Morning Cup O' Joe

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Harness Wind Energy Sans Turbine

 Assets Resources 2007 10 Windbelt
Shawn Frayne (p. above), inspired by the video footage of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940, came up with the idea of the “Windbelt.” The basic concept involves a narrow membrane stretched under high tension between two points that contain magnets. When a small amount of wind is applied to the membrane, it will oscillate in harmonic motion to the wind. The oscillation will jiggle the magnets and create an electric current.

Prototypes have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines.

Popular Mechanics interviewed Frayne and made a web video. It’s worth checking out.


October 18, 2007 - Posted by | Science and Technology


  1. Amazing!!!

    Comment by Bernard | October 18, 2007

  2. Mike and I were on similar wavelengths over the last 24 hours. I spent about an hour and a half reading up on windpower last night at http:\\ It’s more directed at commercial applications, but was very informative. Given that I live at the coast and see a fair bit of wind, I’ve wondered what I might be able to get away with. Given the neighborhood density, I don’t think a tower with a horizontal turbine spinning away and making 85db of noise would go over well. But the thought of “free” energy has it’s appeal.

    Comment by morgan | October 19, 2007

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