We set out to solve all of the problems inherent in current wind turbine technology.
Our resolution was to:
Use best practices in materials and manufacturing to make as small an environmental footprint as possible in the development of a truly affordable
wind energy system that:
- can be used locally for small needs yet be easily and infinitely expandable as the need arises.
- can adapt to any electrical technologies/systems as available in the region.
- is useful for residential, agricultural, utility and industry.
- safe for humans, birds and animals.
- can be used in any mixed use environment, from urban to agricultural.
- can generate electricity or pump fluids
- has an internal power storage capability
- that is silent and with no 'flicker shadow' effect.
- that is light and easily transportable, eliminating the need for new road construction.
- that is price competitive with standard energy sources.
- can be affixed to pre-existing or recycled poles, rooftops or other structures.
- uses easily replaceable parts and blades.
- can be quickly manufactured.
- is affordable.
- is a smooth, sleek, organic design
We are happy to say that we met all of these goals - and then some.
The Windstrument is Flexible:
You can start with one Windstrument turbine and add more turbines per pole as your power needs grow- without the cost, time or materials waste of new pole construction. Multiple home projects are optimum, as the price will scale with number sold. The benefits would be the capability to easily generate and store local power and have off-grid emergency power for any neighborhood. The Windstrument is probably the only 'urban tolerant' wind turbine on the market.
Windstrument can be placed on any utility pole, unused utility poles, or retrofit to other wind turbine poles. Click the WindOrchard link to see how this happens.
Availability is critical to our business model. With only one tool we have the capability to manufacture several thousand turbines a month. Our goal is to quadruple that, at a minimum, over the next year. As we have sourced our manufacturing and our raw materials already, this is entirely reliant on funding needed to cut the new molds.
A Masterpiece of Aesthetic Aerodynamics
The shape of the Windstrument appears simple, yet is extremely complex. The body shape is a Conical Helicoid. The Conical Helicoid is the most energy efficient, energy generative and durable pattern in existence. This spiral pattern is universal – encoded into plants, animals, storm systems, and space itself.
The inventor spent time in the 1980's on an Americas Cup Winning Sailboat. The idea for the blade shape came from his study of modern racing sails. In the Windstrument video, note the wind tunnel segment and you will see how the whole turbine appears foreshortened, front to back. This is a natural effect that causes the blades pull forward from the back to capture more air the harder the wind blows.
The unique sail shape also allows the Windstrument to function in turbulent or 'rough' wind conditions. The blade develops a cushion of air along it's surface. This cushion is what the oncoming wind is actually flowing over; as we affirmed in our wind tunnel tests. This natural flow dynamic creates a smoothing effect, eliminating vibration. Also, the Windstrument is completely self directing - naturally rotating to meet the wind.
These effects are the triple whammy that allow the Windstrument to generate power in the roughest wind, at low elevations. The Windstrument is probably the only 'urban tolerant' wind turbine on the market.
Perfected Sail form and Conical Helicoid; the Windstrument is the flawless hybrid of these extraordinary shapes. See our Pinterest Board
for gorgeous examples of natural spirals.
Flexible materials and an obvious visual at any speed allows for birds to easily see and avoid the Windstrument. There is no 'backwash' of air into the blades so birds cannot get sucked into the turbine. With the new dangers of human communicable, bird born diseases it is critical that turbines avoid killing birds in or around human traffic areas.
The Windstrument was field tested near a bird/wetlands reservoir for almost two years with no bird injuries or deaths.
Because of the flexible materials, the Windstrument is safer around people too. See the 'man test' segment on The Windstrument video.
In over three years testing in wind storms of up to 80mph wind gusts we never lost a blade outside of deliberate destruction testing in the wind tunnel. In cases of bad storms or high winds (over 80mph) a rapid disconnect can be used to drop the turbines or a hinged or telescoping tower configuration can be implemented. And if a blade does break it can be easily replaced, by hand, in about 10 minutes. They are affordable enough to keep one or two blades on hand in case of emergency.
Maximum Benefit Scenarios
Neighborhood or localized use of WindOrchards in a co-op type of energy generation cluster. We consider this to be the optimum configuration for private residences.
Into the Wild
Windstrument is perfectly suited for generating and storing power in wilderness areas. The light weight and stackable nature of the blades means you do not have to build highways or cement/asphalt roads for transport. Windstrument could power wilderness installations, telecommunications, rural villages, fire towers and ski resorts. And the Windstrument can pump water- making it the only lightweight, multi-use turbine on the market.
Another option is buoy configurations for offshore wind. We are also working on a mainsail rig to charge batteries for docked or anchored ships. Because of the self directing capability, light weight and 45 degree cone of tolerance, the Windstrument is the only workable wind power solution for seafaring vessels. And the Windstrument can pump water- making it the only lightweight, multi-use turbine on the market.
Because of the ability to add new turbines at will - or even drop new trees easily, the Windstrument is the perfect energy generation tool for industrial parks. The Windstruments ability to generate mechanical energy is an even bigger plus in this scenario.
We have tested the Windstrument in a wild horse area of Nevada and even these sensitive animals don't mind the Windstruments silent operation. Windstrument 'trees' can be placed in any agricultural setting without disturbing plants or animals.
The Windstrument is silent and safe as well as being bird friendly. This makes it a perfect addition to resort, hotel chain or other tourist areas.