I have been wondering lately what changes would need to be made to our world to be able to capture wind in a container. To clarify, I would like to be able to have something like a water bottle with an opening on both ends that I can hold out on a windy day, put a cap on, take it somewhere else, uncap the opposite end and release all of the fury of the elements that could fit into that container.

I could see answers that involve advances in technology (preferably that could be reasonably made within the next couple hundred years, but if that is not possible, go wild) or changes to the laws of physics, but really any change should work for my purposes. I would prefer not to use magic. Feel free to play around with the design of the container a little bit.

Edit: In case anyone who has seen this wants to play around with potential applications or just read a little more about the world I plan to implement with this, here is another question.

  • $\begingroup$ Would it count of the container was pressurized, and it shot air out when opened? To what extent can we change the container? $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Mar 24 '16 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ If you accept changes to the laws of physics then you have magic and you can do pretty much whatever you want. $\endgroup$ – Green Mar 24 '16 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ Start with a vacuum container, then hold it behind you, tell someone to pull your finger and voila, wind in a bottle. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Mar 24 '16 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon I would like to be able to harness this as an energy source to some extent, so I don't think a pressurized air cannon would really work that well. $\endgroup$ – Pants Mar 24 '16 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Green I was thinking of more a universal change to a world as opposed to individuals being able to manipulate the laws of physics. $\endgroup$ – Pants Mar 24 '16 at 20:22

Your tube (open on both ends) contains a propeller, and the walls are filled with a power storage device such as LiPo cells.

Wind can blow through the tube, causing the propeller to generate power which is stored in the battery as chemical energy.

When you are in an area with quiet air and would like the tube to emit wind, the battery turns the propeller, consuming the stored energy.

In short, air is ambient. The movement of air is treated as a form of energy, which is transduced between wind and a form that we have ready technology to store.

  • $\begingroup$ I like this idea and with some advances in tech that lead to no energy loss in the conversion to and from, it could work. My main concern is that opening the end to release the wind, would not come out as a burst, but rather a gradually (or quickly) increasing wind. $\endgroup$ – Pants Mar 25 '16 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ You can open the back end first and build up pressure, and make it have the effect of an air gun. Also, try launching toroidal vortex pulses instead of a steady stream :) . $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 28 '16 at 13:47

This has nothing to do with the design of the container, it has to do with physics, and pressure systems.

Wind occurs because air migrates from an area with high pressure to one with low pressure. Differences in pressure will occur for any number of different reasons, chief among them being changes in temperature.

Your container will contain air. That air has no reason to "move" out of the bottle - unless there's a difference in pressure. This is the reason why it's dangerous to poke at containers which contain gas under pressure: if you damage the container the laws of physics dictate that gas will try to escape the container in order to equalize the pressure from inside the container to match that of the outside. This can have very unpleasant consequences for anyone standing nearby.

Basically, if you want "wind" to come out of the container, open it in an area which has a lower pressure than whatever pressure is inside the container.

  • $\begingroup$ So if for some reason, there were large differences in pressure in different geographical locations across a planet, would opening the container at a high pressure location then "fill" the container? And then later opening it at a low pressure location "empty" it with great force? $\endgroup$ – Pants Mar 24 '16 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Pants - I don't think that's exactly how it works. Or rather, it is, however the pressure inside the container would not be so great that it would make a dramatic show of force when you opened it. For one thing your container would have to be perfectly sealed, as otherwise gas will slowly leak and the pressure would equalize anyway. But more likely you'd have to pump a specialized container full of gas the same way we do it today - using a compressor. Only then would the pressure be so great that the effect would be noticeable. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Mar 24 '16 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreoROM Coolcoolcool. Thank you for the insight on how this would actually work physics-wise in our universe. $\endgroup$ – Pants Mar 24 '16 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ Definitely +1'd. Decided to go with JDlugosz answer because it is closest to the design I'm going with. Thanks for you help! $\endgroup$ – Pants Mar 28 '16 at 13:41

To go along with AndreiROM's scientific answer, I will add another issue. Even if you could capture wind in a bottle (witch you cant), it would die almost instantly. Imagine pouring liquid water into the very same bottle. As the water pours it sloshes and swirls in the bottle, but once you are done pouring does the water continue to slosh and swirl? No. The liquid water rubs up against the bottle and itself, this causes friction. All that kinetic energy is turned into heat energy - granted very small - and the liquid stops moving. Even the sound of the pouring liquid is telling you energy is being lost. Kinetic energy is being transferred to the air around it as sound. The same goes for the fact you can feel the water being poured in. Air is no different than water, when it comes to dynamics.

  • $\begingroup$ if you are going to downvote, provide a reason $\endgroup$ – Keltari Mar 25 '16 at 15:04

In a certain sense it is possible. (Don't expect noticable effect.)

If you open a bottle which - like most bottles out there has no opened bottom - and hold it out in the wind, the momentum of moving air will force the inside air to be somewhat more compressed (so higher pressure) than outside non-moving air. Now if you close the bottle and wait until the wind stops, you can open your bottle and the additional air will escape. Voilá, there is your wind.


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