Tree-mendous wind power

Students from SJCE, Mysuru, develop ‘Wind Tree’ to harness low-intensity wind, generate power to charge EVs, phones
Mohammed Rashid, Mohammed Adnan, Mohammed Azeeb and Mohammed Talha, students of SJCE who developed the ‘Wind Tree’ model
Mohammed Rashid, Mohammed Adnan, Mohammed Azeeb and Mohammed Talha, students of SJCE who developed the ‘Wind Tree’ model Photo | Express

MYSURU: To help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, four mechanical engineering students of Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering at JSS Science and Technology University have developed an innovative ‘Wind Tree’ model. This device harnesses wind power to charge electric vehicles (EVs), mobile phones and light LED bulbs.

The prototype was created by final-year students Mohammed Rashid, Mohammed Adnan, Mohammed Azeeb, and Mohammed Talha. The ‘Wind Tree’ concept utilises helical blades to generate electricity. Unlike traditional wind turbines, it uses artificial trees where the leaves function as horizontal turbines to produce power.

The students invested around Rs 15,000 to develop the portable model, which can be installed in areas with limited space. Mohammed Rashid explained to TNSE that most current wind turbines are windmills that require large space and constant high-speed winds to generate electricity. We need an ideal structure and concept to use wind power more efficiently.

“With increasing use of electricity, it is crucial to reduce load on the primary source, and develop more efficient sources. We have developed the aero-leaf wind turbine to generate electricity in public places,” he said.

Emphasising the uniqueness of ‘Wind Tree’ model, Rashid explained that the turbines are designed to resemble an artificial tree. The artificial aero leaves act as microturbines that spin on a vertical axis utilising low intensity wind, he said. “The idea is to create an electrical power-generating system in the form of a tree, with each leaf serving as a mini wind turbine. Capturing low wind speeds and turbulence is central to this approach, which can deliver power and autonomy through a proliferation of leaves,” he added. Mohammed Adnan highlighted the primary goal of increasing the energy conversion efficiency of wind trees.

“This involves improving the design of vertical-axis wind turbines used to capture more energy from lower wind speeds. Innovation in blade design and materials, as well as better aerodynamics, can contribute to higher efficiency. Although wind trees can be more expensive than traditional wind turbines on a per-unit power output basis, reducing manufacturing costs, optimising materials, and scaling up production can make wind trees more cost-competitive,” he explained.

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