Could 3D-printed wind turbines power Tel Aviv?

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German researchers developed 3D printers to make vertical wind turbines, especially for urban environments.

A team of German researchers led by Prof. Yilmaz Uygun of Constructor University Bremen has developed a proprietary 3D printer capable of printing all the components needed for a medium-scale wind turbine that can effectively be used in an urban setting. Now, the turbines are being tested at a regional secondary school. If successful, Uygun said they could be ready for export within the year.

Urban architecture generally does not allow space for the construction of wind farms. Large, horizontal wind turbines usually have blades between 70 and 90 meters long. Moreover, they can also be rather noisy. 

In Germany, there are also laws forbidding them to be positioned in urban areas.

Uygun and his team set out to create a new kind of wind turbine that is taller rather than wider and less noisy. Then, they developed a 3D printer they call “HoneyComb3D” to make it. 

"As far as I know, there are only small wind turbines (<<1m) that can be printed on desktop printers," Uygun told the Post. "In the mid-segment (3-10m), we found no other case. This was the main reason why we built our own large-scale printer."