I've seen shaker generators made with small plastic hemispheres with aluminum foil stuck on inside both, and a small ball wrapped in tape put in and sealed up. Then the shaker is vibrated and it creates a potential difference across the two aluminum foils.

Isn't it mechanically and electrically possible to make extremely light weight spheres of small size (perhaps like apple seeds), with very thin aluminum sheets inside and small grains (like that of sand) for a ball? We can string them up on wire connecting a bunch of shakers, and hang many such strings on a bar to catch wind.

Shouldn't this be able to harvest wind energy? I've tried searching for power figures but I couldn't find any for shakers of the small and lightweight kind and connected in series. How much energy do you experts think we can harvest from such a setup?

I think the nonuniformity of current could be less of an issue of we harvest this as heat. Yes, heat. Heat sand for example, using large current discharges through it?


1 Answer 1


The idea you've described involves using small, lightweight spheres with thin aluminum sheets inside, and small grains such as sand as the ball. These spheres would be connected in series on wires and hung in a setup to catch wind and generate energy through vibration using shaker generators. While this concept is interesting, there are several practical considerations that would need to be addressed to determine its feasibility and potential energy output.

First, the mechanical design of the spheres would need to be carefully engineered to ensure they are durable and able to withstand the forces of wind and vibration over time without deforming or breaking. Additionally, the spheres would need to be aerodynamically designed to efficiently catch wind and convert its kinetic energy into vibrational motion.

Second, the electrical design would need to consider the potential difference generated across the aluminum sheets inside the spheres. The size and configuration of the aluminum sheets, as well as the properties of the small grains used as the ball, would affect the magnitude of the potential difference and the resulting electrical output. The non-uniformity of current across the aluminum sheets could potentially impact the efficiency of the system, and would need to be carefully considered and mitigated.

Third, the actual energy output from such a setup would depend on various factors, including the wind speed, the number and size of the spheres, and the efficiency of the shaker generators. It would be important to conduct experimental testing to determine the actual power output of the system under different wind conditions.

As for your idea of harvesting the energy as heat by passing large current discharges through the sand or other grains, it would require careful consideration of the heat generated, potential safety risks, and the overall efficiency of the energy conversion process.

Overall, while the concept of using lightweight spheres with aluminum sheets and small grains for wind energy harvesting through vibration is intriguing, it would require careful engineering and experimentation to determine its feasibility and potential energy output. Consulting with experts in the field of renewable energy and mechanical and electrical engineering would be advisable to further explore and develop this idea.

  • $\begingroup$ This answer was quite obvious. But +1 for trying, as a newcomer. Welcome to the big bad world of SE :) $\endgroup$
    – El Flea
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 2:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.