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Author Topic: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator  (Read 7127 times)

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Offline Bill Quick

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A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« on: September 19, 2011, 08:04:16 PM »


A Personal Turbine Makes Your Rooftop Into a Wind Farm | Popular Science
Rooftop Wind Farm Honeywell WT6500 Wind Turbine by WindTronics, $10,000 (est.; includes installation) Kevin Hand

Among homeowners, wind energy has never caught on, in large part because personal turbines are often noisy and inefficient. Most turbines need strong winds to turn a heavy central generator and create current, a design with two main disadvantages. First, the gears make a lot of noise. Plus, the generator is positioned at the blades’ center, which moves at one tenth the speed of the periphery. And less speed translates to less power.

Honeywell’s wheel-shaped WT6500 takes an entirely new approach. Magnets mounted near the tips of its 20 blades sweep through an outer ring of copper coils to produce a current, making the entire wheel the generator. Because this arrangement traps energy from the fast-moving blade tips and eliminates the heavy central generator, the WT6500 can pull a current from winds as slow as two miles an hour (most home turbines need 8mph gusts). Better suited to home use than other turbine designs, the wheel is six feet in diameter, whisper-quiet, and can produce up to 1,500 kilowatt-hours of power per year
At ten grand it's still a bit pricey, but that 1500 kwh per annum is significant.  Coupled with a decent deep cycle battery bank, this might be all you need to keep basic stuff - a low watt fridge, lights, electronics, etc. going.  Couple it with a 500 watt solar system and you could be in pretty decent shape.
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Offline CERDIP

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Re: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 12:02:11 AM »
Yup this definitely qualifies as a Step In The Right Direction.
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Offline Langenator

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Re: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 08:40:36 AM »
I think I first saw this thing a couple of years ago, although it looks like they've refined it a good bit.

As long as you don't have an HOA...
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Offline Drang

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Re: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 12:28:44 PM »
A Savonius-style vertical-axis turbine is better than any horizontal-style machine in a lot of ways, but the fact this can be roof-mounted is a huge advantage.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 12:30:52 PM by Drang »
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Offline Langenator

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Re: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 01:17:03 PM »
This site shows you how to make a Savonius type from 55-gallon drums.

Now...is there any reason you couldn't combine the best features of both designs?  Use the vertical scoop of the Savonius, but instead of a shaft attached to a conventional generator, have rings of magnets and coils, like the Honeywell design, at the top and bottom?

(I hope that picture is clear in ya'll's heads.)  I'm a historian/strategist, not an engineer.  Any engineers out there want to tell me if my idea would be feasible?
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 01:18:05 PM »
Drang, the advantage here over the Savonious is that the fan is the generator.  The Savonious still has to turn an alternator, and is far less efficient.  At least that's the way I understand it.
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Offline Bill Quick

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Re: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 01:19:20 PM »
I don't even need to build one (Savonius).  The junkyard half a mile from my place has two of them for sale.  I have looked into their efficiency, though, and I'm not especially impressed - particularly for my location.

One other thing:  They have one - a single split 55 drum (the other is a double, twice as tall) - mounted on top of a shed.  Aside from being butt ugly, it makes a lot of noise in operation.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 01:30:25 PM by Bill Quick »
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 01:28:48 PM »
Here's a Windtronics company video.  I'm not sure that you couldn't build one of these puppies for yourself....

"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline Drang

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Re: A New Type of Wind Turbine/Generator
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 02:54:22 PM »
Drang, the advantage here over the Savonious is that the fan is the generator.
I got that, and it can be a very big advantage.
The Savonious still has to turn an alternator, and is far less efficient.  At least that's the way I understand it.
One big advantage of a Savonius wind turbine is that it will start generating at very low wind speeds; unlike the Darius style vertical axis windmill, it should not need to be "push started" at very low speeds.  It will, however, "max out" at a lower speed than other designs. 
Another disadvantage is that they are very tall, and cannot be roof-mounted.
If factory-manufactured (i.e., not out of split 55 gal. drums) they are practically silent.  I suggested to a factory rep that he should try selling them to HOAs as "kinetic sculpture with benefits", since HOAs are usually as fond of wind generators as they are of amateur radio antennae...

There are trade-offs with all these designs.  Efficiency v cost v cost-effectiveness v footprint/size-and-space consideration v maintenance v ...
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