Apple’s Novel Wind Turbine Uses Heat
Apple applies to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with “On-demand generation of electricity from stored wind energy,” an invention wholly dedicated to solving problems of variability associated with the alternative energy production method.
The application filed for in June 2011, notes that most contemporary wind turbines convert kinetic energy from wind into mechanical energy, or in some cases electricity.
To mitigate the inconsistencies of a steady supply of wind, the filing proposes a system that converts rotational energy from the turbine into heat, which is then stored in a “low-heat-capacity” fluid. From storage, heat can be selectively transferred to a “working fluid” that is used to generate electricity during lulls in wind activity.
According to the patent application, the “on-demand” electric generation system can reduce costs associated with natural variations in wind supply. Further, the method can be used as a replacement for current conventional energy storage methods such as batteries.
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