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Converted contortion

Technology

Cycling into the wind can be illuminating. A collection of small wind turbines in the ocean may generate electricity for entire towns.

Using the patented technology developed by an American research team, renewable energy could soon be produced from the movement of water in the sea.

Unlike mechanical systems like these, the water’s power doesn’t actuate a single generator but rather various tiny energy converters (which could be made using recycled polymers).

The flexible mini-elements called dielectric elastomer generators are woven like threads into a supporting structure.

Through the movement of water under the surface, the structure twists and turns, its contortions making the mini-elements generate electricity.

The technology might even be deployed in personal clothes or public pavements.

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