Windbelt Cheap Generator Alternative

Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on 14.12.2007

KYLE: My player is Shawn Frayne. He's going to be talking about Windbelt. This is like
an awesome in the coolness factor. So, without further ado.
>> FRAYNE: Thanks Kyle. Really excited to--is this too loud? Okay. I'm really excited to
be here today. I was at a talk a few months ago and there's a--I don't know, [INDISTINCT]
at his talk but--he was--he's a professor at Harvard who's doing microbial fuel cells.
Basically, turning chicken crap into electricity, you know, the coolest thing in the world and
I said, "Wow, peter how's that going?" And he said, "It's going pretty well, I'm giving
a talk at Google." So--so I'm really, really excited to be here. The company I'm going
to be talking about and the technology we're going to be talking about today falls under
my start-up which is humdinger, wind energy. And our focus is a new type of wind generator
which is the first viable non-turbine alternative to turbine based systems. And I'll dive right
in, in a few minutes into the technology itself and let you guys kind of poke holes in it
and ask questions and what not. But I wanted to warn you that my goal in coming to this
talk is two-fold; one is to talk about the technology, it's called the Windbelt--I'll
show you a little demo and to get your feedback--because it's an early stage technology that's really
just starting to crawl out of the water onto land, so any inputs most appreciated. But
my second goal is to talk a little bit about this design and invention movement. It's sort
of where humdinger wind energy came out of and where the technology behind our company
came from, and that's focusing on technologies developed, specifically, for developing countries.
And then seeing how--the interesting thing that's happening is this field of appropriate
technology or design for developing countries is changing. It's no longer the technology
that's in Uncle Neds, you know, workshop in the backwoods of, you know, Wisconsin--hope
no one is from Wisconsin--but it--it's changing into the most cutting-edge technology because
when you give yourself the most difficult constraints in the world which you often find
in developing countries, sometimes, and other folks are finding a lot of times that yields
new patentable technologies which can have play in markets other than the developing
countries. So, I'll get into that at the end while you're held hostage here. But just jumping
right into it, so, first something you guys know--what is this? No I'm kidding--it's a
wind power up to date is--it can be summarized by a few words, something that spins, and
I don't mean that in a derogatory way, that's just the way it is. You know, you go back,
you know, 2000 years to look at when wind power was first starting to be harnessed.
And you see things, you know, you see spinning windmills that would pound grain and then
a little bit later you would see spinning windmills that would pump water, and more
recently in the last hundred years, there has been a lot of research into wind turbines
that spin, focus in a large area of wind to a small gear box, spin up some magnetics and
some coils and what not, and then get efficient electrical output that way. That's great,
and that works really well on the very large scale when you have, you know, a vast area
of wind that you're concentrating down, but when you start to scale down wind power to
the sub 100 watt field, that turbine technology, that focus on rotational systems no longer
is--no longer is viable and that's why there's nothing on the market presently in wind power,
in these very small, you know, sub 100 watt ranges. You might discount that and say, "Well,
who cares about sub 100 watt." But if you look at portable text, a heat--a very large
percentage by energy, about 7 or 8% I believe, of the PV Market in the world are these--are
these very, very small scale energy uses for powering all sorts of small scale apps. Wind
power just doesn't have that for variety of reasons. When you scale down a wind turbine
the loss--the percentage of losses you get in your bearings becomes a higher percentage
of your overall power output. You don't have the same, you know, the same angular momentum
that you have on the very large scale. So the dynamics changed a lot. So that's why
no one has been successful at scaling down wind turbines. So, the way that I got into
this and what lead to the formation of humdinger wind energy was a series of--a group of new
constraints. And just to give you some background, this is a shot taken from the roof where we
were installing some solar panels from BP at a fishing village in Haiti, Petite Anse
and I've done some work there for the last 4 or 5 years, it's a group out of MIT that
works with a few different organizations in Haiti. We were doing things like converting
agricultural waste, such as, what's left over after you squeeze a sugar-- after you squeeze
the juice out of sugarcane converting that into cooking charcoal with very low cost technologies
focusing on things like solar water disinfection. While I was there, I also realized which a
lot of people--which a lot of other folks have realized as well, that kerosene lighting
is the predominant form of lighting for a lot of homes, and when you use kerosene there's--kerosene
is an outdated fuel for lighting, you know, to say the least, it's inefficient in terms
of energy input and light you get out, but it's also dangerous, hazardous and costly.
You know, you can spend 5 to 10 dollars a month on kerosene fuel just for a couple of
lamps. So, all these things combined lead me to--want to focus on a system that all
in, these are my constraints, that all in would cost about 10 dollars, provide power
to a couple of light LEDs. You might have read a lot of groups coming out of Stanford
and MIT and what not that are forming start-up setter looking at how to displace kerosene
with white LEDs. The problem is there's a missing component to their system and that's
the very micro scale power component. So my goal is to design a wind generator that would
contribute to the system, the system all in, including wind generator batteries, power
conditioning unit and a couple of white LEDs that would be around 10 dollars cost. I tried
to do that with turbines and it turned out to be way, way off by a few orders of magnitude.
