If our recent story about aerospace engineers in Iowa building a miniature wind farm in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel made you wish you had paid more attention in physics class, you’re not alone. But we’re not the only ones who think you shouldn’t have to be an aerospace engineer to play with tiny wind turbines at work.
The “Windbaby” design concept from U.K. designer Rob Hankin is a miniature model designed for the vertical-axis wind turbine enthusiast. The 30-by-10-centimeter model is based on SEaB Energy’s 5-kilowatt “Windbuster,” just one of a number of vertical-axis wind turbines that are trying to make small wind a bigger part of the distributed energy picture.
The Windbaby concept is intended for use as an executive desk toy, a gift for investors or a prop for trade shows. But, at a cost of only £20, there’s nothing stopping you from building your own wind farm while keeping your desk job.
And if your office doesn’t have a wind tunnel, don’t worry – the base of the Windbaby houses two AA batteries, keeping your turbine blades spinning regardless of wind velocity. Or, for a more realistic effect, you can open the window! Just don’t blame us when your boss asks why you are wearing a hard hat at work.