Environment

WWII veteran creates bird-friendly wind turbine

WWII veteran creates bird-frie...
Military veteran Raymond Green created the Catching Wind Power prototype at an estimated cost of US$550
Military veteran Raymond Green created the Catching Wind Power prototype at an estimated cost of US$550
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Military veteran Raymond Green has invented a working prototype of a blade-free wind turbine which is bird and bat-friendly
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Military veteran Raymond Green has invented a working prototype of a blade-free wind turbine which is bird and bat-friendly
The CWP prototype operates with very little noise
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The CWP prototype operates with very little noise
Unlike traditional three-blade turbines, which can hurt birds and bats while spinning at high speed, the CWP unit contains no external moving parts
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Unlike traditional three-blade turbines, which can hurt birds and bats while spinning at high speed, the CWP unit contains no external moving parts
Green mounted the CWP prototype on the roof of his truck for testing
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Green mounted the CWP prototype on the roof of his truck for testing
The Catching Wind Power prototype was created at an estimated cost of US$550
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The Catching Wind Power prototype was created at an estimated cost of US$550
In order to test the prototype, Green affixed it to the roof of his truck and drove around, producing enough power to light a bulb.
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In order to test the prototype, Green affixed it to the roof of his truck and drove around, producing enough power to light a bulb.
The CWP prototype device weighs 45 lb (20 kg)
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The CWP prototype device weighs 45 lb (20 kg)
The CWP prototype device turbine measures 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, while the wind sock opening which surrounds it is 31 inches (78 cm) in diameter
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The CWP prototype device turbine measures 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, while the wind sock opening which surrounds it is 31 inches (78 cm) in diameter
CWP inventor Raymond Green is based in California
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CWP inventor Raymond Green is based in California
Green hopes his creation will be implemented in various sizes, from smaller personal units, to much larger designs which could be used in wind farms
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Green hopes his creation will be implemented in various sizes, from smaller personal units, to much larger designs which could be used in wind farms
The CWP's patented "Inner Compression Cone Technology" is said to increase energy output significantly
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The CWP's patented "Inner Compression Cone Technology" is said to increase energy output significantly
The CWP prototype device weighs 45 lb (20 kg)
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The CWP prototype device weighs 45 lb (20 kg)
The Catching Wind Power prototype was created at an estimated cost of US$550
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The Catching Wind Power prototype was created at an estimated cost of US$550
Green mounted the CWP prototype on the roof of his truck for testing
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Green mounted the CWP prototype on the roof of his truck for testing
Green hopes the CWP will eventually be implemented in various sizes
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Green hopes the CWP will eventually be implemented in various sizes
The Catching Wind Power prototype was created at an estimated cost of US$550
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The Catching Wind Power prototype was created at an estimated cost of US$550
Military veteran Raymond Green created the Catching Wind Power prototype at an estimated cost of US$550
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Military veteran Raymond Green created the Catching Wind Power prototype at an estimated cost of US$550

World War II veteran Raymond Green, an 89 year old resident of Jackson, California, has created a working prototype of a "bladeless" wind turbine which is bird and bat-friendly, and very quiet in operation. Though still in development at present, Green intends his design to be produced in various sizes, from smaller personal versions to much larger turbines which could be implemented in wind farms.

The Compressed Air Enclosed Wind Turbine weighs 45 lb (20 kg) overall, while the turbine assembly itself measures 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and the wind sock which surrounds it has a diameter of 31 inches (78 cm) at its widest point. Green explains that unlike traditional three-blade turbines, which can kill birds and bats as they rotate at high speed, his prototype sports no external moving parts, but houses its blades safely within the unit.

In order to test the prototype, Green affixed it to the roof of his truck and drove around, producing enough power to light a bulb.
In order to test the prototype, Green affixed it to the roof of his truck and drove around, producing enough power to light a bulb.

The prototype’s patented "Inner Compression Cone Technology" draws in wind through its wide entrance, pushing it into the more confined space where the turbine blades are located. Green claims that this system can produce double the output of a typical turbine, even when placed closer to the ground than is usual - an impressive increase indeed, and we're keen to see some hard figures on this as the project matures.

The same wind compression tech is also responsible for enabling the turbine's hidden blades to be shorter than is customary, and this renders it significantly quieter in operation, when compared to a traditional wind turbine.

The Compressed Air Enclosed Wind Turbine was created at an estimated cost of US$550 and in order to bring a product to market, Green has teamed up with Sigma Design Company. The process of perfecting the design and manufacturing is expected to take up to two years.

The short promo video below sheds some more light on the project.

