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Bridges and viaducts might incorporate wind turbines

03 July 2015

Wind turbines could be installed under some of the biggest bridges on the road network to produce electricity, according to a European research team.

Artist's impression of two identical wind turbines installed in a viaduct (courtesy of José Antonio Peñas/Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas - SINC)

The Juncal Viaduct, in Gran Canaria, has served as a reference for Spanish and British researchers to verify that the wind blowing between the pillars of this kind of infrastructure can generate electrical energy via wind turbines.

The study is based on models and computer simulations, which were carried out by researcher Oscar Soto and his colleagues at Kingston University (London). Soto believes that configurations with two identical medium-sized turbines would provide optimum energy generation when installed in viaducts.

Results confirm that each viaduct presents specific energy possibilities and wind potential. In the Juncal Viaduct case, the calculated power is about 0.25MW per wind turbine - equivalent to 450-500 homes average consumption.

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