Eiffel Tower Goes Green

Eiffel Tower

An ambitious remodel project at the Eiffel Tower is making its operations greener.  The first floor of the landmark building was recently refurbished for a better visitor experience and to improve the environmental impact of the historic building.

First floor glazing was changed to provide a 25% reduction in solar heat gain during the summer months.  This will significantly reduce the need for air conditioning, saving money and energy.  Almost all of the lighting in the first floor was changed to LED, which doesn’t produce as much heat and uses less energy.

Solar panels have been installed on the two pavilions near the tower, providing about 50% of the energy needed for water heating throughout the year.  A rainwater recycling system provides water for the toilets in the pavilions, and reduces the energy needed to pump the water to the highest levels of the tower.

The most visible change to visitors may be the installation of two vertical wind powered turbines on the second floor.  They are expected to generate 10,000 kWh per year for the tower, enough to power the first floor.  The windmills are specially designed to gather wind power no matter which direction it comes from, and are designed and painted to blend in with the tower’s iconic design.

Eiffel Tower windmill

The turbines have been designed and provided by Urban Green Energy, a New York-based green energy company.  “The Eiffel Tower is arguably the most renowned architectural icon in the world, and we are proud that our advanced technology was chosen as the Tower commits to a more sustainable future,” said UGE CEO Nick Blitterswyk.  “When visitors from around the world see the wind turbines, we get one step closer to a world powered by clean and reliable renewable energy.”

The turbines were installed about 400 feet above the ground, taking advantage of the higher wind speeds at that level.

The renovation project includes upgrades to the meeting spaces, visitor center, and shops at the tower.  The meeting spaces provide a unique setting for conferences or workshops, and are available for rental.

Eiffel Tower windmill

Sources and Photos:Eiffel Tower, CNet, Urban Green Energy,  Eric Schneider through a Creative Commons License


About the Author

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon. She is currently a Contract Administrator at Rich Duncan Construction.  
  • Breakingwind

    “They are expected to generate 10,000 kWh per year for the tower, enough to power the first floor.” !!!

    I don’t think so –

    The first floor includes a 130 seat conference venue with full catering, several Buffets, a 200 seat restaurant, a souvenir shop and exhibits about the history of the tower.

    VisionAIR5 Turbine Max Generator UL Rated = 3.2 kW Average output = 2.5 kW (that’s less than a kettle + a microwave)

    http://www.urbangreenenergy.com/products/visionair/specifications

    They claim “the 2 turbines are capable of delivering
    10,000kWh of electricity annually” -BUT –

    The Eiffel
    Tower consumes 7.8 million kWh of electricity per year (the equivalent of a small village), including 580,000 kWh for all its lights and 705,000 kWh of heating and air conditioning
    are also required every year, + cooking , 9 lifts & water pumps for 60,000 m3 of drinking water, etc. The monument
    also uses 20,000 light bulbs ‘to make it sparkle every night’, for 10 minutes on the hour. Even Jan Gromadzki, an engineer with the New York-based Urban Green Technology (the company was tasked with designing and installing the
    turbines), said “It’s just a small drop in the ocean.” “This installation is definitely more symbolic,”

    Read more: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/france-ruined-eiffel-tower-wind-turbines/#ixzz3TaY8xJLz
    &
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9444530/Eiffel-Tower-goes-green.html

    Do the maths….You would need 1,560 of these units to power
    the tower….IF the wind was blowing!!

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