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Windbelt – Wind energy without turbine blades

Abhishek Jagtap, Dinesh Hiray & Anish Khati
The Windbelt is a device for converting wind power to
electricity A windbelt is essentially an aeolian
harp except that it exploits the motion of the string
produced by the aeroelastic flutter effect to move
a magnet closer and farther from one or more coils and
thus induce current in the wires that make up the coil.
About 2% of global electricity production comes from
wind-powered generators. Their capacity has doubled
in the past three years. In some countries it is more
popular than solar energy because it is cheaper on a
cost per watt basis. However, for powering small
devices there has been minimal activity to harvest
energy from the wind. This is because conventional
electromagnetic wind turbines require rotating fins and
gearing which adds bulk, and they become less
efficient when scaled down. Virginia Tech University
in the US is doing research into piezoelectric turbines,
where they have developed a "contactless" turbine
where the losses are only mechanical friction on
bearings and magnetic friction but so far the output
power is low and they are less effective at high wind
velocities. Piezo-electrics are also relatively expensive.
For all of the recent strides made in the wind industry,
wind power for the last 100 years has not been very
flexible. Turbine based wind harvesters are only cost
effective on a unit size of nearly a megawatt and
maintenance is expensive and difficult. 1-meter long
Wind belt generator is being developed to change all of
A single Wind cell, for instance, is sized to power
meshed WiFi repeaters, whereas a few units linked
together can provide power to ocean navigation buoys
or isolated lighting apps. The systems, like all of

Humdinger's main products, are modular, in that
individual units can be combined together as building
blocks for larger installations. For substantially largerscale applications and grid-tied electricity production,
Instead of using conventional geared, rotating airfoils
to pull energy from the wind, the Windbelt™ relies on
an aerodynamic phenomenon known as aeroelastic
flutter (™flutter™). While the phenomenon is a wellknown destructive force (e.g., a cause of bridge failure)
The kinetic energy present in wind has been
successfully applied towards productive human ends,
such as grinding grain or pumping water. Windpowered generators were developed to harness this
kinetic energy for the production of electricity. Today,
wind-powered generators take on the largely ubiquitous
form of a turbine, or rotating airfoil. While these
turbine-based wind generators are generally useful in
certain open spaces with consistently high-speed
winds, drawbacks still exist, such as heavy initial
capital costs, low efficiency at all but a narrow range of
wind speeds, the lack of cost effectiveness at lower
power outputs levels (<1 kW), etc. windbelt is a
device, which is design to circumvent the above
mention drawbacks.
Windbelt is a device which is based on the concept of
‘Aeroelastic flutter’. A Windbelt is designed in such a
way that it effectively utilizes the oscillations induced

by the wind for generating electricity. A windbelt
consists of a tensioned Mylar membrane (or belt),
a set of magnets and a set of electromagnetic coils.
When the belt experiences aeroelastic flutter under
the action of wind, the magnets oscillate between

Wind Power Causes Economic Problems:
[ref 5,12^]
Homes located near wind turbines lose
significant value
Some homes become impossible to sell
and are abandoned by their owners
Wilderness areas lose economic value as
recreational and vacation locations
Tourism supported businesses suffer

the coils to induce an electric current. The
Problem solving Methodology
electricity is then produced according to Faraday’s
Law of electromagnetic Induction.
Problems with existing system
Destruction of fragile ecosystems and
animal habitats
Turbines kill birds and other flying animals
Migrating Birds
Turbine "blade thump" noise causes a
health problem known as Wind Turbine
Symptoms include:
Sleep disturbance
Ringing or buzzing in the ears
Visual blurring
Rapid heart rate
Problems with concentration and memory
Panic episodes associated with sensations
of internal pulsation or quivering, which
arise while awake or asleep

[ref 10^]
The wind belt is a new advent in the world of
renewable energy. Wind belt is a device which
effectively utilizes oscillations produced by
wind for generating electricity.
This piece of technology would be best
because it is easy to store, easy to repair, and
relatively inexpensive.
Extreme poverty, corruption in the
government, and lack of running water are just
a few of the problems in India.
Optimize Practical Use of the wind energy
Future develepment of the wing energy
extraction and electrical conversion
A wind belt consists of a tensioned Mylar
membrane (or belt)
A set of magnets and a set of electromagnetic
The membrane vibrates when subject to a
wind flow. The button magnets are attached to
the membrane and configured to move with
the membrane.
The vibration of the membrane caused by the
wind flow causes a relative movement
between the electrical coils and the applied
magnetic field.