So, that forced this new invention called the Windbelt. And basically, the kind of the--the,
I guess our motto at humdinger is that "Harder problems make for better--better inventions."
So by giving yourself really difficult constraints you can come up with something new that maybe
you couldn't come up with if you, you know, didn't have the type costs constraint that--that
you would have in this case in Haiti. Some of those constraints, just to run through
them, like I was saying, whole system--that whole lighting system all in one the--or about
ten dollars--let me just see this. Let's get a look at the time. All system all in about
10 dollars, so the wind generator component of that would be about 5 dollars max cost;
can be manufactured in Haiti--that was another constraint. It's very difficult--those panels,
that picture that was taken off the roof with those solar panels, those panels took about
two years to get into Haiti. They got stolen in the port, we were waiting by the panels
and were covered in a blanket and someone--before we hopped on a little paddle hopper to get
to Petite Anse--pulled back the blanket and it turned out someone had switched the panels
for a table. So, we got them back, but needless to say it would be good if there was an energy
system that could be manufactured in developing countries. And I'm going to get to some of
the, you know, I'm focusing initially on where this technology came from, but I'm going to
get to where I think it can go and there's a lot of other markets in wealthy countries
like the U.S., you know, countries in the EU, Japan that can benefit from this technology
as well. But, you know, just keeping on target here, another set of constraints was no specialized
materials. I didn't want a system, like a solar panel, nothing against solar panels
at all, but I didn't want a system that needed to have a silicon processing infrastructure
built up or have to have a special material imported. It's just that--it would make it
easier to get the product off the ground. If magnets were necessary for this wind generator,
they needed to be small. There's a lot of import restrictions on larger size magnets
that you would use for a traditional sort of home brew wind system. And one of my friends
in Guatemala was telling me he can't get the--he can't get these large super magnets imported
in at all. So you need a ma--you need a set of magnets that small enough that produces
a small enough magnetic field that you can easily case it in which is the steel case
and then ship it without any import restrictions, and easy to repair and improve. Part of the
objective was to design a technology that would be, you know, viable when it hit the
markets, but would be able to be transparent enough and easy enough to fix and easy enough
to improve that the technology could be developed, kind of in-house, that is to say engineers
and inventors in Haiti could improve the technology, sort of going for the open source hardware
idea, but with power. So--oh the final constraint was no--I wanted to minimize a grinding in
wearable parts, this is, you know, basic fundamental principle that I think everyone tries to achieve.
So I really wanted to eliminate any bearings in the system because when you're down at
this sort of small scale power levels that power things like LED lights and radios and
charged cell phones, you need pretty expensive bearings, you know, air bearings to make a
viable system. I didn't want to deal with that, too expensive, difficult to repair,
difficult to import. So that was another constraint. All these things lead up to forming an invention
that, you know, in a caricature looks more like this, a stringed instrument or the vibrating
bow of a musical instrument, you could say. So, as opposed to wind turbines which are
basically a big rotating airplane wing, you know big rotating air foil. The technology
that we came up with, after looking at those constraints, looked more like the vibrating
bow of a violin, let's say. So, what do I really mean by that? What I really mean is
that we're focusing on a different phenomenon with this new technology. Lifting drag is
what governs, sort of the operation of an airplane or a turbine, but there's a lot of
other aerodynamic phenomenon out there that you can tap. The one that we ended up tapping
looks pretty familiar I think to engineers and anyone who's gone through middle school
in the States, I think. And that's the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the effect that ripped apart--this
bridge is called aeroelastic flutter, sort of a positive feedback loop of competing forces
of lift versus the tension forces in the bridge. Usually, you try to minimize or eliminate
aeroelastic flutter from any aerodynamic or structure or structural system. So there's
a lot of work that's been, that's gone into how to eliminate aeroelastic flutter. But
if there was a way that you could control the forces involved and control that effect
and harness it for energy output, then that would be a viable alternative to, you know,
lift and drag over an airfoil. You know, wind powers a few things; we are talking about
it before the talk, I see wind power a few things, three main goals; one, you have to
collect it--just like a magnifying lens kind of, you know, there's a new solar panels that
are kind of which--it have optics that focus in a larger area of sun into a very small
high efficiency, a little PV, a panel of sorts. I don't even know if they're--yes PV panel
of sorts. The goal for wind power is the same, you want to focus in a large area of wind
into a smaller area then usually you have to do something with making that small area
move at a high enough frequency that you could get a--efficient electrical output from magnets
moving past coils by and large. And then, the third thing is you need to condition that
power. What the wind belt does--what this new technology does is it, it looks at new
ways to tackle one and a little bit of two, you know, how to concentrate in an area of
wind for efficient electrical output and different sorts of configurations of magnetics and coils.
And we did have to make some very inexpensive power conditioning units to take care of our
cost constraints, but a--but that wasn't the main focus. Just keeping an eye on the time.
