What happened to Humdinger Windbelt Technology? This new way of harnessing “Microwind” energy is both kinetically efficient and cost-effective. Instead of spinning wind turbine blades, windbelts use kinetic resonance to capture energy from even relatively weak wind sources. Yet there hasn’t been an update to the news section of humdingerwind.com since 2010.
The video below by D-Lab from the University of California Davis shows how educators were fascinated with the windbelt. Its simple design of an open plastic case with a vibrating ribbon makes it the perfect tool for teaching students about how kinetic energy can be converted into electricity.
Windbelts can be linked together to create large “windcells.” A single windcell which measures 1 meter by 1 meter in surface area can contain twenty windbelts. This acts similar to a solar panel array in terms of using surface area to maximize electricity production. The main difference between a windcell and a solar panel array is the cost of production. Windbelts can create electricity at a cost of five cents per kWh (kilowatt per hour) factoring in an average wind speed of 13.42 miles per hour. This cost per kilowatt hour rivals oil and it is significantly lower than the cost of solar panel production.
With all these benefits to the Humdinger Windbelt, what could have possibly prevented this technology from making headlines during 2011? Windbelts are inexpensive to build, patent protected and have huge potential benefit for both developed and developing nation-states. Windbelts are also safer for birds since they don’t spin dangerous blades and appear to be an obvious alternative for eco-friendly wind power.
In the video below, you will see students and professors at UC Davis working on an educational project with windbelt technology. This video was filmed in 2010 and unfortunately no new developments have been reported.
SOURCES: Humdingerwind.com – Windbelt – http://www.humdingerwind.com/#/wi_large/ – Accessed: January 31st, 2012
greenecon.net – Energy Economics – [This source was used in the cost per kWh comparison] – http://greenecon.net/understanding-the-cost-of-solar-energy/energy_economics.html – Accessed: January 31st, 2012