Could the hummingbird hold the answer to develping a more efficient way to harness the power of wind?
I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely fascinated by the hummingbird. These tiny, high-intensity insect-like birds always give me pause when I’m lucky enough to spy one going about its business.
Well, apparently I'm not the only one captivated by the hummingbird’s graceful, yet intense flapping motion. A company called Tyer Winds is taking a page from hummingbird behavior and applying it to transform wind turbines. According to an article on Gizmodo, Tyer Wind has created a turbine that relies on a fast-flapping pair of 5 foot "wings" to replace the wind turbine's traditional three spinning blades.
The hummingbird-like design boasts a number of advantages for wind conversion, including quiet operation and the potential for less damage during storms. Researchers claim the design also poses less of a threat to birds. Perhaps most promising is that it can be used in compact spaces, creating opportunities for use where traditional turbines often fall short, such as in dense urban areas or within a tightly concentrated wind farm.
It’s too soon to tell if the hummingbird design will give the standard turbine a run for its money, since use is still limited to working prototypess, although the prototypes are being tested in real-world conditions.