Douglas Jack
Interesting gull-wing innovation. It has application in Building-mounted linear-axis wind generation. Buildings concentrate wind in density & speed by 12 - 15 times along wall corners & roofline. Such flapping wings can harvest this concentrated wind & so bring the built environment back to ambient air flows. Typically such concentrated wind flows damage buildings & infrastructure (bridges, towers, walkways etc), make many parts of the urban environment unpleasant & destroy wildlife habitat.
Building mounted wind is able to deliver electricity without transmission losses right where the user lives & works. Presently about 50% of electric energy is lost at the rate of 5% per 100 miles of transmission line from central generating sites (nuclear, hydro, most-wind, coal, etc.) including EMF loss & infrastructure capital costs. Such extensive transmission lines massively destroy habitat because of EMF harmful effects to humans & wildlife in wide swaths along 100,000s of miles.
The built environment has massive untapped concentrations of wind, water, compost (soil), fecal (methane & alcohol), urine (nitrogen) & refined materials etc which being thrown away & unharvested are presently damaging & polluting health, wildlife & our enjoyment of our worlds. These complementary sources when harvest both clean up our world as well as provide all & more of the energy human require are the priority of where we must be concentrating our energy harvest investment.
The mechanical conversion efficiency is impressive for a small machine, but why anyone would want to end up with reciprocal motion instead of rotary motion is beyond me.
Joe Blough
It's beyond me too. Aside from the mechanism issues, the inertial losses have to make this a marginal system. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean it makes any sense.
Energy isn't created or destroyed. In this case it is harvested from the wind. Put a flywheel into the system and it will recycle all those rascally rogue reciprocating losses.
I conceived something like this years ago. Shoulda woulda coulda...
If you follow the source link to festo, they have a video showing how it all works. Hands up all those people who used to do that motion going along in their dad's car when they were younger (darn, why didn't I think of this) And don't forget, there's no reason this woulden't work in a river or tidal flow!
Island Architect
Here we are 2014 doing this kind of nutty stuff when Bill Allison hit the Betz limit some 35 years ago in his basement in Grosse Pointe after retiring from FORD. You can read about it in
In order to extract energy with that efficiency you need.. highly polished front flat faced blades, 10 in a 12 position configuration tilted at 8deg.
It seems as if we have grown into being dolts and no one addressing the solution poperly... the proper configuration is that of a fan as it has been for hundreds of years.
Humanity is not progressing at all despite the HTC and iPhone 5s.
And this is the real problem... fie on this junk.
@Douglas Jack: really great comment. I think these things are going to be retrofitted in cities all over the world and the inventors will make a fortune.
I can think of several reasons for this configuration over turbines and propeller based systems (just referred to as turbines below).
1. Many communities restrict turbines because of noise both in residential and commercial areas. I suspect these are much quieter. Unfortunately the Festo video does not show wind tunnel information with sound to compare.
2. Many communities are beginning to restrict do to killing of birds. As I have seen the monster systems in action, I am not sure why birds cannot avoid the slow moving blades or are hurt by them but they cannot and are killed by them. Home systems spin much faster so definitely dangerous to the birds (why not a screen??). This system may be more bird friendly.
3. It appears it would be easily mounted to buildings, at least buildings where there is a single basic direction for most winds. I am not sure how well this would work if the direction of the winds varies a lot. Maybe the production models would have a large tail like most turbine systems to keep it facing into the wind and adjust out of the wind if the speed gets too high.
Stephen N Russell
Mass produce alone worldwide use or select locales
Good grief. Again with the "Bill Allison" myth. You sound like a broken record, Island Architect. Give it up. Nobody believes your propaganda, especially since you've never offered any shred of plausible evidence to back it up. By the way, it's impossible to take seriously a commercial website that was constructed with Microsoft FrontPage and has never heard of CSS margins.