A new article about ENESSERE written by Louise Nordstrom in www.sandvik.coromant.com
ENESSERE’s Hercules wind turbine is a thing of green beauty, converting kinetic wind power into clean energy in aesthetic harmony with its surroundings.
Amid the rolling hills of Italy’s north-east Vincenza region lies Brendola, a village known for its artisans and craftsmen – and now for the latest in creative renewables, the Hercules wind turbine.
The Hercules is the brainchild of local inventor and design aficionado Alberto Tessaro, who wanted to marry an efficient renewable energy product with aesthetics. The result, after six years in the making, was the Hercules – a wind turbine that stands 8.78 metres high, with a stainless steel structure that supports carefully moulded wooden-layered blades made of American cedar. It’s greenly efficient, pleasing to look at and quiet.
“There is a lot of resistance towards wind turbines because people complain of their ugliness and disturbing presence,” explains Oliver Glemser, international business developer and one of three full-time staff members at Tessaro’s start-up ENESSERE. “This is our answer.”
The Hercules generates up to 5,500 kWh a year, which is sufficient to power a normal home. It emits a maximum of 38 decibels, less than most kitchen refrigerators, when gusts reach 12 metres per second, and an alternator generator ensures that power can be stored and used to keep rotating the blades even on days when there is no wind. It is also programmed to rotate at an even pace to maintain the visual illusion of twirling, important for the aesthetic impact of the turbine. ENESSERE is currently working to incorporate an algorithm that would allow the turbine to predetermine the wind patterns in a specific area, turning itself on and off when needed.
Less than a year into its market launch, the Hercules, which sells for 60,000 euros in its home market of Italy, already seems well on its way to taking the world by storm.
“We have requests and enquiries coming in from Australia, the Bahamas, the Middle East, Denmark, France, Germany,” says Glemser, who joined Tessaro’s team after seeing the Hercules at the Salone del Mobile in Milan in April 2015.
Tessaro created the Hercules in collaboration with carpenter Renato Guerra, drawing inspiration from the wooden wings of the US wartime Hughes H-4 aircraft and applying the “Golden Ratio”, a mathematical formula that dates back to the ancient Greeks and is closely associated with Leonardo da Vinci. Tessaro also embraced the thinking of the futurist Jeremy Rifkin, who predicted that in the 21st century that “hundreds of millions – and eventually billions – of human beings will transform their buildings into power plants to harvest renewable energies on site”.
“Tessaro didn’t want to make big, ugly, clunky [turbines],” says Glemser. “He wanted to build small ones that work for a household, a hotel, a beach resort, a golf club, a park or a company.”
There are also other attributes that make the Hercules special. The colours – the grey of the mast and the dark-brown of the multi-layered blades – means that it doesn’t attract insects and the birds that follow them.
Hercules manufacturing is a village affair – family, friends, neighbours and local artisans are involved. The blades alone, which comprise 4,000 ultra-thin wooden layers compressed together, take four people almost a month to make.
“You can really see the love people have invested in the turbine while [they’re] working on it,” says Glemser. “It’s truly beautiful.”