And if there's any questions just holler them out during the talk and we can get more down
to it at the end. And--okay, so, that was just to remind me that wanted to--not wait
too long to show you the demo because that will kind of give you a better idea of what
it is I'm talking about and I won't be so vague. I wanted to give you a little bit of
a background of where this came from so that you'll understand where I think it can go,
and also so that you'll understand why it's so different from other wind systems out there.
So, just to stop any--the comments I get most from engineers is, "Oh that's great, you can
charge a cell phone or you can power a couple of LEDs but you're pulling in 70 Watts into
your fan and you're getting out of fraction of a Watt." That is true but it is not my
fault that the fan is inefficient. There's about 3 to 5 Watts of power coming out in
this large cross section at about 10 or 11 miles per hour which is what the demo is I'm
going to show you right now, and we're cutting a sliver of that. So, efficiency all in ends
up being around 10%, you know, when you take into account of losses through the power conditioning
unit into a match load. So, just to stop that question in its track, but feel free to ask
me if that doesn't convince you. So--so this is just a first demo of a couple--so this
is the show that this system which again it's just a demo system, but, that this system
hit those constraints. A couple of white LEDs, you know, just to show you there's no magic
going on here, show you that it works at a few different speed. This is around 11 miles
per hour; this is around 8 miles per hour. I'm showing you the different speed because
a comment that I get often is, "Oh wow, that's a great, you know, great idea, fine, but you
have to hit 11.2 miles per hour to get the resonance effect." But this isn't, you know,
there's resonance involved but the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was not ripped apart by the
same forces that what the opera singer blow apart, you know, the wine glass. So, it's
not that you're having the heat specific frequency, it's more of a--resonance is a kind of positive
feedback loop, too, but this is more of a positive feedback loop of competing forces.
So, that is to say you can tap a wide range of wind speeds without having to have a dynamic
tensioning system, although that would be nice. So, let me show you another demo just
to show you that it can do everything I said I could do. So, if there's any questions while
I'm doing this, feel free to shoot. >> So, what's your app air conditioning doing
right now? >> FRAYNE: So, that's the only thing I can't
talk too much about because the patent is still haven't been fully filed. But the power
conditioning unit, you know, you're getting in a very clean, hazy input and you need to
do a few things. You need to rectify and you need a boost. Typically, you would do that
with something, you know like a boost converter, you know, in combination with, you know, typical
bridge rectifier. The cost was too high for those two things combined and the losses were
too great, so we have--so all I can say, especially since this is on tape, is--that there's a
few components that you could pull out of, you know, any old radio that are in the power
condition unit and quantity cost is probably somewhere around, you know, 25 cents or 50
cents, so. They're standard components, no kind of silicon components in there.
>> What wind range does this unit operate at?
>> FRAYNE: This unit operates at between around 4 miles per hour when it starts to put out
power to around 14. Actually this one probably to around 12 or 13, but we've had systems
that worked in that range. After 14 it's not that your system just kind of falls over and
dies, it starts to hiccup and go ahead of itself and what we're finding as we--as I
look at kind of larger scale systems is that that sort of a function of this particular
size. Working on systems now with this effect seems to give increase in power levels through
a wider range of wind speeds. >> So, if you changed--so what a--in--on the
table there is vibrating, is it that slim bar across the top?
>> FRAYNE: It's--no, it's actually just--and you can get a closer look afterwards, but,
it's just this band here. It's a band of, it's kind of a--it's a miler coded tap and
it's a very, very, very primitive, sort of composite material that this very commodity,
you can use it for things like, the edging of kites.
>> And as you change the wind speed, does that change the vibration frequency or does
it change the [INDISTINCT]… >> FRAYNE: It does, it does change. Mostly
the amplitude but the frequency changes by a few hertz.
>> Alright. >> FRAYNE: It's going about a hundred hertz
now, so, that's why it's giving some efficient output. This is to show you that I could do--do
the cycle of charging a lithium ion battery in a phone. It doesn't--it would take a long
time for this particular scale to fully charge up the phone. I don't know if you could tell
the difference as I was talking over it. But the initial start up is very difficult for
a system that's as gossamer as this to do. So, it took a while to be able to design a
system that could actually get over that initial part of the charge cycle. Then one more--and
keep shooting out questions as I--as I do this.
>> How long would it take to charge a typical cell phone?
>> FRAYNE: Off of this system right here? Like--like a week. But we've charged it up,
you know, we've let it run for a few hours and have made, you know, half an hour's worth
of calls, so, it's a more of a demo. >> What happens if it's rotated a bit?
>> FRAYNE: Oh yes. Okay. I can show you that. Let me show you that right after this one,
but it works--it's the same sort of [INDISTINCT] fall off that you would get from any changing
cross-section approximately. So, you know, wind turbine you get that kind of fall off
as your cross-section changes similarly with this system. But I'll show you [INDISTINCT].
So, this is a crank radio only because crank radios require very little power. This Meyer
may not work, I haven't tested it--this is at the very edge--powering a speaker that
people can hear is at the very edge of what this system can do, but--I figured what the
heck. Okay. Okay. So it was just like that because it's like, you know, literary showing,
you know, that we're hitting about four and a half bolts to replace the few double A's.
