Letter: What we can learn from ‘The boy who harnessed the wind’

Windmills harness the wind to create rotational energy, and has been since the 9th century in Persia. We have also been using waterwheels to harness rotational energy, since the 3rd or 4th century.

There are horizontal, vertical, undershot, overshot and many other variations created in the last 1,000 or 1,800 years or so.

Recently I watched on Netflix a show called; “The boy who harnessed the wind”. Basically a 13 year old boy takes his dad’s bicycle, replaces the pedals with bamboo wind vanes, hangs it upside down high in the air so the wind would rotate the back tire.

There is a dynamo available that rubs against the back tire to power your headlight, but this 13 year old boy used the dynamo to charge a car battery, in order to run a 12v water pump to irrigate a few acres of gardens to feed a starving village.

This 13 year old met resistance all along the way but in the end a used bicycle dynamo and a bicycle saved the villagers in a time of drought and famine. A dynamo is an electrical generator that creates direct current using a commutator.

If you go on you tube you can see people creating power with such things as plastic spoons glued to these little dynamo generators. It just takes vision.

In 2026, seven years from now, we will be pumping tens of millions of gallons of treated wastewater into the river everyday. Why not harness at least some of it.

The province gave the city over $49 million to plan, design and update the wastewater treatment plant as it prepares to treat the wastewater from surrounding communities. Why not think about it?

There are advances in technology daily, Could we not adjust or adapt our plans, even if we built a small one that gave us a small positive return on our investment. How about inviting the private sector in to harness the water flow to create green energy on the open market? I am just asking.

Garfield Marks,

Red Deer

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