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New design concept for windmills

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
So we had some pretty strong winds here yesterday and it got me thinking about those wind farms and their spinning blades. Well why not do a new design with no moving visible parts. Basically it would have a funnel shape on the front to collect and channel the wind. Inside the intake would be a horizontal squirrel cage fan connected to a pole then connected to the base. The squirrel cage fan would be enclosed allowing the funneled air to circulate though the squirrel cage fan then existing out the back. This would push the squirrel cage fan at very high speeds, turning the shaft creating the energy. From the outside it would show no moving parts. It would need a screen right before entering the squirrel cage fan area to make sure no debris were pulled though. Basically it would be a squirrel cage fan laying on it's side atop a shaft. Instead of it blowing it would be sucking.



So like that but with a funnel design attached to the intake to collect more airflow. What do you think?
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
I'm not a mechanical engineer, but I'm not sure if this could be as efficient as a Windmill at catching wind.  I could be completely wrong, but here's my thought.  The squirrel cage fan works because there is a motor spinning it, which causes the blades to pull the air from the center intake and blow it out.  Wind just blowing through this wouldn't necessary have to push the blades and spin the cage, it may just pass through.   The classic design on the other hand the wind has to hit the blades and they will in turn force it to move.  
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I don't know, if there is resistance wind should be able to move anything with enough force. The key here is being able to move something with as little force as possible on one end will creating more more force on the other end. I googled wind designs and there are quite a few out there. I think key here would be the funnel system. It would need to channel it. Tough though without a engineer designing it and model wind tunnel testing. But it was just an idea. I think you could even play with fins on the inside of the funnel system and might be able to even generate more power there.
 

LK

It burns when I pee
Members
I think the idea above works with water.  I've seen something similiar used as a generator in a river before.  Water is forced into this and generates electricity.  I think wind would take the path of least resistance (and bypass the internals) and therefore likely wouldn't work as efficiently as todays wind mills do.
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
I think the idea above works with water.  I've seen something similiar used as a generator in a river before.  Water is forced into this and generates electricity.  I think wind would take the path of least resistance (and bypass the internals) and therefore likely wouldn't work as efficiently as todays wind mills do.
Anything running this with water would work the opposite of how these typically work with air.  Referring to the picture originally posted, most water mill type applications would use the square area as the inlet with the outlet being the same I guess since the main goal is just to spin the cage.   Air applications of a squirrel cage fan use the center (circular) area for an inlet and the square as the outlet to direct airflow.

With water, the square portion would be the inlet and it would spin the blades.

In most air movement applications of a squirrel cage like this, a motor spins the cage and the blades pulls air from the center (circular area) and it is blown out the square portion.

Hence as a windmill alternative, I think most air would just blow through the center and not catch or move the blades - squirrel cage relies on another force spinning it to create the suction with the blades of the fan.

If you directed air into the square area to spin this like a water mill type concept maybe, but then I think it would take more airflow to do much compared to traditional wind mills.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I thought about a new design. How about on that is in the shape of a jet turbine. Basically a large mouthed opening, continuing to a smaller mouthed exit. Inside the cavity would be multiple rings built in to the sides. Each ring inside has its own set of angled fins. As the wind blows though, it would propel and channel though the fins spinning the ring, followed by the ring behind it flowing in the opposite direction, followed by the next ring spinning the opposite direction etc. Maybe a total of 6 rings built into the cavity. The theory is the first ring would be a slow spin and each ring should speed fast and fast pushing more and more until it exhausts.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
What about moisture wicking being built into these designs? You can't really do it on a standard windmill design, but if you had a funnel or dome shaped design you could incorporate maybe heat or cooling plates that when the cooler or warm air would pass over would cause moisture that you could drain and store.
 
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