Remember the tacoma narrow bridge disaster… that every structural engineer studies (or should study).. well, the same forces that made that disaster happen is being tapped to produce electricity..
‘Typically aeroelastic flutter is a destructive effect. But what the Windbelt does is try to capture it for the purposes of electricity production,’ explains Frayne, the brains behind the Windbelt and the founder of Humdinger Wind Energy.
The Windbelt’s key component is a taut membrane of mylar-coated taffeta, which vibrates as wind flows over it – this movement, triggered by airflow, is what is known as aeroelastic flutter (see the windbelt in action in the video below).
‘That oscillation moves a set of permanet magnets that are on the membrane itself at one of the ends,’ Frayne continues. The motion of these magnets between two copper coil induces an electrical current.
A version of it called the “windcell” measuring about a meter in length may be particularly suited for the developing world..
The Windcell, measuring a metre in length, is particularly suited to providing electricity in isolated areas of the developing world where solar or conventional wind power are too costly or simply inaccessible. Producing around 0.2 kWh (enough to power 10 energy saving lightbulbs), its energy output is not enormous, but it’s enough to make a real difference in some areas, replacing kerosene lighting in Haiti for example.
‘It makes sense for situations when you don’t need a whole lot of power and you’ve got some wind. You could have just a few Windcells that harvest enough energy from the wind to power up lighting or charge some batteries,’ says Frayne. ‘There’s a couple of governments that we’re talking to about rolling out the Windcell to dispersed communities.’
Bourne energy introduces back pack hydropower plant…
Some thing like this could easily provide power for research stations, outposts, remote schools in Nepal..
The BackPack Power Plant – Type 1 (BPP-1) is a man-portable renewable energy generator only 3 feet in length and weighing less than 30 pounds. Each unit is self-contained with its own integrated power, control, cooling and sensor systems. The unit collapses into a backpack size module with the generator, hub and folded blades stored inside.
The unit produces approximately 500 W/unit high quality continuous power
depending on river current. The BackPack Power Plant can be set up singularly
or in arrays of over 30 kW.
India has announced intentions to export power reactors to other nations and is developing an advanced design for that purpose..
The reactor design is based on the thorium fuel cycle which supposedly produces less waste..
This probably doesn’t count as a source of alternative/green fuel, but the merits of it as opposed to large-hydro, coal or natural gas need to be explored..
This weeks’s Cringely post is about creating fuel out of trash without carbon side-effects, one of the holy grails for today’s civilization. Sounds too good to be true?
The company he talks about in the post aims to produce hydrogen, bio-diesel, oxygen, fertilizer and some electricity using a modified plasma burning process.
Here’s what they claim to be able to produce from one ton of municipal waste:
112 pounds of hydrogen
55 gallons of biodiesel
a little electricity
926 pounds of oxygen
May not be for all of nepal yet, but would certainly fit the bill to clear out all the trash clogging up Kathmandu’s rivers.
This may work well in Nepal. Will obviously need good infrastructure planning and rollout. There seem to be discoveries of small pockets of CNG around some parts of Nepal.
here’s the video and excerpt from podtech:
FTI International Group, Inc., is an Ontario, Canada-based company specializing in dispensing systems for CNG, LNG, Hydrogen, Hythane as well as compressor systems and conversion kits. Their markets are primarliy in Asia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (and, perhaps surprisingly, not North America). Company President and COO Peter Wressell has his opinions as to why North America isn’t a big market for these gases and I spoke with him at the Alternative Fuels & Transportation Expo in Anaheim, Calif.