Bridges and wind turbines seem to be a match made in heaven; most bridges are generally quite tall where wind speeds are much higher and are often in exposed mountainous areas where significant cross winds develop. Obvious, right? So why does something like the "Solar Wind" bridge not already exist. Conceived by a trio of Italian designers, Francesco Colarossi, Giovanna Saracino and Luisa Saracino, their bridge design goes beyond simply adding wind turbines between the bridge's columns. This is a 'future bridge' in every sense of the word, designed with solar panels embedded in the road surface that would provide 11.2 million kWh per year. Also, the wind turbines can provide 36 million kWh per year to produce, in total, enough energy to power 15,000 homes.
The designers didn't stop there. They included a 'green promenade' in the design which is basically a long greenhouse for growing and selling produce to people passing through. We're not sure if eating produce grown right next to a roadway is the best idea, but something has to be cut from the concept, right?
The solar wind bridge won second place in the Solar Park Works – Solar Highway competition, which called for contestants to imagine modernized sections of an elevated highway that runs between Bagnera and Scilla in Italy.
[Source: New Italian Blood via Gizmag]