Popular Mechanics 2007 Breakthrough Award: the Windbelt

Posted on October 14, 2007  Comments (1)

Shawn Frayne’s Windbelt Wins Popular Mechanics 2007 Breakthrough Award

Frayne’s device consists of a flat, taut membrane that flutters within its housing as air passes through it. At each end of the membrane are magnets that oscillate between metal coils as the band flutters, effectively creating an electric charge. According to the 28-year-old Frayne, prototypes of the Windbelt have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines.

Frayne, now based in Mountain View, Calif., gathered a variety of lessons while studying at MIT, especially under the tutelage of Amy Smith (a 2004 MacArthur fellow) in her “D-Lab” class. In this design lab, Frayne learned the politics of delivering technology to poor nations, as well as the technical aspects of mechanical engineering.

I blogged on Amy Smith another blog awhile back: Engineering a Better World (which includes a great web video). Read about 9 more Breakthrough awards.

Related: Micro-Wind Turbines for Home UseAppropriate TechnologyHome Engineering: Windmill for ElectricityVertical Rotation Personal WindmillWindbelt, Cheap Generator Alternative, Set to Power Third World

One Response to “Popular Mechanics 2007 Breakthrough Award: the Windbelt”

  1. CuriousCat: Time's Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of 2007
    December 10th, 2007 @ 8:05 pm

    “In November, Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and molecular biologist James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin reported that they had reprogrammed regular skin cells to behave just like embryonic stem cells…”

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