Friday, April 4, 2008

My Windmill

I had the idea in 1984 or thereabouts, but did not attempt to patent until 1991.  Its a design for a vertical axis windmill.  The patent failed, because of prior art. Some that art goes back to the 1850's.  I used to have the failed patent application, with 1" of stapled relevant patents. I think I left it at a client site a couple of years ago.

A guy from 'the west country' of the England had been granted a patent on it some years before me.  He's still above and hoping to make some business from it with under-water turbines, but I think the best use is for wind.

How it works - view from above

So this diagram describes one sail and its rotation around a central axis under the influence of wind.  Eight freeze-frame images give a single rotation of the sail around a central axis.

Each sail has to run in two directions - the red dot shows that the sail after one revolution around the axis, would be facing in the other direction.  Meaning there is a 2:1 gear ratio between the (fixed) central spindle and the rotation of the sail around its own axis.

Directions of force are shown via small arrows. It's pretty obvious that all angles to the wind are helping the general rotation apart from frame 5.

You could make each sail as a sheet of sail-cloth between two vertical rods. In the case of my prototype, I made them out of cardboard.  With a sail-cloth form, you could get some aerofoil effect. 

Points of Sailing

Anyone familiar with yachting or dingy sailing will note that sailing positions to the wind guide the design for this turbine.  The novelty (and the thing I tried to patent) was the 2:1 gear ratio.

More in a follow up.

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