Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Oliver Hihn)

Since the beginning of the year, there has been talk about the great success of renewable energy sources in 2023, with wind energy being the most used one. However, since last year’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28) set the goal of tripling the use of this type of energy by 2030, the representation of renewable sources must be significantly improved. One of the guidelines for doing so includes constant technology innovation which is very important. Developing technology improves many aspects – from easier installation, lower prices to more efficient operation and less negative impact on nature.

One such innovative solution was offered by the startup called Katrick Technologies, which has devised technology that produces electricity using wind, but not in the same way as conventional wind farms do. While conventional method of electricity generation involves rotation, the new technology generates energy using oscillating blades.

This is possible at low altitudes and thanks to the oscillating wings, the technology reacts to current changes in wind speed that occur closer to the ground surface. On the other hand, rotary movements work better at higher altitudes, say over 10 metres, where there is a laminar flow of wind, i.e. the calmer jet stream.

The technology works in such a way that the kinetic energy of the wind is converted into mechanical oscillations, which are then converted into electrical energy. Capturing large amounts of kinetic energy is possible due to the relatively large working surface and its density. Each device has six oscillating wings.

These devices can be placed in a variety of places, from flat surfaces on top of buildings to places like roads. The startup showed by example that if the devices are placed on the side of the road on a length of just one kilometre, they can charge 80,000 90kW Tesla cars or power 760 homes every year.

One of their advantages is precisely their design, making them suitable for urban areas, where it is not possible to build a conventional wind farm. The flexibility of the installation is also a great advantage because they can be placed at different angles, so that at any moment, a change in wind direction can be captured. This also makes it easier to obtain consent for their installation.

When it comes to conventional wind farms, they are often criticized for the danger they can pose to wildlife, especially birds. This is why this kind of solution is important because it reduces the risk for wild animals and has a minimal impact on the environment.

This doesn’t apply only to wind energy, but also to other renewable sources as they are often criticized for their impact on nature. Although on the one hand, they contribute to its protection through the reduction of emissions produced by traditional electricity generation methods, there is still room for their improvement. That’s why every good innovation that takes this aspect into account is something to be happy about.

Katarina Vuinac