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Rooftop and Urban Wind

September 5, 2007
Paul Gipe

Cleveland's Urban Wind Turbine


Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center installed a 225 kW Vestas V27 wind turbine in 2006 on the city's harbor front between the Cleveland Brown's football stadium and the science museum. The V27 is no longer manufactured and this unit was bought used and then reconditioned. The Science Center has done an excellent job of installing the turbine to maximize its aesthetic appearance and the unit provides a dramatic visual attraction on the city's harbor front skyline. (Cleveland fronts onto the south shore of Lake Erie.)

Cleveland's urban wind turbine joins a limited number of such wind turbines in the Anglophone world: Wellington New Zealand's V27 overlooking Wellington Harbor, Toronto's WindShare turbine on Lake Ontario, and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' Fuhrländer turbine in Boston. These are all real urban wind turbines--and they work.

Much talk surrounding "urban wind" deals with small, rooftop wind turbines. These urban turbines seldom perform as advertised.

Of course, there are many real urban wind turbines in Europe, delivering real power.

Cleveland Science Center Ohio Cleveland Science Center Ohio

Vestas V27 at Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center.

Vestas V27 at Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center. Cleveland Brown's football stadium in the background.

Cleveland Science Center Ohio Cleveland Science Center Ohio

Vestas V27 at Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center. Repeating architectural element using the wind turbine's shadow. At the solstice the turbine's shadow meets the concrete "shadow" on the lawn.

Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center memorial plaque celebrating "Wind Works", the architectural use of the wind turbine.


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