Salient White Elephant

April 24, 2009

Yawing Wind Dam

The diagram looks silly, but don’t dismiss this post too quickly – I think this is a terrific idea:

Yawing Wind Dam

There are many variations, but as we explore those variations, keep in mind the salient points of this machine:

  • direct drive
  • not only is the generator at ground level, the turbine rotor is on the ground as well!
  • incredibly scalable
  • low maintenance.

Variations

Suppose we have five towers in the shape of a giant pentagon. Cables run between adjacent towers, and the shroud is attached to those cables. In this case, only the shroud is yawed:

Yawing Wind Dam, Only The Shroud, Turbine, and Generator are Yawed

Or it can look like this:

Aerial View of Yawing Wind Dam Only The Shroud, Turbine, and Generator are Yawed

Instead of making the shroud out of fabric like nylon, it can be solid. It would look kind of like the top half of a radar dish. In this case, it might be supported by a number of lattice structures on wheels.

Single Tall Tower Variation

Yet another variation would use a single very tall guyed tower. Because the bottom of the shroud is like a circular arc that sweeps through 180 degrees, the diameter of the arc at the lower end of the shroud can be made larger than the diameter of the anchor points for the guy wires. A long horizontal tube at the top of the tower supports the top part of the shroud. The turbine rotor and generator are on rails or wheels and trace out a circle as the machine is yawed through 360 degrees.

Alternatively, the guy wires are used not only to support a very tall tower – they also support the shroud. Suppose there are 5 guy wires. A cable connects the 5 guy wires so that an aerial view of it looks like a pentagon. There are several levels of these horizontal pentagonal cables, so that an aerial view of them looks like several pentagons of different sizes. The shroud is connected at each side to each of these cables, and rides these pentagonal cables as it yaws:

Yawing Wind Dam, Single Tower Variation

Tipi Variation

Just like the single tower variation just described, except now the entire surface traced out by the guy wires is covered with fabric. It looks like a giant American Indian tipi. Now all of the fabric that runs the circumference of the tent from an elevation of (say) 20 feet to 30 feet is separated from the rest of the fabric. It looks like a giant pentagonal wedding ring. This ring has two holes cut into opposite sides of it, and a fabric tube connects these two holes. The tube has the turbine rotor inside of it. The tube and the ring yaw, and the rest of the tent is stationary. The turbine is near the tower (or coaxial with the tower) so that it doesn’t have to move much when yawing.

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