There are many new non-conventional, yet ‘green’ ways to charge your phone including solar-power and thermal energy. But the latest method created by researchers at the University of Texas Arlington may be the the best way to charge your phone without plugging it into a socket.
The micro-engineering experts at UTA have developed a micro-windmill that is 1.8 mm wide. The windmill, made from nickel, has the ability to transform wind energy into electricity. The researchers claim that hundreds of these tiny mills could be installed in a phone case and used to charge the phone in a matter of minutes. Users could charge the phone by waving it in the air or by placing it in front of a window or fan. The flexible nickel alloy means the windmills can withstand strong winds without breaking (which was the biggest issue when creating a windmill of such small size).
To put the size into perspective, ten windmills can be put on a single grain of rice. The exclusive rights to sell the concept are owned by a Taiwanese fabrication foundry called WinMEMS Technology. There is no set date as to when this technology will be available to consumers but the company has already started working on its potential applications. The research team has also developed gears, inductors, pop-up switches and grippers, all of which are less than the size of a human hair. The ultimate utilization of this hardware will be in manufacturing of micro-bots which could have limitless applications around the world. Amazing, Isn’t it?