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View Diary: Something to take your mind off indictments: Windfarm blogging (169 comments)

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  •  It's a steep curve to fight with scalability. (none)
    Not saying it wouldn't work, but the power of a turbine increases dramatically with size and elevation -- to the square of area and cube of windspeed gain from elevating it.  So manufacturing costs would have to be extremely low.  On the plus side, the materials don't need to be nearly as strong for low-diameter machines.

    Likely the best bet for something like this would be a VAWT, perhaps even a drag-based (savonius) VAWT since windspeeds are so low.  Or a a tall thin lift-based one.  The few garden toys I made with computer parts never produced more than a watt, but they were very badly designed HAWTs and the motors I was using for generators weren't right for the job.

    Not that building from old computer parts isn't fantastically fun.  Just don't expect to power much off it.  I'm sure if 14W for a wireless access point was acheived the design would be extremely popular.

    On a slightly larger scale people have been getting useful amounts of power from oil-barrel savonius setups for decades.  You just have to custom-build the genset, as you need a low-rpm, smoothly poled, high voltage unit to avoid gearing.  Unfortunately most appliance motors are pretty useless squirrel-cage designs that are hard to rework into a good genset.

    Also there's the problem of rectifying and combining all those AC power feeds efficiently.  Not impossible but no small task.

    Google "urban turbine" for a good tour of what people are doing.

    OpenSource volunteers needed to bring election accountability: http://uscvprogs.sourceforge.net

    by skids on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:30:05 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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