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Energy supply to remote bases is one of the major concerns of military forces. A new generator creates power using “elastic tension gradient” strips. A patent was issued to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a novel generator that buzzes in a light breeze.
The Corps of Engineers’ technology, scaled up, could expand the geographic boundaries of wind energy production to places with historically low winds. The development can be applied in the renewable energy market, and the military sector is also is interested in it for powering expeditionary forces.
The prototype’s generator uses low-velocity winds — less than nine miles (24 km) per hour, which are not strong enough to turn a traditional wind turbine’s blades.
The prototype, built at the Corps’ Engineer Research and Development Center, has a base structure made of PVC piping that supports eight elastic strips mounted vertically on rotating tensioning tubes.
The strips are positioned in parallel with the wind’s direction and their front-to-back elasticity gives them a constant serpentine wiggle, which moves an embedded copper induction coil across a smooth pipe containing magnets. Wiring transmits the induced electricity from the coil generators to a power converter and output where it can be used for all sorts of work, according to phys.org.