A wind turbine that would double as a digital billboard

October 15, 2011 by Dave Haynes

Spotted on EarthTechling via TechCrunch:

The guys behind the Segway, but more to the point a pile of life-improving  medical devices, have applied for a patent for a wind turbine that would double as a sort of digital billboard.

Reports Earth Techling:

Although the patent application (by DEKA Research) talks some about the power-producing possibilities of the turbine, in an interview with a New Hampshire newspaper, inventor Dean Kamen makes it clear he doesn’t see this as a game-changing energy generator. Instead, he views it more as a cool way to create a little power and perhaps an outdoor messaging system.

The inflatable sail wind turbine would be portable enough to potential re-locate to find higher winds. By being much lighter in weight than traditional turbines, “the inflatable sail wind turbine may be installed in various locations that a heavier and/or larger conventional wind turbine may not (be), for example … on the roof of buildings.”

And then there’s the advertising angle. Using “light emitting diodes … powered by energy generated by the wind turbine,” the patent application suggests, could create “an image on the blades” that “may include, but are not limited to, pictures, text, symbols, numbers, the date and time, weather forecasts, traffic information, and advertising.”

I’m not sure how this would all work but there are lots of devices that create visuals when they start spinning, from those big cylinder thingies that are used as digital poster kiosks (German firm, can’t remember name)  to LED arrays attached to the spokes of bicycles.

image via Deka/USPTO

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