The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 02:51cat

The Eiffel Tower's 126th Year Includes Energy Upgrades

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The Eiffel Tower's 126th Year Includes Energy Upgrades FPG/Getty Images

Tuesday marked the 126th anniversary of public access to the Eiffel Tower, which opened on March 31, 1889. Throughout its construction it was marked with controversy and deemed a disaster by France’s best aesthetic minds. The hope was that the World’s Fair “gimmick” would be demolished as soon as possible. Today, however, the Eiffel Tower is an icon, a Paris landmark and surprisingly eco-friendly – sort of.

Recently, the steel frame of the monument turned a bit green as two new wind turbines, about 400 feet off the ground, were installed. The vertical wind turbines are about 17 feet in height and when rotating at full speed, produce only about 40 decibels of sound. They, also, provide enough electricity to power all of the commercial areas in the first-floor of the tower. That equates to roughly 10,000kwh per year, or enough to power an average American home for one year. The Eiffel Tower, though, consumes about 6.7 GWh a year.

“The installation is definitely more symbolic,” said Jan Gromadzki, an engineer with New York-based Urban Green Energy (UGE) and an overseer of the project, “it’s just a small drop in the ocean.”

The turbines are just the latest in a series of clean energy additions to the Eiffel Tower. The 126-year old structure is in the middle of a $33.6 million renovation that will add LED lights and an array of solar panels to produce on-site hot water.


Sources: The Verge  Vox

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