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MicroBelt – Portable Wind Energy Harvester to Power Wireless Sensors

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According to a study, about 2% of global electricity production comes from wind-powered generators and their capacity has doubled in the past three years.

For powering small devices there has been minimal activity to harvest energy from the wind. This is because conventional electromagnetic wind turbines require rotating fins and gearing which adds weight and they become less efficient when scaled down.

Humdinger Wind Energy LLC has developed a micro turbine called MicroBelt, that is able power the new information age with a billion tiny harvesters. The millions of wireless sensors that collect a variety of information could be powered by this little device.

A few years ago, researchers believed batteries seemed perfect for these sensors, but due to their huge number that is increasing constantly, replacing billions of batteries might be a problem.

Unlike other piezoelectric turbine-based systems, this new product is about ten times more efficient producing milliwatts of energy, depending on the wind speed. At 5.5 m/s of wind flow, the power output is 2mW.

Power is produced when air flows from as little as 3 m/s. However, the MicroBelt is very cheap to produce, because the materials are very simple.

[Source: Energy Harvesting Journal, Ecofirend]

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