The relative movement causes a change in the
strength of the magnetic field applied to the
electrical coils, and the change in the strength
of the magnetic field applied to the electrical
coils induces a current flowing in the coils,
when it is connected to the load.
COMPONENTS[ref 8,7^]

ε is the induced electromotive force
v is the induced voltage
Thus, to increase the induced voltage, the
parameters N, Φ and (d™/dt) should be maximized
(as described below).
1. Increase number of wire turns, N
Discarded transformers and motors are a good
source of well-wound coils.
If these are not available, effective coils can
be made by carefully winding copper wire with an
electrical hand-drill as illustrated in Fig 3.7
The “Buzzer” utilizes a rigid belt to flutter in
the wind as opposed to the standard Mylar belt.

The rigid belt in this system lasts longer
than flexible material that must be

Design structure of windbelt.
The purpose of this section is to show how the
different components were selected based on
faraday’s induction law.
[ref 12,3^]
1 Parameters to optimize for increase in electric
By Faraday’s Induction Law,

connected at both ends and kept under
tension in other designs.
2. The rigid belt can also be made of
inexpensive and easy to acquire materials,
such as plastic or wood.
3. Not having to attach the belt at both ends
allows the system to be as much as half the
size of other units. This makes it easier to
build and less expensive.
4. The Buzzer may produce more power than
other designs.

Φ is the magnetic flux through the area of the
N is the number of wire turns in the magnetic

[ref 9,3^]
No specialized materials for windbelt

1. Windbelt can be used in developing
2. Simple and cheap in construction.
3. Required wind speed for operation is
less (4 miles per hour).
4. For small application efficiency is
5. Flexibility in construction.
[ref 6^]
1) No specialized materials for windbelt
Windbelt requires no special
material for construction. It can be
constructed using nearby waste material. It
requires Neodymium magnet which is
easily available in the market. Hence,

Thus, windbelt is an solution for
above problem which can leads to
development of developing countries like
3) Simple and cheap in construction.
Windbelt construction does not
require any complex construction. It can
easily constructed by the unskilled person
by knowing the specification of each

As the material

requires for construction of windbelt is
easily available, cost of material is saved
which is an vital factor which is consider
for reducing overall cost of windbelt.

windbelt does not require any import
Thus, cost of material is saved
which reduces overall cost of prototype.
2) Windbelt can be used in developing
Development of country depends

4) Required wind speed for operation is
less (4 miles per hour).
Existing wind turbine (vertical &
horizontal axis wind turbine) requires wind
speed about 20 miles per hour & above.
But, Windbelt requires minimum wind

on the generation of energy for industrial

speed about 4 miles per hour. Hence, it can

as well as commercial application. But,

be installed near to consumer end.

due to unavailability of energy resources,
condition political issue, unclimatic
conditions etc country cannot meet the
Hence, energy conservation is an
important factor which tries to minimize
the gap between generation & utilization
by reducing losses in transmission&
distribution as well as in electrical

5) For small application efficiency is
Vertical axis wind turbine has
maximum efficiency 59.63% for large
scale application. But, if it is used to
generate electrical energy for smaller
applications like illuminating CFL, mobile
phone charger, LED lighting its efficiency
obtained about 1%.

While on the other side windbelt

causes a change in the strength of the magnetic

used for generating small amount of power field applied to the electrical coils, and the change
has efficiency above 20%.

in the strength of the magnetic field applied to the
electrical coils induces a current flowing in the

6) Flexibility in construction.

coils, when it is connected to the load.

