The results of the international competition in the field of industrial design and engineering design "Dyson Prize" have been summed up. This year the winner was the "O-Wind Turbine" project from a team of engineers and scientists from the University of Lancaster, UK. It is a new type of wind turbine for generating power that can rotate when the wind blows from any direction.
The authors of O-Wind Turbine admit that they drew inspiration from NASA's tumbleweed technology to move probes in one direction in the face of constant swirling Martian winds. The idea was to adapt known physical principles to make the device as simple and cheap as possible. The very fact of the controlled movement of objects under the influence of wind from different directions has been known almost since prehistoric times. For example, the first major advances in sailing were associated with the invention of an oblique sail for crosswind sailing.
The O-Wind Turbine is a combination of 3D polygons that are assembled to form a sphere-like shape. Each individual element has a set of large inlets that end with small outlets, so when the wind drives air in, then, according to the Bernoulli principle, the resulting pressure difference causes the entire system to move. And since it is fixed around a rigid axis, there are few options - the turbine rotates and drives the shaft of the electric generator.
The main advantage of the O-Wind Turbine is the ability to rotate in the presence of wind from any direction. And for this reason, it can be installed conditionally on any balcony or roof, without analyzing the climatic situation and the wind rose in the region. Such a device will be available to all citizens as an additional - albeit low-power - but free source of energy.