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Alt Energy

Wind power without blades

The piezoelectric effect turns physical motion into electricity. It doesn’t generate much, (apparently about 0.2 watts per unit,) but if you scaled it to cover the entire side of a large building, you could generate useful power. 

To power a single home most would be self-sufficient (plus some to sell back) with 6 kW generator. 

How big a structure would you need for that amount of power with this technology if you had a sufficiently windy space? Here are some numbers:

… This project proposes to put panels of about 250 four-inch oscillators per square meter on the sides of buildings. The arrays employ piezoelectric cantilevers to directly power applications or charge batteries. It has been estimated that the arrays can output up to 54 W/m^2, a number that is comparable to the 60-100 W/m^2 output of commercial solar panels.
What makes Vibro-wind unique from other renewable energy sources is that it allows energy harvesting in wind speeds as low as 2 m/s, whereas large-scale wind turbines require at least 9 m/s, and it works in locations with little sun.


If we assume 50 Watts per square meter as an estimate, you’d need a 120 square meter wall of these. 50 watts x 120 is 6,000 watts which is 6kW. That’s 394 square feet. 

Something the size of a single billboard would more than do it. Cool!

A Bulletin is the largest standard-sized billboard that delivers maximum exposure to vehicular traffic on expressways, highways and primary arteries. Typically 14 feet high and 48 feet wide, a bulletin provides 672 square feet of space for your ad. Bulletins offer unparalleled visibility.


Ah. These big boards are the Cadillac of bulletin boards, running $50,000 to $100,000. It wouldn’t make sense to spend money on one.

… monopoles come in everything from center-mount to full-flag, and back-to-back to tri-face. They can be over 100’ high if needed. They are chock full of catwalks and ladders, and lights are the norm.

These types of billboards can run from $50,000 to $100,000+

It does give you a good idea of how much space you would need, however. 

… a piezoelectric transducer, which is a device made of a ceramic or polymer that emits electrons when stressed.


Where does one buy 30,000 piezoelectric transducer cantilevers that output 200 milliwatts each? 

I’m curious about the cost and specs.

About Xeno

E pluribus unum.


5 thoughts on “Wind power without blades

  1. probably wont be commenting on this blog again. the reason isnt you, its wordpress.

    it used to be, that if you clicked on the comment icon, you could leave a comment through wordpress.com without going to the blog post on your site. a clever person has completely broken this feature– now i have to go to your site for the reply box to even render. its the same on every blog i go to– but most of those are also hosted on wordpress.com, so i dont have to leave the site.

    as to why i care? i dont want to go to your site and also enable javascript. nothing personal– im not doing that for the tens of non-wp.com blogs im subscribed to. a couple weeks ago, the only site i had to do that for was on wordpress itself.

    thought id let you know, since theyre busy breaking stuff over there.

    Posted by codeinfig | 25 Mar 2017, 2:56 am
    • Yes, I understand. Thanks for the previous comments. According to my statistics I have hundreds or even thousands of people reading without commenting. I’m not sure if they’re real people or just bots, but even if no one is reading, I enjoy leaving my record of the most interesting things, a journal of my earthly exploration. It’s a great, strange and at times awful place we have here. Even with its problems, I like WordPress a lot more than Facebook. We have more individuality. I recently paid to remove the ads on this blog, for example, so I like it even more now. Unfortunately, most of the traffic is now on Facebook.

      Posted by Xeno | 25 Mar 2017, 3:22 am
      • yeah, i wont do facebook and wordpress may fix this eventually. their last “upgrade” was crap though.

        you notice i can still reply to your comment, as im not viewing your post at the moment. i can reply to posts only from your site– but i can reply to your reply, from notifications. go figure. 🙂

        Posted by codeinfig | 25 Mar 2017, 3:33 am
      • That is interesting. Yes, this current version of the WordPress app has been crashing like crazy, but at least it doesn’t lose my content.

        Posted by Xeno | 25 Mar 2017, 3:36 am
      • and im still following your blog, of course. lots of great stuff on here.

        Posted by codeinfig | 25 Mar 2017, 3:34 am

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