Heating Water With The Wind

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My invention heats water by taking the kinetic energy from the wind using a modified Froude type dynamometer, which is coupled to a vertical axis cycloturbine style wind turbine.

The wind-turbine is a variation of prior cycloturbine types, since it uses a wind direction sensing vane to dynamically adjust blade pitch, to create a high soliditity rotor in the face of the wind, and little or no resistance down wind.

The main application I envision for my design is heating swimming pool water, owing to the considerable number of indoor pools in America, most of which are basic variants of "Olympic" size pools. The heating needs of such pools are basically identical by basic size - full, or half "Olympic" styles, which allows for the mass production of a hand full of designs, and thereby harnessing economies of scale in manufacture.

My design can be implemented as a purely mechanical device, with simplicity rivaling the iconic farm water-pumper of the 19th century, using proven, reliable machinery. The same basic dynamometer, energy absorption concept, has been used to test the horsepower of engines, and arrest aircraft landing on carriers at sea, for decades. All with unparalleled dependability.

The variable pitch, 6 vane cycloturbine driver was selected to provide high start-up torque and the capability to run reliably across a wide range wind regime. Like the stalwart farm water-pumper, the start-up wind-speed would be on the order of 5mph. However, the variable vane pitch control would allow operation at far greater wind-speeds than its pumping cousin. It is believed that my design can operate safely in winds up to 35mph.

As the graph appended to my design illustrates, extracting heat for swimming pool water from the wind offers an excellent fit between the availability of the resource on a seasonable basis, and the need for heat. Most swimming pools that are heated, must be heated year round, to sustain their normal operational temperature of 80 deg. F.
An "Olympic" size pool has incredible thermal inertia. Even pools in more temperate climates, are heated, albeit they are outdoor pools.

My device is intended principally as a supplement heat source for existing pools, and can be integrated into existing facilities with very little modification of the existing structure, thereby holding retrofit costs to an absolute minimum. Although using the design with new pools would not present a problem, nor would its use in other applications where a large amount of heated water is required.

Although the design is not intended to address this need in and of itself, but the use of a vertical axis rotor design, and its pure mechanical composition, would allow the structure a dual use role as a cell-phone antenna platform, etc. which through site lease value would mitigate installation costs, and be of further benefit to the colleges and schools that are often home to such facilities.


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    Dennis Baylor
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