Wednesday, 20 February 2013

$10 wind turbine prototype

The SolarFlower has pretty much been the flagship bit of tech for what is becoming a larger project.
So far I've documented the non electrical temperature regulation system and the mesh reflector dish, and in the next couple months I'll hopefully be adding an air coolant fridge/freezer, lattice polytunnel, loudspeaker linear alternator, and some kind of way of generating electricity from heat (probably along the lines of a thermoacoustic alternator, or liquid piston steam engine.) All will of course follow the angle of being open source, scrap makeable with basic tools, and be documented and posted to the Solarflower website.

But what I'm working on now is a vertical axis wind turbine.

 Providing the thing doesn't destroy itself in actual wind, this is so far a very cheap, easy, quick, and structurally sound way to make this turbine design. I'm using Ed Lenz's Lenz2 design, which has been tested at about 40% mechanical efficiency.
Materials used:
5 74 x 60 cm aluminium printing plates (£1 each = £5)
~100 pop rivets (~£5)
Bike wheel (free)
6 M3 nuts and bolts (negligible)

Tools used:
Rivet gun
Craft knife
Straight edge

Time taken was 2-3 days on my own, but that's prototyping which takes vastly longer than making something known. I'd expect it to come down to easily a day for one person at pottering around speed.

Power output (mechanical):
Still have to see if the thing survives, but according to the calculator for this design:

20 km/h wind = 28 watts
30 = 90 w
40 = 220 w
50 = 420 w
60 = 730 w
70 = 1,155 w

It's now set up at a mate's place out of town and we're waiting for some serious wind to come through to see if any structural improvements are needed. When I'm comfortable in signing off on the design I will tutorialise and post it to the website, and maybe look at doing some workshops on it here.

More updates to come.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Quick teaser for upcoming big news for the project:

View The SolarFlower Trip 2013 in a larger map