Shawn Frayne's Windbelt Uses Resonance, Not Turbine, to Harness Wind Energy

Shawn Frayne has been thinking of harnessing wind power to generate electricity for a while. He wanted to create a cheap micro-generator powerful enough to charge small electronic devices like radios in third world countries, but so far, all the technology is focused on turbines which doesn't scale down well at all.

Inspired by wind vibration that caused the collapse of "Galloping Gertie" bridge in Tacoma, Washington in 1940, Shawn came up with this device, called the Windbelt.

Frayne’s device, which he calls a Windbelt, is a taut membrane fitted with a pair of magnets that oscillate between metal coils. Prototypes have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines.

For his innovative approach, Shawn won the 2007 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards: [with video of the device in action] - Thanks wade7!

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