News Science This Startup's Wind Generator Flaps Its Wings Like a Hummingbird By Derek Markham Derek Markham Twitter Writer Derek Markham is a green living expert who started writing for Treehugger in 2012. Learn about our editorial process Updated October 11, 2018 09:08AM EDT ©. TYER Wind Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Even in the wild world of offbeat wind energy machines, Tyer Wind's design stands out. Small wind power seems like a great idea for a home or business until you learn the facts about how much more efficient, both cost- and energy-wise, large conventional wind turbines are. For certain situations, notably off-grid and rural locations with adequate wind speeds, small wind generators on tall masts can be a good option, but for the rest of us, mounting a tiny wind machine on our roof or in the backyard and expecting it to produce meaningful amounts of electricity just isn't realistic. However, unconventional wind generators still attract a lot of attention, perhaps because of our attraction to the new and different, even if they will (most likely) never make it past the R&D; and investment phases and into mass market. This new wind converter design, from the folks behind the Saphonian bladeless wind machine, falls clearly into the 'new and different' category, and while the details of the TYER Wind machine are sparse, the available images and video are intriguing, to say the least. It's not specifically a small wind machine, as the company appears to be envisioning large-scale deployment, but the working model is clearly in the micro- to small-scale wind category. Instead of using the wind to spin a blade, the TYER Wind machine essentially employs biomimicry to emulate the flapping of a hummingbird's wings (and yet is decidedly different from this flappy wind generator). Based on "Aouinian 3D kinematics," which was developed by Anis Aouini (inventor of the Saphonian wind generator), the TYER design is said to effectively convert linear motion into a rotational or reciprocating motion "in a very efficient and 'natural' way." "The TYER vertical axis wind converter harnesses wind power using flapping wings that perfectly mimics the motion of one of the most energy-efficient bird: The Hummingbird." Kinda makes you go, "Wait, what?" doesn't it? As I mentioned earlier, there aren't a whole lot of details about the machine available, but I have reached out to the founders of TYER Wind for more information. Will this wind machine see commercial deployment? My gut tells me no, and physics and wind energy wonks will probably weigh in on the negative side as well, but perhaps we'll all be proven wrong.