Charles Marsh and Carl Feickert, US Army engineers, came up with the idea of a wind-power system that took its inspiration from the Venetian blinds that flutter when the window is open, back in 2014. They teamed up with eight colleagues and have created a system that is capable of harnessing the power of the wind even when the breeze is too light for turning the blades of a conventional wind turbine.
The prototype contraption has eight flexible ‘elastic tension gradient’ strips that mounted in a row vertically. They have been attached to PVC tubes at the bottom and the top. These tubes can be twisted for adjusting the tension in the strips.
The strips are angled so that they are parallel to the direction of the wind. The strips move similar to a snake during breezes that are moving at speeds of less than nine mph. When the strips wiggle, a copper induction coil located at the bottom of each strip displaces back and forth along a smooth pipe, magnet-filled, that passes horizontally through it. The motion of the coil against the magnet gives birth to an electrical current that can be carried by wiring present within the pipe to a power converter. It can be used for charging batteries or powering devices from there.
TechLink, the Department of Defense’s technology transfer intermediary, this developed system can not only be utilized by troops in the field but can also be scaled up for providing power to areas where strong winds are not common. Furthermore, it doesn’t have any blades similar to turbines so can’t harm birds or bats.
TechLink is looking for a business on behalf of the US military that would be interested in manufacturing, using, or selling the system. The prototype can be seen in action below. Check out the video and do let us know what you think of this amazing contraption that can harness wind power.