A few years ago, the Wind Belt developed by Humdinger Wind Energy promised a compelling alternative to fan style wind power generation. More importantly, the Wind Belt was ideally suited for smaller scale power generation, which would be ideal for low-cost power generation for remote locations.
Now, other designers are coming up with other approaches that offer similar kinds of smaller scale power generation that do not require open fields, large swept areas, and powerful winds - things that large, spinning blade turbines need - to create electricity. One such project is the Vibro-Wind generator, which has been developed by a team of students at Cornell University.
The test Vibro-Wind generator is made with an array of foam blocks which catch the wind and act as oscillators. It produces electricity with piezoelectric transducers, small devices that emit electrons when stressed by the vibrations from the blocks.
Small and cheap may be a useful alternative for producing wind power, particularly in environments without consistently strong winds that are suited for large turbine installations. Beacuse the Vibro-Wind generator works with buffeting and vibration, it could be more appropriate for urban installations where swirling winds are more usual than the ideal winds needed for typical bladed turbines.
written by Asaf Shalgi, February 17, 2011
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