Trying to generate energy from wind in a small device is never going to be easy as it’s rather difficult to get enough wind flowing through a small device to generate significant power. Now it seems that a company called Humdinger Wind Energy LLC has come up with a device dubbed the microBelt which can do just that. The microBelt is a piezoelectric turbine-based system that is touted as being 10 times more effective at gathering energy than other systems of similar size. This is achieved by using the aeroelastic flutter and vibration of a membrane, rather than a spinning turbine. This setup is intended to replace the batteries used in wireless sendor networks, and can be used in applications such as HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) systems, using the airflow to power the device, rather than expansive batteries. The added benefit of this system is that since it doesn’t utilize spinning turbines, it’s expected to last longer, with an estimated lifespan stretching to 20 years.
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