The polls are open for TechBrief's Create the Future Design Contest 2010, one of the year's most anticipated invention competitions!
Each year contest officials receive thousands of product designs from engineers, entrepreneurs, and students all over the world. To save you some time, CrispGreen took a stroll through this year's entries and picked the three most innovative designs. If you like what you see, cast a vote and give the designers a shot at winning the grand prize: $20,000!
1. Try-brid Vehicle submitted by Tom Miller, Huntley, Illinois USA
Designed to address a multitude of economic and ecological issues in developing countries, this Human/Electric/Wind Powered Bicycle would provide both a reliable and environmentally-friendly form of transportation, as well as a source of local low voltage electricity.
When the wheels spin, the bike's lithium ion rechargeable battery (which is wired to an electric motor) is recharged. The motor can propel the bicycle or recharge the battery array. When stationary, the bicycle frame itself can be converted into a small wind turbine that charges the array and provides power for solid state lighting or small electric devices.
2. Aerial Wind Turbine submitted by Anush Badii, La Jolla, California USA
While it is a cleaner source of renewable energy, many have become concerned that land based wind power has at least two major environmental problems—noise and the killing of bird populations.
To circumvent these issues, the Aerial Wind Turbine is designed to be launched in tow behind a moving vehicle on land or sea vessel, become airborne (kind of like a kite), and achieve working altitude (550-850 meters) within 5 minutes after the launch. Not only does operating a turbine at this height eliminate concern about noise or collision with birds (they don't fly that high), it also eliminates the wind turbine’s large foundation and supporting pole, which will reduce the cost of both ownership and operation by least by 50 percent.
3. Methane Harvesting System submitted by Metin Giousouf, Esslingen, BW Germany
Many organisms produce methane as part of their digestive process, from tiny bacteria to (ahem) humans. Thanks to the massive amount of meat and dairy humans consume, cow flatulence is one of the biggest sources of methane, which is a greenhouse gas linked to global warming. Instead of letting all that methane escape into the atmosphere, this design seeks to collect the gas from the cow stomachs so it can be used as a source of energy.
Image Credits - Individual entry pages at TechBriefs