Tuesday, July 25, 2023

What the hell are custom wind machines?

If you are bored of the ugliness of regular wind turbines, welcome to a new philosophy of thinking and designing small wind turbines.
You are not going to broke by buying a small wind turbine (or a couple of them), but surely you are going to feel sorry of the poor image of your green purchase. Then you will have to support the advantages of your green device by giving figures of energy production, if the weather is friendly enough (what a bore!) or lying about its incredible performance (what a shame!).
It’s time to get rid of all that boring spiel and discover the proud of being an owner of a really cool machine, to make your friends drop jaws and people turn heads to watch your little wonder. It’s time to be able to make yourself a gift buying an affordable and beautiful small wind turbine, that may give you some additional joy saving money in your energy bill, giving to you a green credential and making sustainability  campaign among your neighbors.
We haven’t seen yet any decent looking small wind turbine apart from the amazingly simple and beautiful Bram Water’s Aerotek. This five bladed small wind turbine has been quite an inspiration and an instant classic that could be raising value between collectors.

Other good example of medium size small wind turbine could be the Skystream, by South West Windpower, if its size and price is a little high for a really affordable budget.

We will be both giving clues and building machines that can hold the thrill and excitement of being cool and powerful at an average citizen reach.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Vintage racing float plane inspiration

Some time from now racing planes were float planes. Schneider Trophy was the reference in the fifties, showing some of the prettiest planes ever seen in the world, not to talk about their performance and speed. British Supermarines and  Italian Macchis struggled in the air to be the fastest one. ·3D artists as Shelbs, well aware of these heroic planes make a new interpretation of the subject.

As aforementioned planes are a fantastic source of inspiration for wind turbine design, and racing float planes is one of the peaks of the aviation era. Streamlined bodies, shiny alloy, breathtaking shape, powerful image, were the identifying marks of these wonderful planes. 

Loose yourself to this propeller glory feeling and dream of a future bred of shiny chromed looking vintage plane like wind turbines on the roof of your home, fueling your sustainability contribution to the planet.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The best engine for the best machine

As for bikes Harley Davidson is a reference, due to its simplicity and reliability, so is Fisher and Paykel (F & P) direct drive washing machine motor for small wind turbine world.

However, what makes an engine become an icon? First, to be widely available at a reasonable price. But, over all, to be easy to repair, easy to fine tune, easy to adapt, easy to customize, easy, easy, easy… Furthermore, to be robust, simple and to last forever.

Maybe in the future people will be using the same old F & P layout in their restored, swap met rescued old wind turbines as cars shown in Fast and Loud TV show. By the way, did you notice the rusty wind turbine in the Tom Cruise’s retreat in the film Oblivion.


Upwind, downwind, what's the best?

Upwind is the name given to wind turbines when their rotor faces the wind, so when in operation the rotor stays in a front position. In the same way, downwind means that the rotor adopts a rear position, so wind reaches first the turbine body and then the rotor. As seen before Aerotek is upwind and Skystream is downwind.

Which is best? As usual it depends on several questions. Upwind generators have turning axis near the rotor, thus allowing the rudder to apply enough torque to properly orient the turbine. Downwind generators accordingly have a turning axis not so close to the rotor, which acts as orienting device by its own air drag, thus getting rid of any rudder. Upwind turbines are more common than downwind, because of its simplicity. But getting rid of the rudder is a desirable feature not so easy to achieve.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Old bikes, new custom design

Rondine by Medaza Cycles is a good example of best custom design, which, as can be seen, does not mean banality or lack of taste. Custom Design applies equally to old and new machines, using original or new parts to achieve the materialization of the designer’s idea.

We bring this example here to illustrate how we feel about designing wind turbines. We want to squeeze the essences of mechanical beauty from several fields, such as airplanes and motorbikes, to get the right guidelines for designing and building avant-garde or vintage looking wind generators. We even consider taking a regular model and radically changing its image for exigent customers that want something else, just like Medaza has done with the legendary but old fashioned Guzzi Nuovo Falcone 500.

For example, some ideas of design can be borrowed from custom bike world, such as decorative ventilation grilles as shown in the head light of Libertad by Hot Dreams Barcelona.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Spinners and propellers

Propeller planes give an endless source of inspiration to design wind turbines. A lot of propeller planes are also vintage machines, that retain the glory of the early days of aviation, as we are in the early days of domestic wind generation. Obviously its shape and materials are not directly suitable to be transferred to small wind turbines. Without abandoning Mc Donell Douglas vintage airliners it can be equally admired DC-3 and DC-7 series spinners. While DC-3 have a charming old fashioned mechanical design, DC-7 belongs to the wide streamlined family of modern spinners.

In first picture a DC-3 spinner can be seen, and Red Bull has its own shiny and flawless vintage airliner.

Some of this stuff are well priced collectors items. A vintage propeller in good condition can sell from 1000 to 10.000 USD. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What is cogging?

Cogging is the resistance of the Smart Drive rotor to turn freely from the stationary position. This means that to start turning you may need a wind speed of about 30km/h (10m/s). To achieve a good starting at low speeds the stator must be decogged. This operation should lower the starting wind speed down to 5m/s or less, depending of size and torque of the rotor.

The picture shows decogging operation in a F & P stator.

See also this link: Fisher and Paykel washing machine motors
for electricity generation