My design began with trying to find a way to build a home that uses wind energy to produce its own electric power, even in a low wind speed locale. Due to my background in farming and construction, I began looking at round building structures such as a silo (i.e., a vertical cylinder), because they can enhance the electric generation capability of wind turbines if used according to my patent pending technology improvements.
A silo structure is well suited for this:
Silos provide less wind resistance than a comparable square pillar, thus making them more stable, even in a tornado. Silo structures have many potential uses: grain storage, warehousing, water tower, homes, offices, apartments, hotels...
There are many abandoned silos around the country that could be re-purposed as an ideal support structure for electricity-generating wind turbines. The generated electricity can be used on site, stored, and/or fed to the national "power grid."
Besides being a good support structure for a wind turbine, the silo has a shape that synergistically enhances performance of wind turbines mounted according to our patent pending design:
One or preferably more Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) are mounted to the side of a silo type structure. Advantages of a VAWT include its simple design, efficient operation, quietness, ease of mounting on a vertical wall, and aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, suitable VAWTs are already commercially available.
Wind speed is amplified as it moves around the side of a round structure (Bernoulli Effect). Our side-mounted VAWTs advantageously utilize this to improve efficiency and increase power output. Also, this enables turbine usage even in locales having relatively low wind speeds.
We use the silo's circular shape to simplify moving the VAWTs to an optimum position around the circumference. Thus, giving maximum VAWT performance as wind direction and velocity change. Even existing silo structures could be used as long as design loads are sufficient to support the turbines and resist the added wind force. A silo provides enough height to side-mount a VAWT.
The VAWT must follow the wind by moving around the silo structure to maintain a position at the point of greatest wind speed, and therefore optimum performance. The silo structure simplifies this task. Our design incorporates mounting rotation rings that encircle the silo to form a movement track. A truss-like mounting system supports the turbines and is movably attached to the rotation rings. Drive motors can then move the VAWTs on the rotation rings around the silo structure. The drive motors are operated by a computer system using sensors to provide optimal performance and also detect high wind speed, i.e. storm conditions, in which case the turbines would be moved to the lee side behind the silo structure for protection.
In conclusion, we believe our concept has a global market, and would create new jobs and business opportunities in construction and manufacturing to stimulate economic growth while providing clean, safe energy.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Doug Mills
Type of entry: individual
Patent status: pending