The best of 2014

Wind turbine

The Windpax wind turbine system can be set up in less than two minutes and mounted on a nu...

Keeping mobile electronic devices powered up can be difficult for the modern camper and hiker. Generating power from Mother Nature in the form of wind and sun is the preferred option for many, with a number of portable solar and wind generators emerging to fill this need. The latest is Windpax, a collapsible, portable wind turbine system designed to not take up too much space in a backpack.  Read More

A top view of the Trinity

There are already plenty of solar-powered phone chargers out there, but they won't do you much good at night, when it's cloudy, or even if you live too far north. Chances are, however, that in any one of those situations, there will be at least a slight breeze ... and that's where the Trinity portable wind turbine comes into play.  Read More

Festo has applied the same methodology used in its robotic SmartBird to harvest energy fro...

Back in 2011, Festo created a natural-flight mimicking bionic seagull with flapping wings dubbed SmartBird. The company is now looking to apply similar principles in order to convert wind power into electricity with its DualWingGenerator system.  Read More

The Parasol system uses passive radar sensors and mathematical algorithms to determine if ...

With aspirations to claim 80 percent of its power from renewable sources by the 2050, it follows that Germany is taking a proactive approach to its clean energy transformation. Wind farms, while set to play an important part in achieving this goal, often meet impassioned opposition from disgruntled neighbors piqued by their perpetually blinking beacons. In an effort to address this issue, researchers have developed a sensor system for wind turbines which detects nearby aircraft, switching on a beacon warning system only as they approach.  Read More

Expedition users can switch between the turbine, solar and hand crank power

Powertraveller adds an ultra-versatile portable charger to its gadget charger line. Not only does the new Powermonkey Expedition include standards like a clamshell solar panel, AC adapter and crank charger, it complements them with a portable wind/river turbine. Carry the kit on your adventures and simply connect the generator component that's most suitable for the current conditions.  Read More

1.8 mm-wide windmill on a US Lincoln penny (Photo: U of Texas at Arlington)

Professor J.C. Chiao and his postdoc Dr. Smitha Rao of the University of Texas at Arlington have developed a MEMS-based nickel alloy windmill so small that 10 could be mounted on a single grain of rice. Aimed at very-small-scale energy harvesting applications, these windmills could recharge batteries for smartphones, and directly power ultra-low-power electronic devices.  Read More

The concept is the work of Los Angeles-based design studio M-Rad (Image: M-Rad)

An ambitious new concept by Los Angeles-based design studio M-Rad envisions shipping container-based structures, sustainable technology, and extreme sports coming together in one place.  Read More

A CPV system brings electricity to Madagascar villagers

Fondation Énergies pour le Monde (Energy for the World Foundation), an organization that promotes clean energy in developing countries, has completed the installation of a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system in Ambondro, southern Madagascar. The CPV system was also combined with existing wind turbines in the village, with project partner Sunidarity claiming it is the first decentralized rural electrification operation of its kind in Madagascar.  Read More

The primary niche is to clip the generator to the top of existing solar panels in large ar...

Crowdfunding has come to the small wind generation field with an Indiegogo campaign intended for an interesting target niche: a small wind generator designed to be clipped onto solar panels. According to his pitch, Michael Ring has not only created a prototype, but calculated possible energy returns, targeted a price point and lined up suppliers for initial deliveries and has turned to Indeigogo to get his small startup off the launch pad.  Read More

John Dabiri has hypothesized and tested counter-rotating arrays of vertical axis wind turb...

Since we first looked at John Dabiri's hypothesis that vertical axis wind turbines should be arrayed like a school of fish to reduce the land area required for wind farm installations, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has continued to work on the idea. Following the latest round of coverage, Gizmag takes a deeper look at his concept, and wonders whether the idea of packing turbines into as tight a space as possible might overlook some wind energy fundamentals.  Read More

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