Source: Catching Wind Power, via TreeHugger

Catching Wind Power's Patented Compressed Air Wind Turbine

31 comments
Gadgeteer
Studies funded by the Department of Energy over 30 years ago conclusively proved that concentrator ducts don't help. I strongly doubt he really got "double the output" or a measurable increase at all. That's as much exaggeration as the purported output of William Allison's turbine, which nobody else has ever been able to confirm. (Preemptive strike before Island Architect brings up his name for the umpteenth time.) While diffuser ducts do work, the problem remains that a large duct for a large turbine would be heavy and expensive, which is why utility scale turbines haven't been built with those, either.
Toffe Carling
Best say first that I love inventions...but.. Too bad that physics say that the longer the turbine blades are the more efficient the wind turbine gets. And also I am quite sure that when you have a "wind cone" it doesn´t let the air compress it self but makes like an air "bubble" and thus the new air goes around the inlet. (Much like the old "cone goggles" for motor-bikers). Data suggest that turning the cone around and flaring it more will give more help for this turbine. Where the cone creates a low pressure behind the blades and then sucks more air into the turbine. But this is already patented..(sorry).. But to protect bats I'd suggest some type of speaker that operates at the bat range of hearing and thus scares them away. (Is there really any hard data on how many birds and bats that actually die from hitting wind-farms?) The blades spin fast enough that a bat should "see" them even if it goes past fast. Keep trying my fellow inventor, but I do feel like this way is not going to work well enough.
RedBaron
This does in actual fact not compress the air at all. It is called the venturi effect. When air is forced through a narrow section like this, the air speeds up, but both the temperature and pressure drop. It does however increase the yield on the rotor.
martinkopplow
I hate to say it: He's not the first to try this approach, won't be the last, and it won't work once again. It may be bird friendly, though it is by no means more efficient: It is simply not possible to draw more than 37% of the energy out of any section of free flowing air: The remaining air is simply going to flow around the obstacle, that is the turbine, or the duct, should there be any. It's just physics and should already have been discovered before WWII.
MisterH
One of the main objections to the existing 3 rotor based windfarms is their blight on the landscape. Whilst most Doctor Who fans might be thrilled to gaze out at a swarm of flying Daleks hovering menacingly over the English countryside, I can't imagine many other people being delighted at the prospect.
BZD
We are starting to see wind turbine wings 75 meters long - just trying to imagine the size needed for one of these compressor to perform similar makes my head hurt. I simply don't see it especially since the whole concept is questionable.
Bob Stuart
This gets "invented" several times every year. If people really cared about bird strikes, they'd get serious about painting turbines purple, which makes them stealthy to insects, and thus not worth the risk for hunting birds. Birds are smart enough to not get struck, but the pressure changes from a near miss wreck their lungs.
Bob Stuart
@Martinkopplow, and Ed. The maximum amount of power that can theoretically be extracted from an area of wind is the Betz limit, and it is 59.3%. If you take more than that, you reduce the local wind speed too much and hit diminishing returns. Shrouded fans are useful for limited spaces, but are otherwise always uneconomic. Adding the shroud material to the blade tips helps more.
packoftwenty
It's common sense that if you 'funnel' the air you can use a much smaller (and therefore cheaper) turbine, because it will be driven by much faster wind than without the funnel. Look at all the examples above. This guy's invention isn't particularly brilliant, I and I'm sure thousands of others have thought of exactly the same thing before, but as for Gadgeteer's brilliant comment: "While diffuser ducts do work, the problem remains that a large duct for a large turbine would be heavy and expensive," LOL! Never heard of ripstop nylon? Or Dacron? The problem with 99% of new wind turbine designs is that the designers are unable to think of the magic words 'cost per kilowatt', and instead want their turbine to LOOK 'modern'. Efficiency is irrelevant, ALL that matters is COST PER KILOWATT. Wind turbines should be made with Dacron and use concentrators made of the same. Would love to see the 'Department of Energy' papers which claim concentrators don't work! Who do you believe? Me, or your own lying eyes? LOL! Just look at some of the concepts at http://salientwhiteelephant.wordpress.com/ For example, the Circular Wind Dam, an excellent idea. The whole point of using concentrators is that they can be built out of very cheap materials, i.e. Dacron, or bricks, strawbales, etc. thus reducing the size of wind turbine needed to extract the same amount of energy as a much larger, un-'concentrated' one would. And LOL at the commenters claiming that the wind would just 'go round' the concentrator... LOL! I can't believe you can't even grasp such a simple concept - if the wind speed is 10mph, the air that enters the concentrator will be moving a lot faster by the time it reaches the turbine at the end. Do you think that sufficient wind will somehow move BACKWARDS and thus go AROUND the concentrator (LOL) to prevent the wind speed at the turbine being much higher than that of the rest of the wind?
Michael Mantion
Wow seems like a pointless "invention" to me. Are people aware that birds die? I mean they die, period. Sometimes they get the flue, sometimes they fly into windows, sometimes other birds get them. wind turbines only have value if the produce more electricity then it cost to make. The most cost effective turbines have 3 blades and are as big and high as possible. If this confuses people, oh well. If you were really concerned about birds you could do more research into blade color, reflective material, sound or "scarecrows" to keep birds away from moving blades. I am happy this ww2 vet is doing something, but Please don't call something so silly news, its been done before and it wasn't worth noting then.