Sycamore seeds, also sometimes called helicopter seeds, rotate in the wind after being released from trees, and glide down to earth. A wind power company is using the model of a sycamore seed to design a huge wind power turbine intended to generate 10 megawatts of energy. Depending on a number of factors, a megawatt can power between 500 and 1,000 homes.
The spinning sycamore seed design is being undertaken by a British firm for an offshore wind turbine with nearly 275 meters between the tips of the wings. The very long wings are attached to a circular base, which rotates about three times a minute. Researchers hope the unusual design can be also built to generate up to 20 megawatts from a single turbine. Conventional turbines can be built to great heights to generate more power, but the extra weight makes building and stabilizing them more difficult.
A recent article reported that the UK needs to invest 30 billion pounds in offshore wind farms over the next decade in order to be in compliance with the target of 30 percent of electricity from renewable energy.
In the seed dispersal video below, the sycamore seeds start at about 3:14.
Image Credit: British Wind