There’s a lot of innovation in the wind technology sector and this bladeless concept could be a game changer in the next few years.  In fact, “Turbine-free wind power” was placed on the NY Times Magazine‘s annual Year in Ideas list with this video explaining the idea.

Generally, there’s a panel with several foam pads and piezoelectric connectors — kind of like SMIT Grow — that harvest energy.  The panels wouldn’t make much noise and could be installed on facades, roofs, and almost anywhere else. They could also generate energy at a low cost and lower wind speed (even in variable, urban conditions).

Last May 2010, Cornell University’s Vibro-Wind Research Group, headed by Frank Moon, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, built a prototype to test the technology, according to a press release.

It may be a while before something like this becomes viable and commercially available, but it’s definitely an innovation to keep an eye on for the future.

Credits: Cornell University.