Every year millions of tourists and locals descend upon Tibet’s temples and spin the prayer wheels contained inside. If the mechanical energy generated by the movement of these spinning wheels could be harnessed, we could potentially reduce the size of our current carbon footprint and supplement an inadequate and unreliable electrical grid for numerous individuals. The Prayer Wheel Energy Generator, designed by Taikkun Yang Li does just this by transforming all of those good vibes into electricity that could be used to provide reliable energy for daily needs such as evening lighting.

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Taikkun is a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s GFRY Studio, and his design was one of our favorite projects presented at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair. It is constructed simply around used bicycle parts and a discarded fan motor, making it ideal for efficient production and use in the developing world.

With a spin of the wheel, the device’s integrated mechanism generates energy and channels it through an insulated conduit to the local electrical grid. By combining the low-cost efficiency of a bicycle and discarded materials and the long life of 21st century LED lighting, the Prayer Wheel Generator uses the best of both high and low technologies. It is said that prayer wheels are used to accumulate wisdom and merit or good karma and to purify negative energy, and now they may generate electricity as well.

+ Taikkun Yang Li

+ GFRY Studio