A wind turbine, one of those we can see on the fields we pass by while on a train or a bike, has a useful life of 20–25 years. After a life spent producing eolic energy for our electric systems, an 85-90% of each one can be recycled. Some of their components can be used to other purposes as well.
In some European countries such as Germany, Spain and Denmark, there are wind farms where turbines are already being exchanged for newer ones. This raises a doubt – what to do with the gargantuan old blades, weighing about 1400 Kg each. They are made with fiberglass, carbon fiber, resin and difficult-to-recycle materials.
As you may already know, Denmark is one of the countries where urban cycling is totally common. Bikes are the main means of transport in cities, and everyone from children to aged people are used to cycling every day. Moreover, Denmark produces half of the energy it consumes through wind turbines. Joining bikes and turbines together, they have come up with an ingenious solution – after a 25-year life, turbines are being used as covers for bike parking racks.
As simply as that, they give a new use to a hard-to recycle material and also protect parked bikes against rain and sunlight.
Everything happened thanks to an initiative by the Danish government, which held a public contest in order to find new ways to use the blades. Among the different projects submitted, Re-Wind’s one, the one that imagined them as protection for bike racks, was the winner.
¿En tu ciudad hay algo parecido? ¿Tu ayuntamiento apuesta por la reutilización de materiales o estructuras para darles Is there anything similar where you live? Does your town hall bet on re-using or recycling structures? Leave us a comment if that’s the case!
Pictures by: Siemens Gamesa, Chris Yelland & Luo Lei