutes on the hour.
    Even Jan Gromadzki, an engineer with the New York-based Urban Green Technology (the company was tasked with designing and installing the turbines), admits “It’s just a small drop in the ocean.” “This installation is definitely more symbolic,”
    Read more: http://thelibertarianrepublic....
    Do the maths….You would need 1,560 of these units to power the tower….IF the wind was blowing!!

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