MIGLER WHIRLWIND: a powerful, quiet, bird-friendly windmill
MIGLER WHIRLWIND: a powerful, quiet, bird-friendly windmill
New, patented design uses sails not blades. 48% more powerful. Super efficient and quiet. Loves low wind speeds. Doesn't kill birds!
New, patented design uses sails not blades. 48% more powerful. Super efficient and quiet. Loves low wind speeds. Doesn't kill birds! Read more
The Migler Whirlwind is a revolutionary windmill that captures wind energy in a new way: using sails not blades.
Here are 5 reasons it's better than conventional, 3-blade windmills:
1. It's 48% more powerful. Conventional windmills use blades where, at low wind speeds, much of the wind passes between those blades, losing potential energy. Sails have none of these inefficient pass-through areas. Testing showed our windmill design will produce 48% more power than a rotor of the same size would have. (Test results below.)
2. Thanks to its design and light-weight sails, it captures wind energy in low wind speeds far better than conventional windmills. Others need 10 to 15 mph to start making electricity. Ours gets going at 5 mph -- making it perfect for those parts of world, such as the Great Plains of the U.S., where average the wind speed is low.
3. Its patented design is blade-free so it's bird friendly. Three-bladed windmills kill birds in vast quantities because the birds can't see the fast-spinning blade tips. Our square sail design eliminates that problem.
4. It is more efficient than conventional windmills because, thanks to its patented spring-loaded hanging bars/sail restraint system, it keeps rotating even when the wind changes direction. Conventional windmills stall and need to be turned to face the wind, losing time and energy.
5. The use of inexpensive sails and the simplicity of construction give two advantages. It should be cheaper to build because sails are cheaper than blades and cheaper to maintain because the generator, gearbox and electronics are on ground level. This also makes the Migler Whirlwind accessible to people in developing countries in Africa and elsewhere.
WHO AM I AND WHY DO I NEED YOUR HELP? I'm Bernie Migler, Ph.D., co-inventor of the drug Seroquel, now an independent inventor, along with a team of machine shop technicians and electrical and mechanical engineering advisers. Your donation will help us take everything we've learned from our two earlier prototypes and build one final, larger, stronger, more powerful, inexpensive and elegant windmill. Once completed, we will work to bring the windmill to market. (Please see the full rewards chart shown below.)
HOW DOES IT WORK? The Migler Whirlwind has sails that rotate when wind pushes on them. Patented spring-loaded hanging bars catch the sails when the wind is at its most energetic point. If the wind speed becomes excessive the sail can push past the hanging bar, bringing the windmill into safe mode. When the wind returns to normal the sails can push the hanging bar from behind where there is no spring resistance and automatically return to normal operation. This safety mechanism is also patented. The sails will be collapsible and made of Stamoid, an extremely tough polyester material that's heat- and UV-resistant.
The tower supporting the sails will be steel and 35-feet tall. There will be four upper and four lower rotating horizontal arms made of aluminum. The arms will rotate on the tower. Rotating masts will be secured to the upper and lower arms. The lower horizontal arms will rotate a sprocket which drives a vertical power shaft; the drive shaft turns a gearbox. The gearbox will turn the generator, thus producing electricity.
WHAT'S THE EVIDENCE IT'S 48% MORE POWERFUL THAN ROTOR WINDMILLS? Results of our simulated wind tunnel test are shown here:
HOW IS IT SAFER FOR BIRDS? Conventional wind turbines kill birds. For example, the U.S. Dept. of Justice recently fined Duke Energy $1 million for killing golden eages, a federal offense, and other birds. The blade tips of conventional, three-blade rotor wind turbines can travel at speeds of over 100 mph, chopping birds into pieces. Our windmill has no blades -- only square sales. Furthermore, it is based on aerodynamic drag rather than aerodynamic lift, and so it never spins faster than the wind speed, that is, its sails cannot move faster than the wind pushing them. Also, birds are intelligent creatures. The sails will be highly visible for miles (and can be of various colors) and birds will not fly into them and in fact they did not fly into our early prototype. We claim that our design will eliminate the problem of bird kills. Also the sails can be illuminated at night to warn-away any night-flying birds.
WHERE WILL IT BE BUILT AND WHERE WILL IT BE SEEN? The windmill will be built on farmland near Cherry Hill, New Jersey by myself and a team of advisors and machine shop experts. (Winds there typically range between 5 and 10 mph but can hit 20 mph as well.) Our main goal is to build a prototype with larger sails, making the windmill more powerful and sensitive to low wind speed, and to obtain accurate measurements of its power at different wind speeds. (Kilowatts will be measured over a range of wind speeds using resistance loads.) Other goals are to perfect our design so the Migler Whirlwind is as optimally efficient, powerful, inexpensive, elegant and silent. I estimate that construction and testing will be completed in 24 months.
The process of building the windmill will be recorded in a documentary, which will distributed to backers and submitted to various film festivals. Migler Windmills will also seek external media coverage for the project with local and national news outlets and bloggers. Progress reports will be posted on our website and issued to our backer community. All backers will be invited to view and celebrate the windmill once it is completed.
WHAT ARE THE PATENTS ON THIS WINDMILL?
1. Vertical Axis Wind Turbine with Controlled Gybing. Patent #6,926,491. Each encompasses multiple claims for multiple inventions within each patent. Click to view
2. Automatic Self-feathering and Resetting Sail restraint for Migler's Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. Patent #7,334994. Click to view
3. Modification of Migler's Windmill with masts secured to upper and lower level horizontal arms and with sails secured to the masts and with a yoke connecting the masts. (Provisional submitted / Nonprovisional in preparation)
Risks and challenges
I am qualified to build the windmill because I built the earlier two prototypes and am aware of all the issues. One minor concern is that there may be unforeseen problems in the supply of materials. However, the materials I plan to use, such as steel round tube, steel round bar, aluminum round bar and rectangular tube, are readily available from several suppliers. The sail material that I prefer (Stamoid) could become unavailable, but there are alternatives. The stainless steel hardware, such as shaft collars, bolts etc. are available from multiple suppliers. I see little concern regarding materials. The major concern is that severe weather could slow down construction, but this should not prevent completion in 24 months or less.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)