Swaying Trees May Be Used To Generate Electricity

Posted: Feb 2 2016, 8:47pm CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Swaying of Mechanical Trees Generate Electricity
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  • Mechanical Trees Generate Power When They Sway in Breeze

The swaying of trees in the wind may be used to generate electricity. Scientists are also looking towards tiny movements in buildings to be used for energy generation purposes.

Could trees be made to resemble windmills thereby conserving wind energy. A group of scientists at Ohio State University has looked into the matter and found to its surprise that such is the case.

Structures that look like trees could actually be employed to generate energy. The conversion of the movements due to the wind is possible via electromechanical materials such as PVDF (polyvinylidene flouride).

The project however looks beyond tree-like structures. It is looking ahead at buildings and bridges for further energy conservation.

Buildings tend to move although the effect is nominal and they lurch when people or vehicles move on them in tandem. Also car suspensions jerk when there are bumps in the road.

The overall kinetic energy that these movements generate is substantial and the sad fact is that it all goes to waste. Well, not anymore. Some of it can now be harvested and recycled.

The energy conserved from the operations may be employed to arm the sensors that keep these buildings and bridges stable. Thus the systems will become self-sustaining. The power of the buildings or bridges will come from the slight swaying motions.

As for the tree-like structures, they will be employed in places where there are no solar cells installed for sunlight utilization. The latest news is that these trees will be better able to utilize wind energy if they are built on a small-scale basis.

The artificial trees will be simple constructions and not exactly look like real life trees. The vibrations generated by the wind are enough to be turned into scads of energy. And this energy could be used to charge and supply power to ordinary gadgets and appliances.

Besides the wind energy, seismic activity (due to earthquakes) and human actions that go to waste could be employed in this rich bonanza treasure house of limitless energy.

Every day massive amounts of energy are lost via human carelessness. But were we to look to these new sources of power generation many of our energy crises would end within a few days. And while PVDF, the electromechanical material, produces a small amount of voltage (barely 0.8 volts), once it accumulates over time, there will be a lot to use at our discretion as a species.

This study got published in a recent issue of the Journal of Sound and Vibration.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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