So, there's that one, you know, I'm not going to get into too much the business side because
I know this is a tech talk so that's why I'm just kind of, not too worried about screwing
around with the demo here with you because--so I hope you don't mind but--so let me show
you this. So--so I don't know if you all can see the LED there. The system is on its last
legs, this is the last demo it has to go through, it's kind of--been around the States a dozen
times, so, the baggage handlers haven't been kind. I have a big note that says, "This is
an experimental wind generator." But then, I opened it anyway, I think that makes them
open it. So, this is to show you that unlike turbine--most turbine based system this can
take, you know, pretty smooth laminar flow which this sort of--this is pretty, pretty
rough and tumble, but, it can also take really, really screwed up non-laminar flow from my
breathe. So, I don't know if everyone can see that, but, that's just--that part of the
demo. So, if you're interested after the talk, I can show you one of the--these are all sorts
of the developing country applications and after the talk I can show you, if you're interested,
kind of on the side how this system powers a wireless sensory node which is one of the
key, first kind of killer apps for the wind belt in wealthy countries. Namely systems
that you could have--imagine a peeling stick flat wind belt that was about yay long, about
yay wide and about yay high. That would put out, you know, just a mille watt of power,
but then you could--that's enough combined with a buffer, like a capacitor to power up
a lot of wireless sensors that do things like report temperature, report humidity, things
that you need in any smart building to be able to make a more intelligent heating and
ventilation system because that's were about 50% of a building's energy flow. So, to make
any sort of lead certified or green building, you need to know what's flowing through the
ducts. Right now that's difficult because these sensors all require batteries and you
can imagine needing to, you know, call it Tom Cruise to crawl through the ducting system
to replace all these batteries every couple of years when you need, you know, a few hundreds
to a thousand sensors throughout the ducting of a large building. So I can show you that
afterwards, but there is a question. >> Yes. I could--I could and maybe this could
be correct or not, but I could describe this is a device that where the working fluid is
[INDISTINCT], but if you were to replace that by some--this thing [INDISTINCT] work underwater,
right? >> FRAYNE: So, I can't say that [INDISTINCT].
Our--it's--it's conceivable. The effect is still there--the thing--I have to be a little
vague, I get a lot of inquiries about whether or not aeroelastic flutter works in different
fluids such as water. My personal opinion, right now, is that there are other effects
that are maybe more viable and, you know, kind of constant flowing water. If you're
interested there's a group, I think out of Colorado maybe, called Vortex Hydro Energy
that uses vortices shedding which is basically little--little whirlpool that spin off of
a--spin off of a cylinder. And--because your water is so much denser than air, vortices
shedding, kind of makes that cylinder move up and down with the, you know, pretty good
amount of force and--you get dead spots because vortices shedding is a periodic--it--it makes
something oscillate out of periodic frequency. So you get dead spots. That's it--so I guess
what I'm saying is in air there's no other--there's no other system that competes with this sort
of model at these scales. We're about 10 times to 30 times more efficient than wind turbines
that are on the scale. So that's important. When you go in order of magnitude, in terms
of cross section that's cut, we become much less efficient, not much, much less but less
efficient than larger scale systems. But there's a recent publication about a couple of year--well
that's not recent--a couple of years ago in Nature about a small scale turbine and we're
about 10 times more efficient than that and they put out a new study and we're about 30
times more efficient than that one but--and it--and, though these two questions and then
we'll save the rest for the end. >> What is the--what last leg is it on?
>> FRAYNE: It's--I can tell that the frequency is changing a little bit.
>> That's right. What's [INDISTINCT] >> FRAYNE: Yes, I'm not exactly sure the--it
seem--we put the systems through 200 hours of operation in the lab, just kind of constantly
going through different kind of heating and cooling cycles, you know, throughout over
a period of--of a couple of months. And it seems as if the frequency stayed roughly the
same and the power output was roughly the same. With this one I can tell that there's
something out of alignments and I can hear it. So, it's not that--I think maybe there's
just some missed alignment that's happened up on that--this end.
>> What happens in a hurricane? I think, you said it was made out of miler. I think miler
will stretch unless you got some carbon fiber. >> FRAYNE: It's on miler [INDISTINCT] tap
with us. So miler alone isn't good enough. >> Yes. Right. So it's probably what's failing
here. But what happens in a hurricane? And if you want more power, do you make a lot
of little ones or do you make a bigger one? >> FRAYNE: I'll answer that at the end. And
what happens in a hurricane? I think, there going to be probably some questions about
dynamic tensioning. So, I'll buzz to the next bit just--so that's there enough time for
questions. I'm sorry I don't have a watch. I have to keep looking up there. Just to show--this
is just what I stated, you know, and if you want to look at the reference. I got a lot
of flack for people thinking that I was saying that the wind belt is 10 times more efficient
than wind turbines which would be impossible, you know, wind turbines on a large scale.
