Five funky designs for creating renewable energy

  • 26 July 2017
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Renewable energy sources, like wind, solar and tidal power are ways of generating power.

But along with the traditional wind farms and solar panels, scientists have also been adding some fun and creativity into the mix with these unusual designs.

1. A floating wind farm

This is the world's first ever full-scale floating wind farm, which is being built in the north-east of Scotland.

It's called Hywind, and is a trial project that's been set up in Peterhead.

The revolutionary technology will allow wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines.

It's hoped they'll produce power for around 20,000 homes.

2. A panda solar farm

Image copyright Panda Green Energy Group

This is a solar farm like you've probably never seen one before.

Solar panels are normally arranged in a grid of rows and lines, but these designers decided to be a bit more creative.

This solar farm in Datong, China, is based on China's national animal - the Giant Panda.

The power plant is as big as two football pitches, and the company behind it say when it's fully completed, it will have enough energy to power around 16,400 homes.

3. A wind-powered theme park

Image copyright Qurrent

Back in 2015, Dutch renewable energy company Qurrent surprised people with their plans to turn a wind farm into the "world's first sustainable theme park".

The idea was not only to power the rides using wind, but also to turn wind turbines themselves into amusement park rides!

They also wanted to create a spiralling water slide winding around a wind turbine tower, and a ride that would be based around a turbine blade booster.

But don't expect to see a theme park like this just yet.

The designs were just part of a study to see if something like this could work, and the company say they currently have no plans to build it.

We're 'big fans' of the idea.

4. Solar-powered super trees

This man-made forest is found in Singapore's Bay South garden.

The 18 "super-trees" each have solar panels and convert the energy into electricity for lighting and to power air vents.

They also act as vertical gardens. The plants growing on them help keep the city cool by providing shade.

And their special shape allows them to collect rainwater, releasing clean water back into the environment.

5. Floating underwater islands

Image copyright Carnegie Wave

This special design for wave power technology is the creation of a company in Australia called Carnegie Wave Energy.

But it's different from other tidal power devices because it works underwater where it is safer from large storms and invisible from the shore.

So how does it work? Well it converts wave energy into electricity in the same way as most other tidal plants would.

But the main difference is that it's completely under water so has very little impact on beachgoers and on the environment.

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