Last week, we did something a little crazy. We took a 20 foot, human powered wind turbine on a tour of Philly to show the power of the wind. We traveled through Rittenhouse Square, Manayunk, and even to a Flyers game to spread the word to Philadelphians that local, Pennsylvania wind power is available for their home.
The turbine was built by the talented artists and craftsmen of Frank’s Kitchens, a local Philly artist co-operative specializing in building human powered kinetic sculptures. Frank’s Kitchen used all found and recycled materials, including an old car axel. People could come up and take the turbine for a spin with the hand crank wheel. By turning the wheel, people could experience how strong the wind needs to be to make the blades of a turbine spin — and have a little fun at the same time.
The best part of our turbine tour was seeing peoples’ reactions. The young, and the young at heart, jumped right up to give the turbine a spin — laughing the whole time. Others were surprised to see it, and needed a little encouragement to give it a whirl. Engineering minds were fascinated by the mechanics, and many took advantage of their only chance to snap a picture in front of the turbine.
Many wanted to make the turbine spin faster, but that task is one for the wind — not for us. Despite their varied reactions, everyone left knowing more about how wind turbines work, the power of the wind, and their power to choose wind energy for their home.
See pictures from the week here, and keep your eye out for the turbine this spring and summer. You never know where it will show up!