Quantum_Conundrum
In an attempt to try to maximize the available electricy that can be harness from any given wind, i was thinking conceptually about just what is an "ideal" wind harnessing device?

We normally think about wind harnessing in terms of flat, two dimensional surfaces, such as the blade of a turbine or a sail. Ok, technically they aren't flat, they're curved to manipulate the flow just so to try to find an optimal, practical efficiency.

At any rate, they are nevertheless constructed using conventional mathematical concepts of 2 dimensional surface areas, and roughly 9th or 10th grade Geometry equivalents.

I was thinking of something more primitive, yet potentially more advanced at the same time, which would be the Dandelion Seed, as well as the seeds of so-called "Milk Weeds" pest plants, which can ruin hay fields and other crops.

The point is, these seeds do not have flat, 2-dimensional "sails" like some seeds in nature have, nor do they appear as bernoulli shaped fins or wings or anything of the sort. No, instead they simply have "fuzz"; soft fibers extending from the end of stalks on the seeds, which catch a lot of wind relative to their size, to carry them around.

A tumbleweed is another example of a "fractal" dimensional "sail" which exists in nature, and is literally composed of nothing more than it's own twigs and stalks bent upon and among themselves several times in various fashions..

Proposal:

1, Design a fractal wind turbine based on the Dandelion Seed and similar seeds (or fuzz, animal hair, or lint) in nature and test many version of them to see if their efficiency and practical outputs at various scales can be managed to exceed conventional vertical or horizontal axis turbines.

2, Determine if the design can be accomplished from ultra-resilient, ultra-light materials, such as Graphene or nanotube composites or other exotic allotropes or alloys, to extend lifetime and durability to the maximum whilest keeping weight low.

That is constructed the "fuzz" out of macroscopic fractal "Trees" of graphene and/or nano-tube composites, for example.

If you paint it black, it can even be a collector for a solar thermal boiler or pre-boiler simultaneously, since graphene is an extremely good conductor of heat...maybe asking too much, but the option is there....

It is true you will get more drag by adding more surface area, but you also get more power input by having more surface area, at least potentially. Since the power input would work as the cube of wind velocity, while the drag is a linear value, it should be possible to make the gains significantly larger than the drag...

Perhaps this has already been tested somehow, or perhaps it is technically or economically infeasible at this time for large scale operations?!

Imagine if you had a SHIP with a sail as efficient as a Dandelion seed?!
Quantum_Conundrum
It so happens I found a blue bird feather outside, a basic component of a fractal wing, allowing maximized surface area to capture air to fly with or glide on, whilst maintaining very low weight, being constructed of ultra-light proteins, and of course, "empty" space, well spaces filled with air.

Having also given thought to a whirly gig we have outside, I think I have arrived at a potential "low tech" solution to try to take a basic step in developing this concept.

1, Obtain an industrial scale three blade turbine, horizontal axis .

2, For every blade pair, run a parallel pair of wires or straps between the tips of the blades, with a good deal of tension on them.

3, The wires or straps shall have pairs of staggered hooks attached to them at every several units of length (optimal position and angle to be determined by experimentation and modeling.)

4, somewhere near the base of the blades, have another set of parallel wires or straps, with hooks at the same angle and relative position (scaled since inner radius is much lower than an outer radius.

5, Attach light weight sails, or rigid plastic fins, oriented between every pair of hooks at the top and bottom, having produced a pitch optimal to produce net gain in spin of the rotor (to be determined by experimentation).

With this method, you can greatly increase the surface area of the wind turbine, while only marginally increasing the weight.
flyingbuttressman
QUOTE (Quantum_Conundrum+Jul 4 2012, 10:32 AM)
At any rate, they are nevertheless constructed using conventional mathematical concepts of 2 dimensional surface areas, and roughly 9th or 10th grade Geometry equivalents.

You know, if you want to engage in actual discussion, you might have better luck if you drop the casual contempt for engineers who know their field a LOT better than you do.
Quantum_Conundrum
QUOTE (flyingbuttressman+Jul 4 2012, 01:08 PM)
You know, if you want to engage in actual discussion, you might have better luck if you drop the casual contempt for engineers who know their field a LOT better than you do.

I don't have contempt for anyone, and was in no way making a derogatory statement.

Wind turbines have been around for at least centuries, and the basic concepts and physics have not changed.

You know, you could have offered constructive insight, instead of assuming I was in any way insulting anyone, when I wasn't.

The fundamental geometries involved in conventional turbines is in fact primitive, and largely unchanged, except where materials sciences have allowed further optimization of prior designs.

Nevertheless, an modern turbine design is not much different than a couple hundred years ago, it's just the nature of the tools on the other end of the axis is changed more fundamentally than anything....generator vs mill...
Robittybob1
The current blades of a windmill often are very bird-like. So if there was an advantage in a design like QC is advocating it certainly is worth a try but the science of airfoil design is rather advanced so I would be surprised if anything will improve on it.

Nevertheless I often think of more organic type of wind turbines especially when I see the leaves of the cabbage tress bending in the wind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordyline_australis
flyingbuttressman
QUOTE (Quantum_Conundrum+Jul 4 2012, 08:52 PM)
Wind turbines have been around for at least centuries, and the basic concepts and physics have not changed.

The fundamental geometries involved in conventional turbines is in fact primitive, and largely unchanged, except where materials sciences have allowed further optimization of prior designs.

Nevertheless, an modern turbine design is not much different than a couple hundred years ago, it's just the nature of the tools on the other end of the axis is changed more fundamentally than anything....generator vs mill...

The "propeller" blades of a wind turbine are not as simple as they look. There are very complex fluid dynamics equations that go into designing those blades. As you can see here, there are many different types already. They key constraint to wind turbine design is that the end product has to be angular momentum which can be converted to electricity.
Capracus
Capracus
Toward Super-Size Wind Turbines: Bigger Wind Turbines Do Make Greener Electricity
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/...20620113334.htm
Capracus
Noise Research to Combat 'Wind Turbine Syndrome
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/...10601091446.htm
Capracus
Wind Power Not Enough to Affect Global Climate, Researchers Find
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/...20910143414.htm
egnorant
I thought wind turbine blades were 3 dimensional in design. Even my Uncles water pump windmill from the 30s on the farm utilized a blade curvature that increased efficiency somewhat.

Bruce
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