Tiny WindTuesday 14th January 2014
Using renewable energy to power your smart device is nothing new - but it is if you are looking to use wind power and a windmill.
A University of Texas at Arlington research associate and an electrical engineering professor have designed a nickel alloy micro-windmill so small that it is claimed a single grain of rice could hold about 10 of these tiny windmills!
The tiny windmill is a very-small-scale energy harvesting device aimed at applications, such as recharging batteries for smartphones, or directly powered ultra-low-power electronic devices.
Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao designed and built the device that is about 1.8 mm at its widest point. Hundreds of the windmills could be embedded in a sleeve for a cell phone. Wind, created by waving the cell phone in the air or holding it up to an open window on a windy day, would generate the electricity that could be collected by the cell phone’s battery.
But it could do more than power smart phones - it is just a question of quantity. Chiao reckons that because of the small sizes, flat panels with thousand of windmills could be made and mounted on the walls of houses or building to harvest energy for lighting, security or environmental sensing and wireless communication.
So it could be solar panels on the roof and thousands of tiny windmills on the wall to supply all your energy needs - and more.
Source and Picture: University of Texas at Arlington.
Tuesday 14th January 2014