Micro generator captures energy from airflow without using bearings or gears.
Windbeam is a micro generator that captures energy from wind speeds.
The design is surprisingly simple. The generator consists of a beam suspended between two sets of springs housed in an outer frame. A combination of two phenomena—transverse galloping and vortex shedding—cause the beam to oscillate rapidly when it’s exposed to airflow.
A notable advantage of this design, particularly when compared to traditional wind turbines, is the Windbeam’s lack of bearings and gears, which eliminates frictional inefficiencies as well as noise.
In case it’s been a while since your last course on fluid dynamics, transverse galloping is the progressively increasing amplitude of transverse vibration that occurs in response to increased wind speed.
In the case of the Windbeam, wind flowing over the beam forms a pressure differential and the beam’s non-circular cross-section produces an angle between the direction of wind flow and the force exerted on the beam.
This force initially pushes the beam upwards until the constraints of the system, i.e., the springs and the frame, force it back downwards. The same wind then produces an opposite pressure differential that encourages the beam to move in a downward motion. This pattern continues, resulting in a self-excited system.