Windmills offer a great way to harness renewable energy, and they’ve been around for almost two centuries – but who says that’s the only way you can catch the wind? Festo, a supplier of automation technology, is trying to shake things up with a new type of wind harvesting technology called the DualWingGenerator that replaces rotor blades with bird-like wings.
Just like a bird that flaps its wings up and down to create enough power for flight, the wind will push DualWingGenerator’s wings up and down to generate electricity. Festo claims that the system can generate electricity constantly – even when the winds are as weak as four meters per second. DualWingGenerator is supposedly self-optimizing with the ability to adjust the frequency, amplitude, and angle of its flapping wings. Because of this adaptability, it can be used in a variety of conditions.
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Festo likens its DualWingGenerator system to an airplane’s wings as it will bend with the wind for the most efficient angle to catch the greatest amount of airflow and create more electricity.
Wind energy can provide a great renewable and emission-free source of energy, but it has a few caveats. Thanks to the large rotors, windmills need plenty of space and although there are vertical windmills with a smaller profile, they all require constant and strong winds to work. If Festo’s DualWingGenerator really works as promised it could bring in a lot more wind energy even from the calmest parts the world.
Images via Festo