We all have a pretty good mental picture of the traditional wind generator: basically a big propeller on a stick. Some might also be familiar with vertical wind turbines, which can operate regardless of the wind direction. In both cases, they use a form of rotating structure to harness the energy of the wind.
But as demonstrated [Robert Murray-Smith], his possible to generate electrical energy from the wind without any moving parts. With simple components, it shows how you can build a device capable of harnessing the wind with nothing more than vibration. Okay, so we assume that means the parts are technically moving, but you get the idea.
In the video after the break, [Robert] shows two different devices that work on the same basic principle. For the first, he cuts out the cone of a standard speaker and sticks a flat stick on the voice coil. As the stick moves back and forth in the wind, the coil inside the magnet’s field produces a measurable voltage. This proves that the idea has merit and can be implemented easily, but is not very elegant.
For the revised version, he glues a spool to a small piece of neoprene rubber, which in turn is glued to a slat taken from a venetian blind. On the opposite side of the coil he sticks a magnet. When the blind slat starts to vibrate in the wind, the oscillation of the magnet relative to the coil is enough to produce a current. It’s tiny, of course. But if you had hundreds or even thousands of these electric “blades of grass,” you could potentially accumulate quite a bit of energy.
[Thanks to Itay for the tip.]