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Microwind Generator - any one up for the job?

Microwind Generator: 30X More Efficient and Cheaper!

Popular Mechanics just held it's yearly Breakthrough Conference, and one of the winners was the Wind Belt an invention we've not seen before. The Wind Belt

http://digg.com/general_sciences/Microwind_Generator_30X_More_Efficient_and_Cheaper


Seems pretty simple!

Anyone willing to make this?

Things you might need... fabric, Neodymium magnets, and coils

You can easily get good coils from led generators, even from the crappy 2 dollar ones. (As long as pumping it makes the led light on.)

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rbuzarang4 years ago
Someone please tell me where to get Mylar Coated Taffeta...
Plasmana7 years ago
That is a very nice idea, I will give it a go sometimes soon!
robotkid2497 years ago
BTW I made one and it works very very well.
johnnyreub7 years ago
I put one together, using gorilla tape.  see full details here:

http://buildingstuffinthebasement.blogspot.com/2009/11/diy-windbelt-with-wood-and-duct-tape.html

nothing like the nail-breaking power of mylar, but this seems to work well enough to light up led's in ~ 7mph wind
JeffBach8 years ago
This is one of those seemingly simple projects which has HUGE devils in the details. For me and my daughter as we do (try to do) this for her science fair, the killer part is the belt and its movement. Pretty much like S Frayne suggests in his post here. Right now, from my frustrated Dad point of view, if I can't get this working in a fairly controlled environment with a steady wind source from a known direction, I really can't see how this could ever be made robustly enough to handle the myriad of environmental conditions that a commercial unit, deployed in Haiti, would encounter. We can get some movement of the belt, but still not (apparently) quite right, as there is a bit of sideways motion in addition to the vertical movement of our magnet as it rides up and down on the belt itself. All the basics are unknowns or at least "unproved" - 1. how long to make the belt, 2. how wide to make the belt, 3. the tension on the belt, 4. one magnet or two (both riding the magnet, one above and one below the belt), this does change how the belt moves of course..... 5. distance of fan from belt 6. angle of moving air onto the belt 7. does a craft store magnet lack the strength of a rare earth magnet and so is wrecking our project because it lacks the required strength? 8. how close do the coils need to be from the magnet? 9. If I attach the coil to the bracket with plastic and a cable tie does that somehow detract from the generation? I don't think so, but I've never worked with such tiny amounts of juice before either. However, each one of these does provide a teachable moment so all is not lost. But my kid is still pissed that the project I convinced her to do is not yet working :( Notice how I really haven't even mentioned the electronics part? Solely because the belt apparatus is so touchy and sensitive. I love the idea. I love what he has done with a so-called educational policy. To my chagrin though, even acknowledging the elementary level I am at, I find this device is just too sensitive to too many parameters to ever be able to handle a real world setting. Frustrated but still intrigued by it - Jeff
Phil778 years ago
hello all, i noticed this thread has been dead for quite awhile and I was wondering about, Steve how the project has been coming? In-peticular I was wondering if you could provide me with the electrical frequency of the output of the 45.5cm wind belt, as I am attempting to test one of my own however I could not find any specific specs on your website. I wish to work backwards mathematically to find the frequency at which the band must oscillate to produce the same results as you.... Is this indeed practical? Or would it be more beneficial to just begin from scratch?
Kiteman9 years ago
What a brilliant idea!

I'm not sure it's a solution to many actual problems (as one comment said, a hand-generator will provide much more power, much more quickly), but I would like to see this as a fence or screen - say, strung between the railings around a balcony or roof-garden and running a small sonne et lumiere installation, maybe with the music changing with the wind-speed.
gizbiz Kiteman8 years ago
That sounds like a marketable idea. Why not?
guyfrom7up9 years ago
yeah, you have to get the perfect angle of wind and just the right tensions. If you add a fin though it would add to the cost because then you need ball bearings
Make a set of them pointing in several directions, say eight in a circle at the top of a mast.
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