The mainstream wind establishment has a hard time getting excited about vertical turbines - they've been around for too long without a major market breakthrough. But right now it's a bit of the big wind versus little wind question. Vertical wind turbines can have some noise-cutting, cost-cutting and reliability advantages over traditional spinning windmills and may be perfect for in-city wind electricity generation, as well as personal backyard installations. And Ericsson must think vertical has promise, too, as yesterday they announced they are going to try running their award-winning Tower Tube cell towers with Swedish-based Vertical Wind's four-bladed rotating turbine.

Traditional turbines versus vertical whirligigs

Ericsson's move is probably a smart one - the towers have won awards because they are aesthetically more pleasing than traditional cell phone base stations, and they use less materials and less energy than older stations. The effort to make stations run on both solar technology and wind power is an added benefit, especially in the developing world.


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