Ever since GE wind turbines started popping up around the world a decade ago, engineers kept adding hardware and upgrading software to make them more productive. Andy Holt, general manager for projects and services at GE Renewable Energy, says that the advent of big data and the secure industrial cloud now allow engineers to take the next step.
Rice University mechanical engineering students have built a prototype shoe fitting that generates enough energy to power portable electronics and recharge batteries.
The fitting, called PediPower, diverts the energy of heel strikes while walking, which would otherwise be lost into the ground, through a small gear system and generator. In bench tests, it delivered an average 400 milliwatts, enough to charge a battery or operate a cell phone. Their creation joins another body-powered generator developed by U.S. and Canadian scientists—a knee brace that can recharge up to 10 cell phones at once.
The Rice seniors hope their innovation will be improved upon by the next group taking it up to boost power output and decrease size. The goal is for the device to reliably produce enough energy to power artificial heart valves.
HT to Laughing Squid for spotting this one.
Wind power has just become a smarter alternative.
GE is hooking up sensor-laden turbines to the Industrial Internet and batteries, creating an intelligent power-harvesting system that can store energy when the breeze picks up and release it when the gale goes still.
The company’s “brilliant” 2.5-120 wind turbine’s technology package harnesses the power of the Industrial Internet to analyze tens of thousands of data points every second. This helps manage wind variability, and provides reliable, short-term predictable power, while communicating with neighboring turbines, service technicians, and operators.
This revolutionary design integrates GE’s advanced Durathon Battery technology with three software applications. The resulting intelligent system enables power producers and the wind turbines themselves to make data-informed decisions and provide short-term predictable power.
Click through to see pictures of the new installed turbines and an infographic on how the system works.