Small Wind Turbines for Developing Countries
From Michigan Engineering:
Two things stand out in the town of Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, Guatemala: electric power is scarce and women are expert weavers. A Michigan Engineering student team used those two facts as a basis for a project in which they designed a wind turbine with blades that are covered with woven material and powerful enough to drive a small electric generator to produce clean, emissions-free power – green energy is popular even in rural Guatemala.
The students initiated the project with the hopes that their device would provide power to the region and stimulate business for the weaving cooperatives. During spring break, 2011, the team traveled to Guatemala to build the frames of the blades from local materials and then cover them with cloth woven nearby.