Residential turbine design inspired by hummingbird wings
As unconventional wind turbines go, the flapping machine introduced by Tunisian company Tyer Wind is on the far edge of quirky. Employing dual oscillating blades that mimic the figure-8 motion of the wings of a hovering hummingbird, the turbine's relatively compact design make it a potential fit for residential use.
For the Tyer Wind machine's inventor, Anis Aouini, this isn't the first unorthodox wind converter design. His company, Saphon Energy, developed the Saphonian bladeless turbine in 2012. This time around the firm looked to one of nature's most energy efficient flyers, the hummingbird, inspired especially by the bird's ability to hover in place for an extended period. From this, Aouini developed his "Aouinian 3D kinematics," a design he claims very efficiently "allows the conversion of a linear motion into a rotational one."
Constructed of carbon fiber, the two vertical axis wings of the Tyer Wind turbine are 5.25 feet in length (1.6m) for a total sweep area of 11.7 feet (3.56m). This relatively compact size is less than the sweep area for typical three-blade horizontal-axis wind turbines made for residential use. Though the Tyer turbine's rated power output of 1 kW is also less.
The turbine is said to give off less noise pollution compared to conventional wind turbines, be safer for migrating birds, less visually obtrusive, and allow for a higher density of turbines in a wind farm configuration. The company has plans for a large-scale version of the turbine, for use in either onshore or offshore wind farms.
The Tyer Wind turbine is still in the testing phase, gathering data on such things as power efficiency, aerodynamic behavior, material resistance and stress over the mast, so no word yet from the company on a number of key specs, including real world performance capabilities or price and release date. If it even gets to that point given that Aouini's Saphonian turbine has yet to hit the market.
Have a look at the promo video below and let us know what you think of the design in the comments.
Source: Tyer Wind
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Turbine typically refers to an single axial rotating device, this concept is more complex and therefore not as efficient.