An invention that involves all of James Dyson's favourite things has scooped the UK leg of the company's design award challenge, with two men and their innovative omnidirectional wind turbine winning global publicity for their tiny spinning generator concept.
The problem being solved by Lancaster University's Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani is the way wind turbines need steady winds from one direction to work best. This is a bit rubbish in cities, where buildings and the huffing of taxi drivers at cyclists generates all sorts of odd currents and vectors, meaning a new turbine, one that can harness power even if the wind's coming up at them from below, could revolutionise micro generation in towns and cities.
So that's what they made. And are hanging it up on bits of string to show it works. To say it's at an early stage of development is an understatement, but their Ikea lampshade-style turbine shows enough promise that it convinced the Dyson lobby to back it. Orellana said: "We hope that O-Wind Turbine will improve the usability and affordability of turbines for people across the world. Cities are windy places but we are currently not harnessing this resource. Our belief is that by making it easier to generate green energy, people will be encouraged to play a bigger own role in conserving our planet." [Dyson Award via Guardian]