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Directory:Electric Pinwheels LLC
Electric Pinwheels designs and manufactures a new type of wind turbine/generator with a semi-rigid fabric blade. Targeted at the small wind residential and portable markets, owners can customize the colors and patterns of the blades and tail. With a lightweight structure and specially designed blade that flexes upon impact, the objective is to provide an aesthetically pleasing and safe alternative to other forms of wind power.
The company began selling the model EP-220 on October 1, 2010
How it Works
The basic layout is a downwind Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) in a 5-blade configuration. The blades are arranged around a hub that rotates on a fixed shaft. Wind power is converted to electrical power with an axial flux permanent magnet alternator.
The patent-pending blade design consists of a fabric blade sleeve pulled over the top of a polyester film envelope and composite rod structure. The result is a S809 profile semi-rigid aerodynamic wing with camber and twist, providing the lift required to produce power. This structure has a high degree of stiffness in the direction of wind flow, yet flexes easily in the direction of rotation upon impact as the supporting rods slide within the hub. This feature allows the device to be safely stopped by hand, and is intended to address safety concerns as more wind turbines are installed close to people and buildings. High-wind protection is accomplished through non-fluttering flexing of the blade and fabric.
This design is about 63% lighter than wood or fiberglass for a similar S809 profile, and a moment of inertia 78% smaller than similar blades. The film and fabric structure weighs only 44 grams without the support spars, and 140 grams with the spars with the majority of the mass located toward the center of rotation. A single blade can be attached without tools in 8 seconds, adding to the degree of portability for the entire system. The lower moment of inertia reduces the gyroscopic resistance to changes in wind direction, resulting in a wind turbine that can gather more power in turbulent winds.
With a fabric blade covering, multiple colors are available for owners including a transparent polymer for a low-profile installation. This allows a new kind of personalization for something that becomes a very high-profile part of the environment. The same materials are used on the tail surface.
- Wide range of colors and patterns available, including the first transparent wind generator blade.
- Semi-rigid blade structure and lightweight construction reduces the hazard of blade impact and responds quicker to wind changes.
- Blade and generator designed for low wind range.
- Residential areas where zoning and site issues prevent large-scale wind installations
- Portable needs for power such as remote work crews, concerts, festivals, disaster areas
- Marine and RV power (the blades can be removed in about 1 minute, and the generator can stay mounted without presenting a wind load)
- Urban areas (TBD)
- Anywhere power is needed close to where it is used.
- Expected soon.
- Provisional patents received
Company: Electric Pinwheels LLC
- Founded 2008, Windsor NY.
Inventor: Adam R. Brown
The idea for Electric Pinwheels was developed by combining experience from sailing, kite building, aeronautics, tent construction, wind energy, and automation. The inventor began his college education in Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University, but quickly switched to Mechanical Engineering where he received his Bachelors Degree in 1995. Specializing in robotics and electromechanical devices, the inventor began a 12-year career with a US-based manufacturer of PCB assembly equipment. He received his MBA in 2005 from Regis University while his career progressed into high-tech business management. Residential power production became an interest in 2005, and the inventor began researching various technologies as energy prices soared. Electric Pinwheels LLC was founded in 2008 with a wealth of knowledge in product design, marketing, manufacturing, business management, and customer-centric success. Future areas of interest include artful forms of wind power.
See Discussion page
- News:Wind | 2010 | 2009 | 2008
- PowerPedia:Wind power | PowerPedia:Wind Turbine
- Directory:Wind:Past Developments
- Directory:Wind:Offshore | PowerPedia:Offshore Wind Power Drawbacks
- Directory:Wind Farms | PowerPedia:Windfarms
- Directory:High-Efficiency Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines
- Directory:Home Generation:Wind Turbine
- Directory:Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
- Directory:High Altitude Wind Power
- Directory:Wind Augmentation
- Directory:Power Via Atmospheric Pressure Differences
- Directory:Humdinger Windbelt
- Directory:Wind Power in the United Kingdom