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The Mushroom Tower. By: Max Winek , Stew Shannon , Raza Memon , Christopher Smith , David Weil. Problem Statement.

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The Mushroom Tower

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The mushroom tower l.jpg

The Mushroom Tower


Max Winek, Stew Shannon, Raza Memon,

Christopher Smith, David Weil

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Problem Statement

  • Our team has been selected by C/S to design and model/prototype an architecturally appealing building-integrated wind energy generation system. The forces are driving the building integrated wind energy market include:

  • Green building movement

  • Skyrocketing energy prices

  • Building energy retrofitting

  • Reduced dependence on foreign oil

  • Growing interest & awareness in renewable energy

  • Increased government incentives

  • Improved technologies

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Mission Statement

  • Design an architecturally appealing building-integrated wind energy generation system.  The primary objective is the integration and application of wind energy generation technology into commercial building types.  A successful product would enable new product growth while advocating clean energy production.

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Possible Solutions


Road Down Under


Mushroom Building

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Possible Solutions

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The Chosen Design

  • Our chosen design was the mushroom tower

  • It will consist of a “cap” at the top of a building (recommended for skyscrapers) which will funnel in wind

  • Fins will funnel wind towards the turbines and support the cap

  • Wind will flow through turbines and out the top of the cap

  • Variations of the mushroom cap can be made to alter the dimensions or the aesthetic appearance

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Design Features

  • Aluminum Alloy Cap

  • 60 4ft radius Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines for electricity

  • Design uses small wind approach

  • 64 Fins to straighten out the wind and provide support

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Engineering Analysis

Headwinds are strongest coming up to the top of the building

Creating a “cap” will capture the wind that blows up and over the side of the building

The wind will be allowed to escape out the middle of the cap so it doesn’t interfere with wind flow inside the rest of the cap

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Power Output

  • Pmax = ½ ρ A V^3

  • Pmax= 0.5*(1.2kg/m^3)*(5.6m^3)*(3.97m/s)^3

  • Pmax= 210.24 watts or Joules/second per turbine

  • P = 0.59 Na Nb Ng Pmax (coefficients chosen by average wind turbine capability)

  • Actual Power = 0.226* Pmax

  • 47.51 watts per turbine and 60 turbines total = 2.85 kilowatts

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Return on Investment

  • How much money will you save from this investment?

  • Example City: Albany, New York

  • If you receive the wanted 8.9 mph winds for 12 hours every day, you would produce approximately 12,480 kilowatts in one year

  • If each of the 60 turbines cost about $400, then total price = $24,000

  • Average electricity in New York cost .1578dollars/kw-hour in Jan-09, so Break-Even Point would be in 12.2 years from time of investment

  • Depending on variation of wind or energy prices, the amount of profit received could increase

  • Other “soft” benefits would be the source of cleaner wind energy

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Summary and Conclusions

  • Through concept generation and the engineering design process, we chose the mushroom tower

  • This design will not be able to fully supply all of the building’s energy needs but it will reduce the costs

  • Break-Even Point = 12.2 years

  • One skyscraper will not make a significant difference but many will help to combat the energy crisis with clean and green energy

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