Harnessing energy from a belt flapping in the windJune 26th, 2009 at 21:16
If you’ve ever thought about putting a wind turbine on your suburban house, but then started to research it, you’ll know that wind turbines don’t work too well in cities and the suburbs. Even if its windy, turbulence means that unless you can get your turbine very high – three times as high as anything within a few hundred meters (including your house), the turbine simply won’t generate much wind. I recently saw a study of 30 odd urban wind turbine installations in the UK which showed very poor performance.
It looks as though this problem may have been overcome with a radical new design. Humdinger, a US company, have come up with a wind generator that makes electricity from the vibrations of a belt flapping in the wind. Its a great sounding idea. From the looks of their website the product isn’t yet in commercial production – so don’t get too excited yet. But I like the thinking behind the idea – instead of trying to make something with blades and a rotary motion – make it linear, and in theory it may be more reliable and robust than a rotary device where there is lots of turbulence. www.humdingerwind.com