So I'm being very specific now and you can check out this citation at our website
and do the comparison for yourself. We're comparing the cross section that's cut by
the wind belt as it oscillates and tagging that against the cross-sectional, kind of
area of the wind turbines [INDISTINCT]. There's a very little data in this range for wind
turbines because a lot of the stuff that's out there, it's about a thousand times less
efficient than--than this sort of system. >> Do you have to measure the cross-section
of the entire aluminum frame because, I mean, that's going to house. . . ?
>> FRAYNE: Yes. So in--in this system now, there would be an argument for that. But I
can actually remove this top bit and there's no sort of funneling that's going on. Part
of what I've been mentioning about the strategy of Humdinger Wind Energy isn't--for long time
I didn't even mention the whole developing country aspect of it because that confuse
some people or I thought it would. Now I hope it doesn't, but the purpose--the reason I
mentioned it is because that's where the technology came from and that's why it's so different.
But that difference doesn't mean that it doesn't have applications in wealthy countries which
I believe is a powerful phenomenon, it's going to happen in a lot of other fields as well.
I mentioned one sort of application which is the small peeling stick, low peeling stick
energy harvesters instead of batteries wherever you had an airflow. There's other application
as well which I'll get to in the next slide. But the idea is, there's protectable--there's--there's
IP in this and if that IP can be licensed in wealthy countries, its still stays open-source
in developing countries just by the nature of the patent system, you know, if there is
no international worldwide stamp of approval patent--patents or by country, so there's
no reason to patent something in Haiti. So it's still open-source where, you know, I
want it to be open-source but it's protected where I think some licensing revenues can
be pulled out and then the ultimate objective, you know, through me, I'm not the only one
in the company, but the revenues that flows through me flow back to the original, you
know, objective which is this emerging economy markets. We're not a social venture, it's
a--you know hardcore, you know, regular business in Silicon Valley, but it's just something
that is an aspect to it. So that's just what I was saying. Next steps on the horizon. What
we're doing is exploring the landscape of where this technology can go. I guess--there
was a question about scaling, hopefully this answers it a little bit. I already mentioned
this very--empowering very, very micro sized system and there's really nothing else in
the game in terms of using wind power to power very small scale, sub one watt applications
and there's a lot of amount there. However the question--you know seeing the system will
also, I think get a lot people thinking and it has on what happens when you scale up a
little bit. Let's say you scale up to a 1-10 watt system. There's--based on the building
materials and we're just in initial testing for this scale, it seems as if we'll be able
to achieve around a 10 watt system and that's rated power, so it would be 10 watts at around
22 miles per hour and so basically a 1-10watt system. A 10watt system for cost building
materials around $10, if you compare that to what wind energy cost on a large scale
that beats it in terms of cost per watt. A lot of people discount this, you know, out
of hand. But when you look at the number of components that are involve in the--this Windbelt
System then I think people will start to come around and pretty soon and we hope to have
a demo model of this size scale system that hits these goals. These are good for things
like rural electrification and, you know, let's say China where there's not much solar
irradiance in certain areas because of the pollution. So your solar panel which is $5-6
per watt suddenly, when you have a hundred times less solar energy hitting that area
of the panel, becomes $500-600 per produced watt, so it becomes non-variable. But in some
of those places wind is a variable input. Also things like WiFi nodes, I know they were
trying to put up WiFi nodes in central park and they are having a big cost issue with
wiring things up there. So having these small scales systems that use wind and maybe in
combination with solar to power apps like WiFi nodes and rural electrification I think
is--is one part of the landscape. And another big part of the landscape is how big does
this thing scale up? You now, anyone who knows anything about scaling up anything knows that
you cannot make claims out of hand that something scales because the dynamics on the large scale
are different in the dynamics on the very micro scale. Turbines have found this to be
true, so similarly we may have an upstream, a kind of a battle going uphill. However,
it's unknown. We know the effect is present because it rips apart things on the large
scale. The question is can we efficiently--can we make an efficient enough generator on these
large scales to hit the price points we need to make that a variable alternative to turbines
on a large kilowatt plus scale? And that's a big open question but its part of what this
next year development is intended for. Part of the plan, part of the--the kind of non-conventional
plan is--because it's difficult to do large scale test installations in the States, partnering
with an organization--and I encourage everyone to check them out--their AIDG, Appropriate
Infrastructure Development Group out of Guatemala but also in operations in Haiti. So,
I'm not affiliated with them now but they're going to be a partner with us in exploring
how the Windbelt scales up to these large, kind of stretch across a canyon scales, and
I think we're going to get there faster and we're going to get there, not the sound like
NASA, but I think we're going to get there faster and get their cheaper than we would
with domestic resources devoted towards, you know, expert--having an R&D center in Silicon
Valley, for instance, for this large scales system. So that's one tier of the experiment.
