Micro wind turbines built by Windsor students supply power to rural villages
Two engineering students at the University of Windsor have developed a micro wind turbine built from parts made with a 3D printer.
It takes about two hours to build the turbine's parts and takes less than a minute to assemble them. They can generate five watts of power, enough to charge a cellphone, run a flashlight or GPS device.
Lucas Semple and his business partner Kyle Bassett came up with the idea five years ago while working in remote villages in Central America.
Semple says that to someone with no power, access to even a little bit of power is life changing.
"Even for a two-foot-long-by-six-inch-diameter case, international shipping costs are very high, and they're actually more than it costs us to make the turbine," he said. "So by producing them down there, it's cost-efficient. We can help the local people and get it to them directly."
He told CBC's Windsor Morning they want to return to Nicaragua and make 50 of the units for people in remote areas.
The pair is selling the turbines for $150 each.
They have just launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $40,000 to further their project.
Bassett said through open source licensing, he'd like people to be able to build their own micro turbine.
"It is now practical, affordable and easy for anyone to use clean wind energy to power the electronics of their life," Kyle Bassett said. "With Kickstarter support, we will empower anyone to download, print and create their own micro turbine in the matter of hours."