For those who live with electricity on a daily basis, the micro turbine’s 200 mm (8 inches) diameter carrying case and you to take it with you on camping and hiking trips for setup in under 2 minutes.
RMRDTECH: Rapid Manufacture Rapid Deployment Technologies started 7 years ago with a simple thought: If we can design and construct a wind turbine with recycled parts and a bit of new material, people around the world can use the design to generate their own power.
RMRD TECH founder and lead researcher Kyle Bassett spent nearly two years living in a remote village in Nicaragua named Venecia. There he was able to learn firsthand the challenges people face living without electricity. He developed about eight different wind turbine designs, purpose-built for remote communities, and documented his work with youtube videos and research publications.
Image credit: RMRDTECH
By utilizing 3D printing technology, the most intricate parts of the turbine can be readily printed and accurately replicated, greatly reducing the time and cost associated with production. Print time for the ten necessary 3D printed parts is approximately 120 minutes.
When more power is needed, such as for an off-grid dwelling, a series of microturbines can be connected into an array for increased power output. These turbine arrays can power standard off-grid 12-volt batteries for powering cottages, off-grid schools, agriculture, and industry. Power from this microturbine is easily combined with solar, hydro, and other energy sources.
RMRD recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for their Rural Deployment Initiative, raising $45,575 CAD to travel to Nicaragua with two 3D printers and an off-grid battery bank, bringing much-needed power to rural areas. Each micro wind turbine, utilizing 3D printed components, is designed to produce clean 5 volt USB power for charging simple electronics in low wind speeds, generating power in a breeze of 2.5 m/s.
Previously, RMRD had constructed much larger turbines for community charging stations in Central America, but quickly found them unnecessary, as the people were only using them to charge cell phones and small electronics. They have since shifted their efforts to designing the micro wind turbine, which is portable and can be set up in minutes. The micro design allows the turbine to take advantage of a lower range of wind speeds, and the novel ‘sail blade’ is the first of its kind.
The ultimate goal is to deploy these turbines for disaster relief, as well as for recreational uses like camping, hiking, and powering off-grid dwellings. The Rural Deployment Initiative is scheduled to travel to Central America in December 2015, and microturbines will soon be available for purchase on RMRD Tech’s website.
RMRD will also produce a short documentary about the project, demonstrating how 3D printing is making it possible for world-changing initiatives like this to become a reality. Please visit their site to get more information about this innovative product at RMRDTECH.