How am I doing? Time here. Okay. So now that I've gone to the Windbelt, your going to have
to bear with me for another five minutes as I kind of poke at you about this coming design
revolution which Humdinger Wind Energy is a part of but which a lot of other folks are
starting to pioneer, and I see this as something that isn't on a lot of folks radar. So, I'm--I've--I'm
sort of the West Coast evangelist for this new design revolution as I see it. So, the
basic idea goes along with what I said at the beginning of the talk and that's that,
"Harder problems make for better inventions." The hardest problems in the world happen to
be in the developing countries by and large. They're kind of the avant-garde of the problems,
you know. Clean water, energy, all these of sorts of things are going to impact, you know,
in 10 to 20 years, and they are starting to, they won't be only be severely impacting developing
countries, they'll be impacting everybody. So the technologies that are developed now
which focus on these very difficult constraints in developing countries are going to have
cross-over. And I think they're going to have cross-over in several fields. You know, I'll
just buzz through this so there's plenty of time for questions. These are just some of
the fields that I think there haven't been the advances needed over the last 50 years
that need to happen. If you look back hundred years ago, when a lot of, the kind foundations
for the technologies we have today were made, you know, like, you know, Edison and the light
bulb in electricity and dynamos and what not. The reason those were developed is that the
entire world was a developing country, you know the entire world--every country in the
world was a developing country except for a very, very, very small tiny elite. So the
designers and inventors at that time were very well wed to the problems of the day,
where as now, about 10% of the world that does most of the design is disconnected from
the other 90% of the world. And I think what that does is it loosens, kind of the vice
grip of constraints and makes for poor design and, you know, you get to a point and you
say, "Okay, that is my constraints." And then there's this legacy effects that come into
play were an average design gets kind of carried through decades. Now what needs to happen
is that the new industry starters need to be developed, just like happened a hundred
years ago, you know, obviously I'm not talking about the internet because that's a recent
phenomenon, but besides that for things like power and what not, I think the place a lot
of this is kind going to come is from developing counties and there's going to be, as Jeff
Immelt, the CEO of GE said, "This is sort of going to be the 3rd fade--the 3rd stage
of globalization where inventions and developments in developing countries are going to affect
the developed world and why is that people don't see." I was very surprised to hear him
say that. But--just some examples of places that this revolution has already begun, I
know that everyone here I saw--I've seen all the posters for the--for the Give One Get
One, hundred dollar laptop all around Google. But what's cool to me besides that sort of
strategy of Give one Get One is the screen. So this was a technology that was developed
with very severe constraints, you know, very severe power constraints. You had to make
a laptop that was, you know, consumed the 20th or 10th to the power of a traditional
laptop. You had to make--and you know the screen consumed a lot of that--that power,
so what these guys did was--I think the inventor was expert in display technologies and I think
she's out of MIT, I'm not sure, but what she did was design pixels, regular kind of luminescing
pixels that, you know, work like a regular screen when you're in the dark. But then you
can switch it into more of an E-reader mode, kind of like an E Ink type of--it's not E
Ink's technology but an E Ink type of reflective display that doesn't consume power when it
doesn't change state and, I want that on my laptop. Buts it's in this hundred dollar laptop
and the only reason that its' there is because of this severe power constraints, and the
constraint of needing to be able to read your laptop in full sunlight. So I think that's
something that's going to cross-over and was only developed with this constraint. I'll
buzz through these other ones but it's important that this next organization, Jaipur Foot,
is super interesting. They're designing prosthetics in India that are, you know, a hundred times
less expensive than prosthetics in the States and they've developed some interesting molding
technology, using basically sand in a vacuum, sort of a vacuum bag. They pull the air out
and you can make, kind of, instincts molds of a person's, you know, person's limb that--that's
been amputated, and then you can make this customize prosthetics. Importantly, even more
importantly than the cost is they can do this in a one to two-day turnaround time, whereas
in the States, you know, someone coming back from Iraq has to wait six months to get a
prosthetic limb, and this is something I see possibly crossing-over as well. You can--they
just want a tech award so you could read about them there. You know, inexpensive cars because
of the cost constraints in India, phase-change incubation, Amy Smith out of MIT has developed
a new way of incubating biological samples using a phase-change material which is basically
a wax that you heat up to, you know, you put it a wax, a little balls of wax out in the
sun. It melts the wax, so by melting the wax, you're absorbing the sun energy or you can
boil them, as the wax starts to re-solidify, it lets out the temperature at its phase change
to around 37 degree Celsius and you can get constant temperature incubation for things
like water and blood samples. This is something that I think it's going to affect medical
technology in a lot of realms and again developed with these constraints of not being to have
a $2000 incubator that you need to recharge, you know, before you go out into the field.
And the Motophone is pretty cool; it uses, you know, kind of an E Ink style display.
