Friday, October 12, 2007

The Windbelt:

Last year I blogged about how wind turbine farms -- an excellent sourvce of electricity in some places -- are incredibly ugly, even though wind turbines seem to be photogenic. If you've seen photos of them, but haven't seen them in the wild, you may wonder why anybody wants NOT to have them in his backyard.

Well here is a remarkable invention. Go here and play the short video. Then click on the inventor's name: Shawn Frayne to learn more. His invention is a belt that is suspended to allow wind, or even a gentle breeze, to make it vibrate. Magnets at one end of the belt turn this vibration into electricty. The belt is the only moving part, making the windbelt cheap and probably reliable. It can be scaled up to a large size, although the windbelt vibrations may pose interesting maintenance challenges for a really large belt. But in small scale, it seems like a very easy source of low-power electricity. In the video, Shawn explains the windbelt's advantages over wind turbines.I think we are going to see a lot more of this invention.
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