Eiffel Tower’s Green Makeover is the talk of the town. The City of Light’s famous icon gets a green makeover in the form of twin- Vertical Axis Wind turbines. The 126-year-old Eiffel Tower has a pair of VisionAIR5 wind turbines, installed inside the scaffolding on the second floor. The turbines are a part of a $33.6 million renovation plan for the Eiffel Tower.
The wind turbines for the Eiffel Tower’s Green Makeover have been designed and installed by the New York-based Urban Green Energy (UGE) . The curved, tri-blade turbines are capable of producing 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. But this is nothing when compared to the Eiffel Tower’s annual consumption of 6.7 Gigawatt hours!
The 17 foot, 1600 pound structures with crescent shaped blades have been installed in the south-west corner of the second floor, overlooking the Champ de Mas, 400 feet off the ground. The energy produced by the turbines will be sufficient to support the entire first floor which also includes souvenir shops and restaurants.
The sleek, silent and durable wind turbines are claimed to have a life of 20 years. Low blade tip speed and revolutions per minute (rpm) makes sure that these wind turbines produce only about 40 decibels of sound ( equivalent to that of a whisper). UGE painted the turbines in a brown-grey hue to match the Eiffel Tower’s frame.
When the turbines are moving, they are visible from the Trocadero square, which offers a direct view of the tower. But from the ground they are hardly visible against the tower’s lattice structure. According to the manufacturer UGE, the turbine blades are capable of capturing wind from all directions.
The whole installation procedure for Eiffel Tower’s Green Makeover did hand UGE some unique challenges, though. The Eiffel Tower is open to the public till 11 PM, 7 days a week. Also, cranes aren’t permitted in the Eiffel Tower. This meant that each blade had to be hoisted by hand and pulley up to the second floor and secured within the building’s tight lattice structure.
The entire installation procedure had to be carried out at night. The turbine blades are only accessible through a restricted staircase. In addition to the turbines, in a move to reduce the environmental impact, the Eiffel Tower is also to be soon upgraded with a rainwater collection system, LED lights and solar panels to heat half of the hot water it needs. Go Green!
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