Is it possible to camouflage a wind turbine against the skyline using only light? Taís Mauk, a senior studying Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design, explores this idea by simulating the silhouette of a 500 ft. wind turbine using a 5 ft. proof of concept model.
Massive resistance by coastal populations has brought controversy and slowed the development of wind power. Their major concern is the visual impact of the huge wind turbines on the skyline. If a technical solution to disguise and minimize the turbines silhouette was possible, this could allow for faster approval and wider rollout of this sorely needed renewable energy source for the fast growing population.
The proposed surface treatment is inspired by experiments in WWII, when the Allies hung lights on their tanks to obscure the outline. Controlled by on-shore cameras, a grid of LED lights are programmed to match the background illumination value of the sky.
The illuminated adaptive camouflage solution substantially reduces the visual silhouette of offshore wind turbines.
LEDs are partially embedded into the carbon fiber and aluminum structure at the same level as the blade to recreate the existing aerodynamic surface. Electricity is transferred by induction currents preventing through-holes in the blade.
If you’d like more information regarding this project, or to schedule an interview with Taís Mauk, please call (415) 794.7050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Patent pending.