The Faint Rustle of Power

This lovely little animation from the New York Times reports on a conceptual technology called Vibro-Wind, which uses the piezoelectric effect�source of the same pressure-induced currents that run the speakers in those insufferable audio greeting cards�to generate a turbine-free trickle of electricity from arrays of foam pads that rustle in the wind.

It’s interesting to get reporting this way; superficially, the animation (produced for the Magazine’s Year in Ideas) has more in common with advertising than journalism.For all its graphic pizazz, however, the animation conveys the look of the tech quite rigorously and lucidly; below is a video of one of the experimental arrays, uploaded to YouTube by Zach Gould, a Cornell student working with professor Frank Moon, who devised the technology.

The array could produce a distinctive�and distracting�visual signature, although it clearly avoids the dangers to wildlife posed by traditional wind turbines (which the NYT animation deftly alludes to as well). It’s an elegant solution; here’s hoping it scales.

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One comment

  1. Yes it is a solution, but nothing compared to SolarBotanic technology, artificial trees convert wind, light, sound, heat and rain into clean electricity, around the clock – Sorry, but if you’re talking about saving birds, aesthetics and efficiency, I go with these Trees.

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