Recently, it occured to me that there is a lot of "unused" space on flat-top buildings, and so I wondered, whether it wouldn't be a reasonable ideas to put (vertical) wind turbines on buildings, especially high-rise ones, where one could expect a lot of wind.

However, I couldn't find any example of such a project. Perhaps I just didn't search thoroughly enough, or perhaps there are good reasons why this isn't a good idea after all. Can someone enlighten me as to the practicality of my idea?


1 Answer 1


It's more likely that solar panels would be installed on the roofs of buildings, including tall buildings. Solar panels have no moving parts and if there is failure associated with the panels the worst that will happen is the inverter catches fire.

Wind turbines on the other hand, rely on moving parts to generate electricity. In the unlikely event that bits fall off a wind turbine, such as blade or two, or the wind turbine was not properly secured to the building, the bits could fall to the ground kill people and cause damage to other property.

Edit Additionally, for wind turbines to be placed on top of buildings, the buildings would need to be constructed to successfully deal with the vibrational loads the wind turbine would place on the building.

  • $\begingroup$ I can see that solar panels might perhaps more practical and therefore, one would not even start to think about installing wind turbines. But are the latter in themselves such a bad idea, that it should be considered unreasonable to install on high-rise buildings? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 8:04
  • $\begingroup$ @BlenderBender: Do you want to be on the ground as bits of a wind turbine fall around or on you? Now, ... would that be "such a bad idea"? $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 8:18
  • $\begingroup$ No, of course not. But is the breaking off of parts somethings that has to be expected? I mean, every technology has risks. The solar panels might catch fire, for example. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ @BlenderBender, there is also the bending moment of the turbine on the pylon base. This would require additional expense and weight in the main building construction. $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 19:16

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