Can Micro Mills Recharge Your Cellphone?

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More in, less out
Battar   1/23/2014 9:00:31 AM
It probably requires more energy to manufacture one of these things than it will ever convert from wind during its' life cycle. As for generating nano -watts of power by waving my arms about - I could brobably do that more efficiently by blowing on a small fan. 

I wear an automatic (self winding) watch. That, too , haversts the energy in my natural movements. That technology is about 80 years old.

User Rank
Re: More in, less out
GTOlover   1/23/2014 10:09:03 AM
Also, how many birds will be killed by these 'wind turbines'?

TJ McDermott
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Not obvious
TJ McDermott   1/23/2014 10:19:31 AM
Cabe, the rotation part of the windmill is obvious.  What is not is how the microdevices turn that rotation into electrical energy.  Do you know how these micro mills actually generate electricity?  Are there actual micro generators with windings?


User Rank
The Specs
tekochip   1/23/2014 10:23:11 AM
It's very cool, but as always, I have to ask for the specifications.  How much energy can you get out of one of these?

User Rank
Re: More in, less out
Amclaussen   1/23/2014 11:11:54 AM
I was reading this and immediately though of the same wristwatch mechanism.  Even when that mechanism was very effective when the watch was used daily or at least every other day, the evolution towards electronic watches together with the substitution of the power hungry LED display by more efficient LCD made possible and very convenient to use small batteries, eventually reaching or surpassing a full two year duration (albeit at a heavy price in regards to creating very toxic waste!).

Now, the interesting thing here is about the many questions the article does not answer, like effective power, efficiency, construction details and how much power is available per square inch or so of exposed area to the wind, and at which wind velocity.  At first sight it would appear that a good quality solar cell would be more effective, working satisfactorily with any kind of light and not only solar.  This development is undoubtless, very intriging, but it looks more like a technical feat.  I cannot imagine it producing anywhere the power needs of present day phones and other devices. Amclaussen.

User Rank
mostly hype ?
GlennA   1/23/2014 12:35:45 PM
An interesting feat of engineering, but practical ?  The article suggests that these micro windmills could charge a smart device, but doesn't list the power output - possibly nano-watts ?  As stated in other posts;  a small solar cell may be more effective, and more cost-effective.

User Rank
Water? Dust?
networksguy   1/24/2014 9:25:34 AM
All other concerns aside, it seems like they'd be easy to contaminate or destroy with a careless touch.  You'd have to filter the chunks out of air going past them, which would reduce the air velocity and raise the cost of operation, but you'd still have gaseous contaminants that could eventually cause corrosion.  Perhaps the best use would be inside a sealed container with sides that move with barometric pressure change, forcing "wind" through a small orifice and past a tiny field of these.  Like a watch.

Some arithmetic is called-for before deploying these.  The power generated by a small patch of them might be enough to power a watch or a microprocessor in near-standby operation. But I don't think a pocketable patch of these is going to charge up a modern-day cellphone.

William K.
User Rank
Re: The Specs,m which seem to be missing
William K.   1/24/2014 9:38:04 AM
The micro wind turbine is certainly a remarkable feat of skill, or something.

BUT the question of it recharging any portable electronics is more simply answered. If the efficiency were to be 100% then all we would need to do is find the energy that it has available in an airstream the size of the turbine blade, and determine the current that would provide at a voltage adequate to charge a battery. To make the calculations simpler we assume 100% efficiency in all of the conversions. The answer is that while it may possibly be able to charge a battery for some very low powered monitoring device, such as an outdoor temperature sender, it would be quite worthless for anything similar to a phone of any kind.

Nice try, but no prize. And please don't mislead us with false titles.

User Rank
bobwojo48   1/24/2014 3:38:15 PM
OK,  for how many hours will I have to wave my Iphone around to get one minute of airtime?



User Rank
Re: mostly hype ?
far911   1/25/2014 2:01:28 PM
Agreed, what you said, plus convenient and less expensive.

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