• 2 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 5 minutes Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman
  • 8 minutes CNN:America's oil boom will break more records this year. OPEC is stuck in retreat
  • 3 hours Here We Go: New York Lawmakers Pass Aggressive Law To Fight Climate Change
  • 2 hours Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Completely Destroy their Economy. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 5 hours The Inconvenient Truth Of Electric Cars
  • 1 hour Oil Demand Needs to Halve: Equinor
  • 15 hours Win Against Tyranny: Turkey's Opposition Strikes Blow To Erdogan With Istanbul Mayoral Win
  • 5 hours Ireland To Ban New Petrol And Diesel Vehicles From 2030
  • 6 hours NATO Article 5: Attack on one member is attack on all. Members all must come to defense . . . NOT facilitate financial transactions to circumvent and foil US Sanctions. Somebody please tell Angela.
  • 14 hours Green vs. Coal: Bavaria Seeks Fast-Track German Coal Exit in Snub to Merkel Plan
  • 3 hours Magic of Shale: EXPORTS!! Crude Exporters Navigate Gulf Coast Terminal Constraints
  • 2 hours The Plastics Problem
  • 2 hours Hydrogen FTW... Some Day
  • 5 hours Is $60/Bbl WTI still considered a break even for Shale Oil
  • 1 min Solar Panels at 26 cents per watt
  • 6 hours Wonders of Shale - Gas, bringing investments and jobs to the US
  • 1 hour Section 232 Uranium
U.S. Utilities Boost Production But See Profits Drop

U.S. Utilities Boost Production But See Profits Drop

The U.S. Electric Industry churned…

James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

The Hairy Building that Produces Clean Energy

The Söder Torn is one of the tallest buildings on the island of Södermalm, and a land mark in the city of Stockholm. Completed in 1997 it is actually several stories shorter than its architect, Henning Larsen, had originally planned, but a new retrofit aims to rectify this.

Belatchew, a firm of architects based in Stockholm, has proposed adding an additional 14 floors to the tower to bring it closer to Larsen’s vision; but more importantly, they have also suggested that the tower be covered in millions of piezo-electric straws which could collect energy from movements in the air and convert it into clean energy for the building.

The tower, now nicknamed “the Strawscaper” would be turned into a renewable energy, urban powerplant. The piezo-electric straws would sway around and vibrate in the wind, and the kinetic energy would be converted into usable electricity.

Hairy Building
Image from Belatchew.

Related article: 2014 Expected to be a Bumper Year for Wind

Belatchew believes that their idea offers a clever way to turn static buildings in cities into effective sources of energy generation, whilst at the same time using a form of wind energy generation would be less harmful to birds, and more pleasing to look at than conventional wind turbines.

Unfortunately, as nice as the idea may seem on paper, reality awaits in the shadows with some poignant questions, such as; how can the millions of piezo-electric straws be cleaned? Because they will quickly trap dirt and debris, as the tower effectively acts as a giant feather duster. And how much noise will the swaying millions of straws make on a windy day? I think people would be rather put off by the idea if it turned the entire tower into a deafening source of cacophonous noise.

Then there is the fact that as of yet piezo-electric devices are not very efficient, however research is still ongoing, so hairy buildings may well become a common site in a few years or so.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Jack Parsons on May 27 2013 said:
    About dirt&debris;: is it possible to maintain a static charge and keep fluff off? More important is oily and other sticky pollutants. And soot: it will quickly become not white. And the first rain after awhile will be a shock. I'm in Cali where we go months without rain. This would never make it here.

    What happens when they break off? When the wind is too strong? With global warming weather will be more extreme everywhere, and that includes windstorms.
  • evodevo on May 24 2013 said:
    Yeah - power-washer should take care of the dirt problem. I'm just wondering how you keep them from hitting each other while they are waving around.
  • Curtis on May 23 2013 said:
    This can serve as a political prognosticator, ie "straw in the wind".
  • bdy1 on May 23 2013 said:
    Uh, two guys on an exterior lift clean it with a bucket of soap and water . . . kinda like windows, only without the squeegees . . . ya know, we wash things . . .

    Oh, and uh, "deafening, cacophonous noise?" Really? In the middle of town? You really think all those light-weight strands waving in unison is going to drown out traffic? Flag-strings on a windy day, at worst.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News