Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wind Power

I do mostly expect over-the-rainbow solar power (whether stratospheric, as I've suggested before, or space-based in the High Frontier tradition) to become a dominant power source, but in the early stages I see lots of room for wind. Today I see a vibration-based wind generator :

a magnet mounted on a vibrating membrane simply oscillates between wire coils.

Looks good, and reminds me that a few months back, while reading about thermoacoustic Stirling cycles, I remembered a science-fiction story I read forty years ago. The story is about an archaeological expedition studying a long-lost alien civilization on a windy desert planet, and the expedition ends up being saved (spoiler alert) by the discovery that the millions of noisy wind harps that are driving everybody crazy are actually piezoelectric generators, producing electricity from the vibrations.

So I'm imagining a sun/wind combination on your roof: as long as the sun is out, we have thermoacoustic vibrations to generate power (with potentially pretty good efficiency), but when a storm blows on by, we get the same vibration frequency from an array of Aeolian harp-strings.

Or then again, maybe not.


Post a Comment

<< Home