I think they're $30 retail, the power it can--I don't remember exactly what the duration is
but it's something like 200 hours of--I don't know, you have to look it up but it's almost
in order magnitude more talk time and standby time than the phones that you have in your
pocket right now, just because, again, of power constraints, you know, you go to the
city once and recharge your phone, you don't want to have to keep going. So--don't quote
me on that, that order of magnitude greater but it's substantial. I guess that's it, you
know--I'll go in about right. So I guess that's it but, you know, more than the technology
itself which, you know, I'm a technology guy so I love the technology of the Windbelt and
these other technologies. But more important than that is that there's this new system
of invention and design that I think is coming to a head in which a lot of the world's problems,
including energy in clean water and poverty are all going to coalesce into a lot of designers
and a lot of inventors who focus on the problems in developing countries with the outcome being,
that those aren't only a social charitable venture that those yield patentable/protectable
technologies in the developed, you know, wealthy world that can then form industries the world
over, not just developing countries. So, thanks. Any questions?
>> For the big scale [INDISTINCT] >> FRAYNE: Yes. When you--you know on a large
scale it makes no sense to have a structure that beams, you know, you don't have to hold
the mountains from coming closer to one another. So, in that case your cost reduced by eliminating
the structure which in this case is, you know, about half the cost, you know, obviously wouldn't
be made out of aluminum, but--but yes, I guess the answer to the question is on the large
scale the way to do it, I believe, is by grabbing on to existing structures whether that's,
you know, mountains or whether that's, you know, components of the bridge or architectural
components, you know, like in a frame of a window, lets say, and doing it that way. So,
but again I have to stress that there's been no testing on this vast scales so, all of
this is, you know, it's a postulation that it can scale up, but…
>> [INDISTINCT] >> FRAYNE: It wouldn't, so if you did that
you'd get caught in more of a torsion mode which is way, way, you know, a hundred or
a thousand times less energy output than this mode where you have this flutter of the membrane
in the middle, and then that concentrates that sort of motion across this larger cross-section
to the most massive part of the system which were kind of those button magnets. So, it
works kind of like a flexible lever, you could say. So instead of getting your high frequency
oscillation of a magnet which reference to some coils by using a gearbox, instead you
use--so instead of gears as your simple machine example, using leverage and getting that,
you know, high frequency output that way. >> [INDISTINCT] really not audible but its
generating energy that's [INDISTINCT] a little bit that's great. I think when you scale that
up, you can run into issues of sound being generated by the…
>> FRAYNE: That's the—that's one of the primary technical hurdles as it scales up,
definitely. And there's been--I've scaled it up to around, you know, human size generator
which is kind of in this, you know, 10 to 20 watt size system and sometimes I can design
the system to produce low levels of sound, but sometimes it's loud. So, you know, noise
is lost energy. So the hypothesis is that with--with more attention to how the membranes
actually designed and tensioned then we can get around that problem, but it's a definite
concern. I think there's another and then I'll get back.
>> One reason frequency goes down is you could [INDISTINCT]
>> FRAYNE: Approximately true. >> If we have bridge size [INDISTINCT]
>> FRAYNE: So I suggest that--this prototype was designed months, months, months ago. So
the new systems we're working on are--have a whole different dynamic than this system.
You know, this is one of the least efficient configurations for coils with reference to
magnets but it works at the wind speeds I needed it to work at. When you can have cut
in at eight miles per hour, instead of four miles per hour cut in, you know, when you
can have you wind generator starting to produce power at eight miles per hour then you can
use a lot of other approaches, you know, cord coils and what not, arranged differently and
then your tension changes. So--but in general that is probably a true statement.
>> You can also change the aerodynamics of the belt itself, right? I mean, just like
a wing is different than a flat piece of paper when you want to [INDISTINCT]. Have you guys
investigated that, like. . .? >> FRAYNE: I have not investigated it but
it's definitely something that has been on the radar for a few years. These had been
in development for about four years, you know, yes?
>> [INDISTINCT] >> FRAYNE: Yes. There's a self-tensioning
guitar that a guy was talk--telling me about, so, you know, that's--but designing a different
sort of airfoil which is I think what you are asking, having the membrane have that
sort of different cross-section is definitely an area I think that need--that we're going
to investigate and I think some other folks once this catches on, will investigators as
well. >> You are--are you sticking with a [INDISTINCT]
material through your other experiments or do you fool around with other materials.
>> FRAYNE: Yes. We fool around. The thing is it's very much in an Edison mode right
now where it's very empirical--everything's empirically determined because this phenomenon,
even though it appears simple, is extremely difficult to model. So, there's still debate
actually about why did the Tacoma Narrows Bridge got ripped apart, if you can believe
it. But--it's extremely hard to model, so we just have to try a lot of things and that's
why I think doing this experiment in Guatemala is a way that we can actually be able to tap
a wider range of field and get the landscape clear more quickly, and now I'll comeback.
>> What about the [INDISTINCT] around. >> FRAYNE: Oh yes. Then this is--for this
scale--for this particular scale in this arrangement of coils, this is what I find the work the
best and if you diverge from that, even a milliliter, it changes the dynamics a lot.
A milliliter is pretty big but--everything is handmade, so everything is but then a millimeter.
>> So to what extent or do you even know, does the smoothness and surface composition
of the fluttering material interact with wind and the speed, the frequency and all that.
So, this model is probably pretty smooth, right? But should--I would imagine that that
the same geometry with the different surface texture would probably behave differently.
