Windsor

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.

Micro Wind Turbines

6 years ago
1:41
Lucas Semple and Kyle Bassett have developed a micro wind turbine that can provide five watts of power to remote parts of the world. 1:41

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."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now