A patent was issued to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday for a novel generator that buzzes in a light breeze.Using low-velocity winds—less than nine miles per hour, which are not strong enough to turn a traditional wind turbine’s blades—the new generator creates power using “elastic tension gradient” strips.
The prototype generator, built at the Corps’ Engineer Research and Development Center, has a base structure made of PVC piping that supports eight elastic strips mounted vertically on rotating tensioning tubes.
The strips are angled so that they are parallel to the direction of the wind. The strips move similar to a snake during breezes that are moving at speeds of less than nine mph. When the strips wiggle, a copper induction coil located at the bottom of each strip displaces back and forth along a smooth pipe, magnet-filled, that passes horizontally through it.
The motion of the coil against the magnet gives birth to an electrical current that can be carried by wiring present within the pipe to a power converter. It can be used for charging batteries or powering devices from there.
The Army’s patent lists 10 inventors: Charles Marsh, Axy Pagan-Vazquez, Carl Feickert, Aaron Averbuch, Meredith Sellers, Christopher Joel Foster, Scott Lux, Justin Hesterberg, Andy Friedl, and John Alexander Magerko, III.