>> FRAYNE: [INDISTINCT] smooth on the top where the miler is coding the [INDISTINCT].
So different materials do perform differently and we haven't quantified--we don't have--we
don't exactly know why that is so, I mean, you jus--you get different flows along, you
know, very, very smooth material. You're going to get more drag than you would get for, a
kind of a very, unlike what's kind of micro bumps. So, all of these things have to come
into play, I mean, what's important to realize is, even though I think this development can
happen on a rapid scale, turbines have been in development for a hundred years. The hope
is that, this can be, you know, in order of magnitude, less development time than that,
but it's still crawling out of the water onto land. So I'm all—-most of these questions
are unanswered and the reason for the talk is to kind get those questions going and get
people think--how much--how's the time, am I interrupting another talk?
>> Nothing [INDISTINCT] >> FRAYNE: Okay, okay, yes?
>> So you--you've seen this [INDISTINCT] that--they're usually vertical and they spin sort of this
way and there's [INDISTINCT] configurations but they're-—they vanish is that if the
wind changes comes any direction [INDISTINCT] work. Now if you have one of these things,
which one can make it movable [INDISTINCT] to wind. And it seems to me that there'd be
a cross-over point where, if you--there's got to be a cross-over point where if you
scaled this up to some number of watts, right? And then you look at of one of those small--micro--small
turbines like a, you know, the vertical spinning whole thing instead of [INDISTINCT]. Must
be a cross-over point where that might start to look good to that effect, might be looking
on the 3rd and whatever you could do it first. >> FRAYNE: Yes. You know, again, it's not
only the--it's all about the cost to me because it doesn't, you know, if your out in the field
somewhere it's--this could count, this particular generator can't take flow from both directions
but the larger scale generators can take flow from both directions. So you would get a drag--if
you didn't have two coils perpendicular, you would have to have some sort of rotating system
but… >> [INDISTINCT] put up generator on the top.
>> FRAYNE: Conceivably, but if the system are so cheap to make adding that, you know,
bearing and ability to rotate on the small scale, you know, the 10 watt scale, I believe
it's going to be more expensive than having two belts. However, there is going to be this
cross-over where it becomes--it makes more sense to invest in that sort of--that sort
of system vanes, and I think you are next. >> Can you say a little about where the cost
breakdown is? You know, what fraction is the magnets versus…?
>> FRAYNE: Oh yes. On this scale each magnet costs about five cents quantity. The coils
not wound but, you know, the cost of the copper in the coils in wire form is around 30 cents
each roughly. This would be made at of some sort of, you know, probably ABS or glass filled
polyethylene and for this much of that material, it's less than a dollar in quantity. And then
the material itself is probably a penny. I mean, this is some of the material here and
you can buy it in rolls. So the only--the part of the system that could break is actually
the least costly. So that's--I think a good way to do to design a system, particularly
for environments where can replace that component. >> So, I mean, on that scale it's actually
very easy to adjust for a direction. You just to have a fin on the end that sticks out,
and hang it from a wire. >> FRAYNE: Yes.
>> I mean it's very simple. >> FRAYNE: Yes. And I think people are going
to do that. That option, conceivably. >> Yes. Let gravity deal with the foundation,
right? Well. . . >> FRAYNE: It's a good idea.
>> What about [INDISTINCT] falls into it? >> FRAYNE: I mean, following the works for,
I mean, it will work for a wind turbine, too. But the problem there is--you know, we're--you
have to build a stronger structure to handle the drag that is forcing back that funneling.
With this system one of the advantages is that you don't have a big spinning dangerous
mass. It's so--I don't have anything against turbines at all, I think, you know, people
should get them and I am glad they're working on the large scale, but you do have a rotating
mass which you have to account for when you build the structure that that turbine's on,
whereas in this your mass is, you know, very, very, very small. The most massive parts is
close to the base, so, you know, you can have a bamboo pole, a thin piece of bamboo that
holds up this system as opposed to a proper tower you would need for alternatives. And
adding a funnel kind of reduces that benefit, however, I'm sure people are going to look
at it. >> Is it [INDISTINCT] some function of the
mass… >> FRAYNE: Of the belt itself?
>> Of the magnets and the wire and the [INDISTINCT]. I mean you're getting power from moving parts,
right? >> Oh yes. It's definitely--it's a function
of the frequency, you know, roughly the mass because the mass affects the field produced
by a permanent magnet and the area that, you know, that field can influence and those three
factors. Like any generator, that's what determines how much output you'll get. So, what we're
looking at is kind of how to focus in an area of wind to make those magnets move, which
is the challenge for all generators. >> Okay, this isn't very much, in the event
that you do channel a little bit wind, you can get a slight [INDISTINCT] effect, so you'll
get a little bit better efficiency out of [INDISTINCT] wind.
>> FRAYNE: No. I think that--so there's vast, you know, that idea, I think there's vast
improvements to be made and I'm excited to see how fast this technology develops. Next.
>> We're running out of time [INDISTINCT] >> FRAYNE: Sure, thanks.