Windbelt construction can be
placed horizontally or vertically depending
on the area available.
Hence, Windbelt requires less
space which can be mounted on building,
street pole bridge etc.
Design Procedure [ref 1,2^]
The stiffness of the belt and the length of the belt
are the important factor for the amount of energy
produced. Smaller belt produced more fluttering
effect in high speeds winds so longer belt is best
suitable for he harvesting of power from low
speed winds. For high wind length of the belts
should be less. Therefore belt can be maintained
from 50 CM to 100 CM according to the wind

Based on analysis of India’s climate
and people, it would be most feasible to
implement the Windbelt to generate electricity to
light the home. With the average income being
well below the poverty line an inexpensive form
of energy would have to be implemented. It also

A windbelt consists of a tensioned Mylar

needs to be easy to maintain and repair. The

membrane (or belt), a set of magnets and a set of

Windbelt meets all of these requirements. To

electromagnetic coils. The membrane vibrates

possibly cut down the number of Windbelt that

when subject to a wind flow. The button magnets

would need to be used, we could work with the

are attached to the membrane and configured to

community to allow the Windbelt to be kept

move with the membrane. The vibration of the

outside at all times. This would require an increase

membrane caused by the wind flow causes a

in security for the home, which poses a problem;

relative movement between the electrical coils and we would have to respectfully convince the
the applied magnetic field. The relative movement existing security guard that he could use some

extra help. We could also consider funneling the

Worden on Jul 23, 2010
[4] Fei Fei, Wen J. Li, "A Fluttering-to-Electrical
wind to increase wattage output. Providing
Energy Transduction System for Consumer
lighting for the home can greatly improve the lives Electronics Applications” IEEE
International Conference on Robotics and
of the inhabitants of India.
Biomimetics December 19 -23, 2009, Guilin,
From above discussion we can conclude
[5] J. Park, K. Kim, S. Kwon and K. H. Law, " An
that the windbelt is best suited for low power
Aero-elastic Flutter Based Electromagnetic
application by considering its efficiency that is
Energy Harvester with Wind
Speed Augmenting Funnel ," The 2012 Int'l
above 20%. Also, the advantages of windbelt also
Conference on Advances in Wind and Structures
made it suited for generating small power that is (AWAS 2012). Seoul, Korea,
August 26, 2012 .
below also totally eliminate the
[6] Shuguang Li, Jianping Yuan, Hod
transmission losses as installed near consumer
Lipson.“Ambient wind energy harvesting using
cross-flow fluttering” Journal of applied
physics 109, 026104 (2011)
[7] Geoff Johnson, Lucas Hartman, Tejus
Goenka”Power Generation from Aeroelastic
Flutter at Low Reynolds Number”
[8] Faraz Ahmad, Shazia Shakeel, Kehkeshan
Naz,”Powering-Up Charging Stations for the
Hybrid Electrical Vehicles by
Harvesting Wind Energy Using Modified Wind
Belt System”
[9] J. A. Paradiso and T. Starner, "Energy
scavenging for mobile and wireless electronics,"
Pervasive Computing, IEEE, vol. 4,
no. 1, pp. 18-27, 2005.
Technical Reference Sources:
[10] “Wind Turbines: Power Performance
Measurements of Electricity Producing Wind
[1] Shawn Frayne „Windbelt generator™
Turbines,” Part 1 of 12, 2005.
„Humdinger Wind Energy™ Energy harvesting
[11] 1. International Journal of Engineering
and storage journal 17 July 2009.
Research and General Science Volume 3, Issue 2,
[2] Shawn Frayne Windbelt Innovation: Medium
March-April, 2015
windbelt; Humdinger Wind Energy, February 12,
ISSN 2091-2730
[3] Matt Schelke ,Wind Energy with Windbelt
Generator Technology Article by Matt Schelke
Edited & published by Whitney