by Charles Kennedy, Oil Price:
Smitha Rao and JC Chiao, two researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, have designed a unique concept to charge mobile electronic devices that use tiny micro-windmills attached to the surface of the device.
The design was initially created when trying to discover new methods of harnessing wind energy in regions where large wind turbines cannot be deployed. By scaling down the size of the turbines Rao and Chiao hoped that they could create more uses for, and grant more people access to wind energy.
The micro-windmills are only 1.8 millimetres at their widest point (compared to full sized turbines which can be from 40-90 metres wide), meaning that nearly ten can be attached to something the size of a grain of rice. The turbines would turn as the air passes over them whenever the device on which they are installed is moved during normal everyday use.
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