A new kind of wind energy has been created in the form of what mimics blades of grass!
A team of Chinese and Americans researchers have worked together to create what is called turboelectric nanogenerator (TENG); you can view the report in the journal of Advanced Materials.
Here’s how it works as outlined in the report:
‘Here, we present a ﬂexible and transparent TENG to harvest energy from natural wind at arbitrary wind blowing direction. Reliance on the vertically free-standing polymer strips, which consist of indium tin oxide (ITO) coated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) thin ﬁlm, the laminar TENGs array holds a kelp forest morphology and each single strip could sway independently to cause a contact-separation when the natural wind passes by. For a systematical study, a high speed camera was employed to clearly capture the working states and interaction between two adjacent TENGs. The vertically free-standing polymer strips hold a vibration frequency as high as 154 Hz under wind blowing. This high-frequency swing assures sufficient contact-separation among strips as required for high electric output.’
These polymer strips/blades are meant to be placed on the roofs of buildings in order to capture as much wind as possible. So far the project has been tested in a lab, using an electric fan and 60 strips of the on a model rooftop, generating enough energy to power 60 LED lights.
Researchers are hopeful that a 985 square foot area of strips on a rooftop could generate 7.11 kW of energy; almost enough to power a home. However, they must find a way to store the energy produced and a substitute for the toxic indium tin oxide used to make the blades.