Monday, 25 January 2016

Plastic Grass Could Cover Buildings to Produce Energy from Wind


We have been living in such a time where energy consumption is growing by each passing day and the reliance on conventional source of energy doesn’t seem to die down. Non conventional sources of energy offers greater benefits in terms of keeping the planet clean but their usage happens to be limited as it requires most investment than conventional sources. Now a relatively new product has come into focus which aims to offers energy from the wind in a clean and efficient manner.

It is a relatively new kind of generator for harnessing wind power, which works on the carpet surface covered with extraordinary plastic strips. As these strips sways like the natural grass a great scope of producing wind energy comes into the view. It is not just renewable but also quite affordable and clean as it can be.

Researchers behind this awesome wind power generator

Currently this particular new kind of wind power generator is in action. It covers rooftop area of 300 sq. m. filled with strips in China. Researchers have asserted that it is capable of delivering electrical energy equivalent to 7.11 kW. This much of electrical is more than enough to power a usual household. Weiquing Yang has been working on this project in collaboration with the Zhong Lin Wang’s group from Georgia Institute of Technology.

The main aim of this project was to tap energy from the steady winds along with the help of choosy guts. This particular wind energy harvesting system is extremely simple to develop and install. It can even be scaled as per the needs of the larger systems. Till now this wind energy generator has been gone through the lab tests where electric fan was placed at a rooftop model covering an area with 60 strips. This happens to generate electricity which was enough to provide energy to 60 LEDs.

Future prospects of this research

Results might be in the favor of the wind energy generator but not all the renewable energy enthusiasts and experts are happy with it. Fernando Galembeck who is widely known to investigate the energy harvesting methods has concluded that this particular system cannot be made easily available and it doesn’t happen to be desirable. He further elaborates that the amount of power, which can be harnessed from this system, is not quite enough to install these devices either on the rooftops or the building walls.

Galembeck also offered some smart ways to increase the efficiency of this device and make it most desirable for the targeted users in order to become a successful energy harvesting system. He states that energy storage happens to be a crucial factor in determining the overall success of the harvesting system. Hence, researchers should bring in smart ways to store the power generated by the generator for use at varying times. Even Yang has stressed that they are currently working on bringing some smart storage solution which will be done by merging the nanogenerator in solar panels and it will help in boosting the overall output of the wind energy harvesting system.

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