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Wind-powered

If you're trying to save power, you generally don't leave your lights on all night. With a few exceptions, however, that's what cities do with their streetlights. That's why some groups have developed streetlights with built-in solar panels. A Spanish team is now taking things a step farther, with a stand-alone streetlight that runs off of both solar and wind power. Read More
How many artificial animals can you encounter on a seaside walk? More than one if you frequent the Dutch coastline where Theo Jansen's moving artworks amble along with the help of their rudimentary senses. The complex wind-powered skeletal constructs that Jansen calls "Strandbeests," or beach beasts, are designed to stay on the beach and live off the sea breeze. Read More

With its Vindskip (or Windship), the Norwegian designers at Lade AS have come up with an intriguing concept for a partly wind-powered "hybrid" merchant ship. Read More

While the Mars rover Curiosity may have attracted much of the world's attention of late, there are some equally impressive Earth-bound robot rovers deserving of some column inches. One such vehicle is China's Polar Rover, which harnesses the wind for power courtesy of a top-mounted HoYi! turbine from New York's Urban Green Energy (UGE) as it explores the Antarctic vastness, documenting effects that global warming is having on the continent. Read More
An Afghan designer has come up with a novel tumbleweed-esque device to find and detonate mines, a device that has evolved from the wind-powered toys he made as a child. Massoud Hassani's Mine Kafon is made mainly from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, but the simple addition of a GPS chip means the wind-swept spheres can be monitored to reveal the location of mines. Read More
What's claimed to be the world's first fully integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station has just been unveiled in Barcelona, Spain. The Sanya Skypump marries a 4 kW turbine developed by New York's Urban Green Energy (UGE) and General Electric's (GE) WattStation charging technology to offer users the chance to juice up an EV using clean, renewable energy. Read More
Streetlamps burn all night long, 365 nights a year, yet they also spend all day soaking up the Sun’s rays. This combination of regular usage alternating with sunlight exposure would seem to make them ideal candidates for the solar-power treatment. Indeed, companies such as Sharp and several others currently offer solar-powered streetlamps. Spain’s University of Seville, however, has developed a streetlamp that harnesses the power not only of sunlight, but also of wind. Read More
Ecotricity has unveiled plans to install green-energy-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging points at selected motorway service stations running up the UK's automotive backbone. Aiming to end potential range anxiety and speed up the adoption of EVs in Britain, the national network of charging posts will be rolled out to every Welcome Break service station, as well as other key locations, in the UK by the end of the year. Each charging post will receive its power from the company's wind and solar parks across the country, and one of the first three to go live is directly connected to the resident wind turbine at Reading's Green Park business park - offering electric motorists true zero emission driving. Read More
A television host and an engineer from Germany have completed an almost 5,000 km (3,107 mile) journey across Australia in their Wind Explorer, a lightweight electric vehicle powered by the wind – not only through electricity-generating wind turbines but also using kites. The pioneering 18-day trip by Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer set three world records – the first time a continent has been crossed be a wind-powered vehicle, the longest overall distance covered by an exclusively wind-powered land vehicle, and the longest distance covered by such a vehicle in 36 hours. Read More
As we demand more and more of our smartphones, the up time between charges suffers. Case in point – the iPhone. Chargers come in all shapes and sizes but few offer to power up the batteries using air, or more precisely – wind. Dutch designer Tjeerd Veenhoven has crafted just such a charger where his favored Apple device slides into the soft rubber outer skin and fan blades capture energy from the wind, which tops up the battery. Read More
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