Wind turbines work simply: the stronger the wind is blowing, more energy is obtained, so when the air is too still can complicate things. To combat this little problem, Apple has registered a patent for a system that stores excess energy when the wind is strong and uses it when it is too weak.
|Apple patented a system that stores wind energy as heat|
There are similar models that store the extra energy in batteries, but the idea of the apple is somewhat different. The Apple system uses rotating turbines to generate heat in a liquid by means of friction, then a heat exchanger is responsible for transferring the heat to a second liquid until it produces steam drives a steam turbine. When winds are strong the first liquid will heat more than necessary to evaporate the second. Then, when winds calm down, the stored heat may be used to generate steam without having to resort to direct action of the turbine.
Why Apple is working on a system of this kind is something we do not know as it moves away from its usual products, but because the company uses alternative energy in their data centers will likely use is targeted for these infrastructures. At the moment we do not expect to see any MacBook with a small wind turbine mounted on top.