On this day April 8, 2008
The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines is completed in Bahrain. The Bahrain World Trade Center is a 240 m (787 ft) high twin tower complex by South African architect Shaun Killa, located in Manama, Bahrain. The building is the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design.
Three skybridges connect the towers; each holding one large wind turbine with a nameplate capacity of 225kW each, totalling to 675kW of wind power production. These turbines, each measuring 29 m (32 yd) in diameter, face north, which is the direction from which air from the Persian Gulf blows in.
The sail-shaped buildings on either side are designed to funnel wind through the gap to provide the maximum amount of wind passing through the turbines. This was confirmed by wind tunnel tests, which showed that the buildings create an S-shaped flow, ensuring that any wind coming within a 45° angle to either side of the central axis will create a wind stream that remains perpendicular to the turbines. This significantly increases their potential to generate electricity.
The wind turbines are expected to provide 11% to 15% of the towers’ total power consumption, or approximately 1.1 to 1.3 GWh a year. This is equivalent to providing the lighting for about 300 homes annually. The three turbines were turned on for the first time on 8 April 2008. They are expected to operate 50% of the time in a day.