Ecotopia: Kristy Lovejoy "Subway Wind Generator" 2017-08-04T16:24:43+00:00


Design Details:

This senior industrial design student project has received enthusiastic response from the professional design community, and is starting to get some traction on sustainability blogs. I used to wonder whether green design would prove a lucrative endeavor, an easy sell to businesses. This project proved that there are solutions that can be sustainable and financially compelling.

Smart energy use is an exciting topic. We are fundamentally changing the way we look at energy, its cost, its benefits, and how to squeeze every ounce of good from it. While giant turbines generate power on a mass scale, smaller scale energy applications are relatively undeveloped. The Current Subway Generator uses a simple technology to harness variable wind conditions, recycling otherwise unused energy. More power is generated at peak energy demand, when utility rates are most expensive. My invention is scalable, and has other applications for small-scale power. I look forward to further developing sustainable solutions in design, whether it is inventing a new way to harness energy, best practices through the product life cycle, or advocating systemic change.

• Powers itself and station lighting
• Displays animated advertising entertaining commuters
• Generates public transit revenue


Printable mylar strips are sandwiched between copper coils, that when vibrated, produce a linear inductive electricity generator. An array of twenty of these cells is bundled into a frame. Electricity is bundled and stored in a battery. Electricity is drawn from the battery first, then from the utility power source for reliable savings.

Power and Savings
Public Transit Revenue:
~ $70,000 annually / location
Power Generated = 7.5 W/day
$1,720 utility savings/ year
More power is generated at peak power
demand, when energy is most expensive.
Advertising Revenue:
$70,000 annually/ location

+ Works in low wind conditions (5 mph)
+ Can work in turbulent wind conditions
+ Cheap
+ Relatively simple (not complex)
+ Super quiet
+ 10-30% more efficient than microturbines