While at most times whenever we hear about a patent application from Apple, we do consider that the tech-giant might be exploring some new ways to keep us connected with the world. However, a new application filed by Apple reveals that the company is equally serious about the environment and ways to harvest clean and affordable energy from wind. The application details a new method to harvest wind energy, where energy is also converted to heat for use whenever wind dies down.
While most wind turbines convert rotational energy into electricity, the wind turbine envisioned by Apple converts it to heat energy that is stored in a low-heat capacity fluid. The system would potentially use the motion of the rotor shaft moving against a low heat capacity fluid such as mercury or an inert gas to generate heat through friction between the two surfaces. This heat can be transferred from the fluid to a working fluid that can be boiled off to release steam which can power a turbine to produce on-demand electricity.
TechCrunch reports that the system is drastically different from basic wind-power generators that are subject to the variances in wind speed. Apple has been exploring new ways to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by powering its massive data centers with clean energy. The new type of wind turbine, if ever developed, would help it further show its commitment towards a green environment.