Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Micro wind generator technology

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Micro wind generator technology

    This is interesting for its simplicity. Aeroelastic flutter - the same force that brought down Tacoma's "Galloping Gertie" bridge is used to generate electricity where turbines are impractical.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/tech...y/4224763.html

  • #2
    Interesting. Thanks for the link.
    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's an interesting application.

      But I am puzzled by the "appropriate technology" referenced. That typically means technology which is capable of being utilized, i.e. manufactured and repaired, by the locals.

      Importing high tech is pretty much handing out fish to the starving. Once it stops working for any reason, the locals don't have the knowledge to repair it, nor the materials, spares, etc. This isn't that high tech, at least by our lights, but a closer look may be surprising.

      While the device is simple, the materials and means of using it are not as simple.

      The frame is obviously no problem. The stretched membrane is probably available in some form or other. But the magnets are not common, the glue for them might be an issue*, and the LEDs or micropower radio required to make the device useful are not in any way locally available in much of the world, let alone repairable there.

      It is possible that it is a solution for an entirely different problem, and that it won't be directly useful for 3rd world applications at all. At least not for the forseeable, until the things it is used with are also commonly available.

      * the magnets might simply be stuck to each other, with the membrane between, obviously, but then they can slip. Probably will.
      Last edited by J Tiers; 01-11-2009, 10:50 AM.
      1601

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

      Comment


      • #4
        how many of those little suckers would it take to boil up a cup of coffee ?

        neat idea to try here in the frozen, windy northland on the shores of lake superior.

        sorry, couldn't resist.

        Comment


        • #5
          I assumed he had a proof-of-concept in his hand, not the real deal. I rather expected a real one to be 100' long. I also expect an L-bracket at each and to convert the up-and-down movement to a push-pull. Doesn't do you much good if wind gusts could make the magnet bottom out against the coils.

          I think this invention has great promise. What would be nice is a series of low-power devices such as a water purifier, computer, lighting, etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            Time flies when its windy, and completely stops when its calm!!!! haha not a bad idea, but i cant see why the "generator" would need to be so small. i can understand people dont want a 200ft turbine sticking out of their roof, but even if it was maybe 3 times the size, it should power a lot more and still be managable by one person.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think it's a great idea. I remember a generator with a piston at each end of a shaft and a magnet at the center moving through a coil. As a piston approached TDC a trigger system would fire and send the piston the other way to fire the piston on the other side.

              Why would the vibrating membrane have to be 100' or 50', why not a stack of them 10' long or some such length needed for harmonic vibration to drive the magnets.
              It's only ink and paper

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Carld
                Why would the vibrating membrane have to be 100' or 50', why not a stack of them 10' long or some such length needed for harmonic vibration to drive the magnets.
                The individual outputs would not be synchronized in phase, so they would not add up. Any attempt to synch a number of them is probably doomed to failure in a practical sense.
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Did you see the amount of wind it required to light up couple of leds? Impoverished Haitians need this? I don't think so.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rotate
                    Did you see the amount of wind it required to light up couple of leds? Impoverished Haitians need this? I don't think so.
                    It is 10% efficient. A towering windmill is 90% efficient. Compare the cost of building a towering windmill vs. 10 of these things. If they are used only to charge batteries they will bring light to the night - these people can spend more of their time productively during the day knowing they will have light at night for retooling, infrastructure needs, social gatherings, and it will reduce the dependency on oil they can ill afford.

                    The only natural resources many island nations have is firewood (Easter Island, for example), tides, and wind. Large scale wind generators don't do well at these places for reasons of initial expense, maintenance, and vulnerability to climate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A 250' tall windmill surely costs hundreds of thousands. There are environmental studies, law suits, permits, the costs of hauling heavy crap to the middle of nowhere, huge footers to dig, the assembly itself, and then continuous maintenance costs which won't be cheap. It is hard to see how a windmill can ever recover its costs. But they do generate some power.

                      I don't know how many of these mylar thingies would be needed to power a common light bulb. But they would seem to be cheap. Mylar costs nothing. Two poles in the ground cost nothing. A few rare-earth magnets cost nothing. And some coils, also cheap. This is a very inexpensive thing here. I can see some industrious people making these out of scraps.

                      Another consideration is that perhaps these devices aren't suited for general purpose American-style power generation. Perhaps there are special applications where constant low-grade power is useful.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is pretty clever.... I saw a large structure that was guyed w/ 2" wide ratcheting straps last year; those straps flapped like crazy in the slightest wind.

                        If you want to build a bigger one, I'd bet the magnets and coils in one of those cheap rattle-the-windows car woofers would work... they're pretty good at draining batteries, now they can start pulling their weight :-).

                        - Bart
                        Bart Smaalders
                        http://smaalders.net/barts

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rotate
                          Did you see the amount of wind it required to light up couple of leds? Impoverished Haitians need this? I don't think so.
                          In a third world situation it is enough to power a radio or a cell phone or a light at night. Maybe charge some batteries. The vast majority of people in the third world are not concerned with alarm clocks, personal computers or their morning latte. That's the stuff we worry about.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Think it's a good idea.

                            The frame actually wouldn't be needed, all you need is a pair of anchor points. (I know everyone has had straps get noisy while hauling loads!)

                            A pole with several of them secured at the top, and individual anchors around the bottom could work nicely. Each anchor would only need to be a Y shape stuck in the ground.

                            Don't think there would be a problem stacking them either, so the energy density could be much greater without a huge increase in size as with a turbine.

                            Could conceivably carry the material to set up a dozen of them in a backpack.

                            Ken

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't see a problem with a stack of them. All indivually charging a battery pack. Each one is putting out a charge into the battery rack and with a straight DC output there would be no feed back putting out DC. It would come out as a solid DC charge reguardless of the phase of each generator.

                              Just forget AC, think DC because of the intermitent output because the wind is not constant. A system like he proposes is not for a grid type system but indivual home use in remote areas with a battery rack system.
                              It's only ink and paper

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X