The most interesting architecture in the world?
Where’s the most interesting architecture you’ve seen? Have you ever seen a building with its own massive wind turbines? I found the Bahrain World Trade Center to be fascinating! It might be the best example of wind energy integration.
The first thing you’ll notice is the unique shape. Those twin tower triangle shapes are to help maximize the wind power.
How big is it?
The Bahrain World Trade Center is 787 feet (240 meters), 50-floors, with three wind turbines in between twin towers. The turbines are 29 meters, 68 tons, and generate 1100 megawatts per hour. Impressive!
Did you know
Wind Power, in an Oil country!
It’s great to see a country with an oil economy innovate. I never would have guessed that the first country to have a building with wind power integrated is an oil rich economy.
I was fascinated to learn how it was specially designed to maximize wind power. Perhaps you will be too –
Bahrain actually has two skyscrapers with twin towers right near each other. The Bahrain Financial Harbor is even larger than the Bahrain WTC.
How the technology in the Bahrain World Trade Center works:
The tapered, elliptical towers act as airfoils, channelling offshore winds to drive three massive wind turbines set between the towers on a series of skybridges. Engineers say the turbines are designed to generate between 11 percent and 15 percent of the centre’s energy needs.– Otis (full case study linked here)
Engineers say they used computational fluid dynamics and sophisticated wind-tunnel tests to determine the ideal shape of the towers to maximize the power generated by the wind turbines. Their analysis led to an elliptical, tapered design that funnels offshore winds between the towers and creates negative air pressure (or lift) from behind. That innovative design accelerates the wind’s velocity as it hits the turbines “
More info on the design
The elliptical plan forms and sail-like profiles act as aerofoils, funneling the onshore breeze between them as well as creating a negative pressure behind, thus accelerating the wind velocity between the two towers. Vertically, the sculpting of the towers is also a function of airflow dynamics. As they taper upwards, their aerofoil sections reduce. This effect when combined with the increasing velocity of the onshore breeze at increasing heights creates a near equal regime of wind velocity on each of the three turbines.research by Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
More from my Bahrain trip
The “500 camels” might have been my favorite part of my Bahrain trip, and I hadn’t even planned to visit!
The Bahrain WTC isn’t the only fascinating architecture in Bahrain