Solar magnification is already one secret to super-efficient green power. And now, Yuji Ohya, an engineering professor from Japan’s Kyushu University, thinks that a similar trick could be pulled off with wind power.
Ohya’s idea, which he just presented at the 2010 Yokohama Renewable Energy International Exhibition, is to create a series of wind turbines which focus the wind’s power, rather than using it directly. A series of them could thus turn a gentle breeze into a massive gust, easily able to power a turbine generator sitting behind a series of these contraptions.
Precise details of how the magnifiers work aren’t available yet, but Ohya claims that the magnifying effect could improve wind-turbine output by 2-3 fold–thanks in large part to the assembly’s ability to tap even the gentlest winds, while delivering one single, direction gust to the generator. (In most turbines, efficiency is often limited by the direction of the wind, since the blades can’t adapt to shifting winds.)