Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Bask in the Antarctic breeze

Use wind power to heat sleeping bags or tents.
  [vote for,

It always strikes me as odd to watch a documentary featuring a few semi-frostbitten mountain climbers huddled together in a tiny tent, waiting out a fierce blizzard that could last days, when the power that is trying to blow them away could be harnessed to provide all the energy they need.

Using a few chunks of plastic, and modern permanent magnet alternator, it’d easily be possible to build a small wind turbine that would only weigh a few kilograms, but still generate enough power to heat insulated enclosures, like sleeping bags. Even 50 watts of heat could make a huge difference in these circumstances.

The great thing about this idea, is that when you need the power most, you have it.

TIB, Sep 23 2003

Personal windfarm http://www.halfbake...Personal_20windfarm
Hello? [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]

Katabatic wind power http://web.archive....0Power_20Generation
UB deleted this one in a fit of pique. But it caught my fancy. I can still picture the windmills and the ancient city, lit by the aurora and flickering Jacob's Ladders. [bungston, Nov 03 2012]


       Also to melt snow for tea and compress thin air to breathe.
FarmerJohn, Sep 23 2003

       I had to vote against. I hope you understand.
phoenix, Sep 23 2003

       The high velocity of the winds in the polar regions (and the low temps) would probably require this to be big and heavy. Still, with a simple and sturdy design, this is a great idea.
ConsultingDetective, Jan 29 2004

       Excellent idea. We often hear reference to using large stretches of uninhabited desert to construct solar panels. But what about those frigid, bitterly cold places full of howling, screeching wind?   

       Windfarms in the Antarctic or bristling from mountain sides, pumping out an almost constant supply of power! The temperatures might even make superconducting technology possible.
Anarch, Apr 09 2004

       Hmm interesting idea, I'm not sure mountain climbers would add even half a kilo of weight in exchange for warmth, but those people are nuts a small wind turbine that could be set up outside a tent for winter camping sounds like a great idea to me.
tedhaubrich, May 26 2004

       I don't see how phoenix' is the same idea as this one.   

       In the Golan Heights, the army does this with a tiny unit used to power a complete camp. The winds are constant and high speed. The only thing is that the whirring sound can drive you crazy.   

       So the "turbine" can easily be tiny and lightweight (but has to withstand these extremely fast and strong winds). So perhaps this wouldn't even have to weigh that much.
pashute, Nov 03 2012

       In Polar regions, this could be practical.   

       For mountaineering, supporting and/or guying the turbine would be rather more problematic. However, since the wind is strong, the structure doesn't need to be tall to be fully effective.   

       Could be integrated into the tent structure.
8th of 7, Nov 04 2012

       The only reason giant wind turbines have to shut down at high speeds is because they'd tear themselves apart. I'm told (and by that I mean that somebody who works up there actually told me this) that there's a tiny (roughly 18" dia) ducted turbine atop Mt Washington that can power a few light bulbs and a laptop and runs even in the highest recorded winds up there.
Alterother, Nov 04 2012

       Sorry for the slow reply [phoenix]. Just looked at your idea. Small wind turbine, so pretty similar in that respect. Mine is specialized for a certain purpose: freezing conditions, thin air, howling winds and no significant energy storage system. I suggested it to a mountaineer in the 90's who loved it and wondered why it wasn't available to him. Had no clue about your turbine. Sorry to have upset you on that point and I hope you will reconsider your vote.
TIB, Nov 14 2012

       A wind turbine held aloft by a kite might be good for this. I haven't seen them catch on yet, but they exist.
notexactly, Dec 08 2018


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