This project, by designers Marcos Madia, Sergio Ohashi and Juan Manuel Pantano, explores the idea of a folding wind turbine. The artwork suggests the turbine could generate 600 watts, what do you think, O readers? [via Inhabitat]


John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

  • dZed

    Unfortunately there is virtually no agreement among the major wind turbine manufacturers, let alone independent designers such as these, as to where the power rating comes from. I can safely say, looking at the height of this turbine off the ground and nothing else, that 200 watts is a pipe dream.

    • dZed

      …that it’s a very pretty folding design. It’s just that turbines need clearance from surrounding obstacles in order to interact with the wind. Ten feet just ain’t gonna do it.

      • Troy

        It does look like it might get to around twenty feet, and its portable enough and light enough you could set a few of these up on the edge of a flat rooftop and get more wind.

  • Andy L

    Perhaps … this would be handy if you needed to power your temporary research base on the peak of some mountain somewhere?

  • paul

    the first thing I thought of was the military’s OE 254 antenna, it breaks down into more or less a duffle bag size and can be put up in 5 minutes by 2 guys (if you’re good you can do it by yourself), instead of an antenna up top put a little wind turbine. the tech involved in that is a lot more down to earth than this industrial designer’s wet dream.

  • MV

    the mathematical maximum power you can get from a perfect windmill is
    P_max= 8/27 *(rho *V^3) *pi R^2

    (a good reference on the topic is http://web.mit.edu/drela/Public/web/qprop/qprop_theory.pdf )

    It looks like R~= 1 m
    1 Watt= 1Joule/1second
    1 Joule =1 Newton *1 meter
    1 Newton= 1 kg *1 m/s^2

    taking rho~=1.2kg/m^3 @1atm @20C (you can calculate it from rho=P/RT, if you want)

    we have:
    P_max = 8/27 *(rho *V^3) *pi R^2
    600 W = 8/27*1.2kg/m^3*V^3*3.14*1m^2
    600 J/s = 1.12 kg/m *V^3
    600 Nm/s *0.895 m/kg = V^3
    537 [kg*m/s^2]*[m^2]/[kg*s]= V^3
    537 [m/s]^3=V^3
    V=8 m/s ~=18mph

    however, at a more reasonable 10 mph (4.5 m/s) the maximum theoretical power out is 100W, with zero losses assumed in the rotor swirl or the generator.

    I would say you’d be lucky to get 50 W from it on a good day. But don’t you worry, industrial designer Marcos Madia, I’m just a mechanical engineer with a fluids emphasis… what do I know?

  • Saki_Kawa

    Hello everyone!
    Well done project.. but a vertical axis turbine with vertical pales coming out from main vertical tube could be more efficient and easier.. don’t you think so?

  • CB2001

    By the way this looks, it may be useful for independent film shoots, replacing gas powered generators when you’re shooting in remote areas.

  • Liam

    So, for what it’s worth, I e-mailed the creator about the power rating. Here’s his response (translated from Spanish):

    “Thanks for your interest. The wind turbine was a university project I did with a couple classmates. The power was estimated taking into account already existing projects. We don’t have concrete figures. In any case, it’s a completely conceptual design.