Turbine-free Wind Power [Video]

Mechanical engineering Francis C. Moon has proposed a new solution for wind energy that eliminates the need for turbines. Moon, who is Cornell University's Joseph D. Ford Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is an expert in kinematics, a branch of mechanics that studies the motion of objects without considering the forces that cause the motion. Sidestepping completely the problematic issues associated with wind turbines, such as the harm they cause to birds and bats, and the noise and vibration the produce, Moon's oscillating wind panels consist of 25 foam pads that vibrate in the wind. Each pad is attached to piezoelectric materials that produce electricity with each vibration. Another advantage: this technology can be placed just about anywhere that has wind and doesn't require the vast open spaces of traditional wind turbines. Watch the video for a great animation and explanation of how this new turbine-free wind technology.

What do you think of this solution--will we soon see it on rooftops?


Very good question. I've not been able to find much more on this research, surprisingly. I can only imagine it would have some limits, both for high and low wind, though it seems like it might be more successful in low winds than other wind-power technology. I did find a photo of a real model of this invention in this short article http://ow.ly/6TU7f and also found other related work by Prof. Moon based on tree leaves that may have been a predecessor http://ow.ly/6TUdt.