Here comes the world’s smallest wind turbine to power your cell phone in a near future. The micro-windmills are about 1.69 millimeters wide and can generate electric power from ambient wind.
The tiny wind turbines “blend origami concepts into conventional wafer-scale semiconductor device layouts so complex 3-D moveable mechanical structures can be self-assembled from two-dimensional metal pieces utilizing planar multilayer electroplating techniques,” according to a press release. An iPhone 4 could fit about 2,040 of the micro-windmills on its surface, each one generating electricity from ambient wind currents.
“Imagine that they can be cheaply made on the surfaces of portable electronics, so you can place them on a sleeve for your smart phone,” said Chiao. “When the phone is out of battery power, all you need to do is to put on the sleeve, wave the phone in the air for a few minutes and you can use the phone again.”