How did the wind powered generators work that were made for African primitives using a vibrating vertical strip.?

There was a great TV bit on the amazing benefits to some grasS hut dwelling natives of having a one watt battery powered light in the evening.  Reduced the birth rate by a third!   The generator was powered by a vertical strip of something flexible held at each end beside the hut.  The wind caused the strip to rapidly rotate back and forth at its center.  A magnet(s?) place at its midpoint fluttered rapidly back and forth in front of a coil to generate current to be stored in a small wet cell.  The wet cell was carried into the hut at night, attached to a one watt LED and voila!  It change their lives.  They could READ in their spare time.   WHO HAS ANY IDEA OF HOW I COULD MAKE SUCH A GENERATOR??

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NachoMahma6 years ago
.  Searching for "ribbon wind generator" or "WindBelt" should get you started in the right direction.
Wow. And he calls the guys that can "throw" one of these together from bits "primitives". They knock us out for ingenuity.

lemonie6 years ago
"African primitives" is an interesting combination of words, is that a foreign-translation or just "old"?

Seems to me these aren't "primitives" if they know how to make one and you don't.

Did they build it or did someone build it for them?
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frollard6 years ago
Long story short it works on the harmonic resonance of the plastic strip in the middle -- much like when you make a kazoo out of a blade of grass in your hands, or the tacoma narrows bridge -- the strip tilts one way, then it broadsides the wind and flaps the other way. Tada, resonance.

Attach a magnet to the strip at a 'sweet spot' where it will extract energy but not stall the vibration, and you have most of a generator -- at least the moving magnetic field part.

Put a coil in the magnetic field, and you're generating low power AC. Complexity? Almost none. Bill of materials -- strips of plastic, magnet, coil, charger circuit -- much simpler than manufacturing rotary generators.
HarveyH446 years ago
They aren't 'primitives', just economically challenged. Maybe we could trade presidents for a couple of years... Guess that wouldn't help them much.