From climate change, to poverty, global issues increasingly demand collaborative, cross-cultural responses. Originating from Chile and Kenya respectively, Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani represent a new era of talent that are working together to develop technologies that are capable of tackling our shared problems. Studying International Innovation MSc together at Lancaster University, they set out to harness urban wind with an inventive new type of turbine. But what’s the problem with wind?
The taller we build our cities, the windier they become. As we hunt for renewable sources of power generation this powerful and plentiful resource is left untapped largely because traditional wind turbines only capture wind travelling in one direction. This means they are very inefficient in cities where the wind is unpredictable and multi- directional.
When wind blows through cities it becomes trapped between buildings, is dragged down to the street and is pushed up into the sky.
This catapults wind into chaos, which renders conventional turbines unusable. Using a simple geometric shape, O-Wind Turbine is designed to utilise this powerful untapped resource, generating energy even on the windiest of days.
Sir James Dyson, who chose the winners, hailed it as “an ingenious concept”. He continued: “Designing something that solves a problem is an intentionally broad brief. It invites talented, young inventors to do more than just identify real problems. It empowers them to use their ingenuity to develop inventive solutions. O-Wind Turbine does exactly that. It takes the enormous challenge of producing renewable energy and using geometry it can harness energy in places where we’ve scarcely been looking – cities.”