Dragonfly Wind Power
Dragonfly wings create eddies of wind in the air. (Based on research by Professor Hideki Ishida of Tohoku University.)
A lot of people think wind power will be an important source of clean energy in the future. But of course a wind-powered generator cannot function without wind. Generators often have to be placed in positions where there is not much wind, especially in the home. In these situations, you need a generator that will provide power from even small breezes. In this case, it was dragonflies that provided the hint. Dragonflies can hover and fly even in the slightest of breezes. The secret is in their wings.
Dragonflies have tiny indentations on the surface of their wings, which create eddies of air. These eddies move like a conveyor belt, pushing the air backwards and propelling the dragonfly through the air. When researchers built a windmill with sails shaped like dragonfly wings, they found that the wheel turned even in gentle winds of just one meter per second. Scientists are now working to build a micro wind-powered generator for things like charging the batteries on portable phones.