It is great to see people getting creative and smarter when it comes to inventing new ways to harness energy but there seem some whose inventions although brilliant have little practical purpose or value. Industrial designers in China have developed a device that can capture the wind created by trains as they pass by it. The device is called the “T-Box” and is installed between the railroad ties and buried half-underground so it may not interfere with the train operation.

As the train passes overhead, the wind spins a turbine inside the T-box to generate electricity. Its creators Qian Jiang and Alessandro Leonetti Luparini say that 150 T-Boxes could be installed along a kilometer of railway or subway track to take advantage of the otherwise wasted wind resource. A train travels at about 125mph would produce a wind speed equivalent to about 50 feet/second. The T-Box claims to be able to produce about 3,500 watts of power. T-Box says that a 656 feet train at 187mph will allow T-Box to produce 2.6 kilowatts of power.

The inventors say that the T-Box can provide power to potential underserved areas along the rail track. Designers say the turbine in based on models manufactured by Hetronix, with blades rotating about a central axis inside the T-Box’s cylinder housing.

Now its up to us to debate if this is a useful invention.