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How Febot Works

Febot Explained

If you were to take apart a Febot mini wind turbine, you'd find pretty much the same basic parts that generate electricity in a 200-foot (60-meter) wind turbine. Febot is just smaller, simpler and much, much lighter. And instead of feeding electricity into an electrical grid, it feeds it into a AA battery.

The basic setup goes like this:

At the base of the Febot is a suction cup. That's how the device is exposed to the wind -- it's designed to stick to an outside window or wall (pretty much any flat surface).

A propeller spins around the Febot torpedo's mid-section, capturing wind energy. When the propeller spins, it spins a tiny generator inside the casing. That generator converts the rotational energy of the spinning blades into electrical energy -- specifically, alternating current (AC).

Batteries use direct current (DC), though. So that current then travels through the casing to a rectifier, a device that changes AC into DC. Wind-generated DC then flows into the battery sitting in the nose of the torpedo, storing the clean electricity for later use in, say, a remote control or RC car.

Since it's just a prototype right now, several things about the design are uncertain, but this is the concept at work. Beyond inner mechanics, there's also some speculation about just how useful the Febot might be, or not be.

For example, few devices use just one AA battery.

Let's find out whether this conceptual gadget could become something you'll actually use to recharge your AA batteries.