residential rooftop solar

Could rooftop wind give rooftop solar a run for its money

Aeromine Technologies claims that its new rooftop bladeless wind energy unit provides the same amount of power as up to 16 rooftop solar panels. Could it become a game changer for generating clean energy on commercial buildings?

Aeromine Technologies says its motionless system, which was validated through joint research with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque and Texas Tech University, easily installs on the edge of a building and can generate up to 50% more energy at the same cost as rooftop solar. It’s designed to sit on buildings with flat roofs such as warehouses and distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, office buildings, multi-family residential developments, and big box retail.

The company says its patented rooftop wind product is currently being piloted by BASF Corporation – the largest chemical producer in the world – at BASF’s manufacturing plant in Wyandotte, Michigan.

Aeromine explains how its rooftop bladeless wind energy unit works:

  1. Aeromine is motionless. The technology leverages aerodynamics similar to airfoils on a race car to capture and amplify each building’s airflow. Requiring just 10% of the roof space needed by solar panels, the stationary, silent, and durable Aeromine unit generates around-the-clock energy in any weather.
  2. Aeromine systems consist of 20-40 units installed on the edge of a building facing the predominant wind direction. Designed to work seamlessly with a building’s existing electrical system, the combination of Aeromine’s wind solution with rooftop solar can generate up to 100% of a building’s onsite energy needs, while minimizing the need for energy storage.

It can also be paired with existing solar, so it isn’t necessary to disassemble already-installed solar panels to install the wind unit. The first thing I do when I come across innovations like this is look to see if there’s any commercial interest. If BASF is piloting this product, then that signals potential.

Aeromine Technologies’ rooftop wind unit is one I’ll be keeping an eye on. If it turns out to be a success, it could be scaled up and installed quickly on commercial buildings (as commercial rooftop) and residential buildings (as residential rooftop). The built environment generates nearly 50% of annual global CO2 emissions, according to Architecture 2030, so this solution is desperately needed.

The one thing that stuck in my craw about this company is its marketing pitch. In order to pump itself up, it talks about how its unit doesn’t kill birds in its press release, talks down other clean energy generators on its website, and CEO David Asarnow says that his company’s product mitigates “legacy constraints posed by spinning wind turbines and less efficient solar panels.” 

Mr. Asarnow, it’s neither necessary nor wise to use climate denier language to promote your product, which your company says is limited to commercial buildings anyway. It’s not like you’re going to float this on the sea or put it on household rooftops, so you’re not competing with offshore wind or utility-scale solar. Don’t feed the trolls. We need every clean energy tool we can get to reduce emissions.


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