An idea that even Nasa engineers have yet to get right inspired two Lancaster University students to come up with a design that has won the British leg of this year’s James Dyson award. Nicolás Orellana and Yaseen Noorani have developed a new type of turbine that can harness wind power no matter what direction it comes from, unlike conventional turbines seen in wind farms. They believe that the product, called the O-Wind Turbine, will allow people in cities to realise the wind power found near tall buildings. The Dyson award aims to identify the world’s most promising inventors. Mr Orellana, 36, says that he got the idea for the turbine while thinking about Nasa’s so-called tumbleweed rover, an inflatable ball that was intended to b ounce and roll – blown like tumbleweed – across the surface of Mars to measure atmospheric conditions.
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