Well, here we are, a future where wind turbines are inspired and designed after the beautiful hummingbirds! This exemplary piece of design was the brainchild of a Tunisian startup called Tyer Wind. The machine’s inventor Anis Aouini, said that he came up with the idea after he noticed the movement one of nature’s most efficient flyers, The hummingbird. He noticed that these birds were able to hover in a fixed position for a considerable amount of time which could be incorporated in the design of a wind turbine which would make it efficacious and eco-friendly.
This wind turbine consists of a pair of fan blades that are approximately 5 feet long and move in a figure-eight motion similar to the wing movement of hovering hummingbirds. These blades are made up of carbon fiber and occupy up to 12 square feet space when the blades flap together. These wings capture energy from the wind and transmit it to a spinning axle inside the turbine housing, which is predominantly the part of the turbine that moves.
To mimic the movement of the bird, Aouini developed his own
Hummingbirds employ both morphology and kinematics to vary the speed of flapping its wings to 50 to 200 times a second when in flight. They are also the sole group of birds that have the capacity to hover backward. By mimicking the eight-figure motion of the bird the turbines are now able to generate electricity both on the upward and the downward stroke as compared to normal wind turbines. These blades are also capable of taking more wind and can easily coexist with nature.
The noise pollution levels of the wind turbine are less than that if the conventional ones. They are comparatively less visually obstructive and allow for a safer migration of birds. The design also allows for the installation of a higher density of turbines on wind farms and are easily scalable.
However, these wind turbines are still not capable of producing energy equivalent to similar sized wind turbines. It is still in it’s testing phase with active research and development of the product in place. These turbines are undoubtedly a piece of nature actualized in a material form. As exciting as the project seems we are yet to wait for the project to be implemented for commercial use in real life.