Turning wind into electricity is not a wholly new concept, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is apparently on the record with a patent filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with a system that involves wind-generated electricity.
While the fact a tech giant is getting into alternative energy production is in itself a tad unusual, the apparent innovation would fit in with the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tradition of taking an idea and improving it so it’s better and more practical. In this case, the patent application filed involves a system of producing electric power on-demand by using stored wind energy.
The basic fundamentals of this system look very similar to what is currently being used on wind farms across the country. A wind turbine rotates as wind hits the blades, and that turbine converts the wind energy into either mechanical energy – to pump water, for instance – or into electricity for powering a generator, a home, business or entire electrical grid. Right now, the wind energy that is created must be used right away or it dissipates. Apple’s patent application, however, presents an interesting model for storing wind energy, converting it to heat and using the stored heat to create electricity at a later time, when needed. As winds shift wildly from day to day, hour to hour, the production of wind energy is very intermittent and it has, to this point, been unreliable as a consistent source of energy production.
This process, of course, involves extra steps than what is currently being done. This system develops a way to convert the wind energy into heat and store the heat in a fluid, and that heat can later be removed from the fluid to create electricity – the amount needed at the time, even when it’s not windy outside.
Is this a mighty wind of innovation blowing through Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)?