A system and method for harvesting the kinetic energy of a fluid flow for power generation with a vertically oriented, aerodynamic wing structure comprising one or more airfoil elements pivotably attached to a mast. When activated by the moving fluid stream, the wing structure oscillates back and forth, generating lift first in one direction then in the opposite direction. This oscillating movement is converted to unidirectional rotational movement in order to provide motive power to an electricity generator. Unlike other oscillating devices, this device is designed to harvest the maximum aerodynamic lift forces available for a given oscillation cycle. Because the system is not subjected to the same intense forces and stresses as turbine systems, it can be constructed less expensively, reducing the cost of electricity generation. The system can be grouped in more compact clusters, be less evident in the landscape, and present reduced risk to avian species.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Grant No. DE-FG36-06GO16044 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.