MIGLER WHIRLWIND: a powerful, quiet, bird-friendly windmill project video thumbnail
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$2,619 pledged of $55,000 goal
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By Migler Windmills
$2,619 pledged of $55,000 goal
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About

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    THANK YOU EMAIL. Personalized email from the inventor, Bernie Migler, saying thanks.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    DOCUMENTARY CLIP. You get a personalized email from the inventor, Bernie Migler, saying thanks AND you get a digital clip of the documentary we make about the building of the new windmill.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    YOU CAN MAKE THE WINDMILL REVOLUTION POSSIBLE! You get thanked in the credits of the documentary we make about the building of the new windmill. AND you get a digital download of the full movie. AND you get a personalized thank you email from the inventor, Bernie Migler.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SILVER DONOR! You get named as a "Silver Kickstarter Donor" in the credits of the documentary we make about the building of the new windmill AND a full digital download of it. AND you get named as a Silver Donor on the "Thank You" page of our website AND a personalized email from the inventor, Bernie Migler, saying thanks.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    GOLD DONOR! You get named and thanked as a "Gold Kickstarter Donor" in the credits of the documentary we make about the building of the new windmill PLUS full digital download of the film AND you get thanked as a Gold Donor on our website. AND a phone call and personalized email from the inventor, Bernie Migler, saying thanks.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    PLATINUM DONOR. You get an awesome T-shirt designed by an esteemed sculptor/artist exclusively for Migler Windmills. AND you get named in the credits of the documentary we make about the building of the new windmill as a Platinum Donor. AND you get listed on the "Thank You" page of our website as a "Platinum Kickstarter Donor." AND you get a personalized email and phone call from the inventor, Bernie Migler, saying thanks.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    DOUBLE PLATINUM DONOR.
    You get an awesome T-shirt designed by an esteemed sculptor/artist exclusively for Migler Windmills. AND you get named in the opening credits of the documentary we make about the building of the new windmill as a Double Platinum Donor. AND you get listed on the "Thank You" page of our website as a "Double Platinum Kickstarter Donor." AND you get an email and a phone call from the inventor, Bernie Migler, saying thanks.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    YOU ARE STAR! YOU ARE MAKING THE WINDMILL REVOLUTION POSSIBLE. You get everything mentioned at the $150 level AND you APPEAR in the documentary about the making of the windmill. You will be interviewed and taped by one of our film crew members or invited to send in your own footage for inclusion in the documentary.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    YOU ARE A WINDMILL REVOLUTIONARY!. You get everything described at $500 level -- you appear in the documentary, opening credit, the sculptor/artist's T-shirt designed exclusively for Migler Windmills, a thank you from the inventor -- PLUS you get your name or your organization's name/logo printed on one of the sails.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    YOU'RE A SUPER REVOLUTIONARY. You get everything listed for $1,000 - you appear in the documentary, opening credit, the sculptor/artist's T-shirt designed exclusively for Migler Windmills, a thank you phone call and email from the inventor -- PLUS you get your name or your organization's name/logo printed on all 8 sails AND your name/logo on the front page of our website, miglerwindmills.com AND you get a miniature car-top windmill kit (see our website MiglerWindmills.com)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    YOU ARE AN AMAZING ANGEL. You get everything listed above AND you and/or your company's name/logo on all 8 sails of the new windmill. You and/or your company gets thanked on the front page of our website an an Ultimate Platinum Kickstarter Donor. You will appear in the documentary we make about the building of the new windmill -- either being interviewed and taped by one of our film crew members or invited to send in your own footage for inclusion in the documentary AND you will be thanked in the opening credits. FURTHER, you will get a FOUR gorgeous T-shirts designed by an esteemed sculptor/artist AND you get a miniature car-top windmill kit This reward will consist of a miniature windmill with a 12" tall aluminum tower, and with four horizontal arms that rotate around the tower. Each horizontal arm will hold a mast and a sail measuring 12" x 6". Sail restraints on the horizontal arms will allow the sails to rotate in only one direction. Each sail can have a logo that you specify, for example, "Go Eagles" or the name of your boat or RV, or your company name, for example "Comcast" etc. Let us know by email what you want printed on the sails. There is no generator. The windmill is intended to simply present the basic mechanism of our invention and just for the fun of it. The parts will come in a kit which can be assembled in about 5 minutes. The kit will include a mounting bar which you attach to your vehicle; the windmill tower is inserted into the mounting bar, and away you go into the wind with the windmill spinning!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    YOU'RE A PLATINUM ANGEL. You get everything listed above AND I will host you for a two-day weekend in Cherry Hill, New Jersey to visit and work on the windmill (excluding your travel expenses). AND you can get plans to build your own Whirlwind (a list of materials, suppliers, drawings and guidance.) AND your visit will be included in the documentary we make about the building of the new windmill. AND you will be thanked in the opening credits. PLUS you and/or your company gets thanked on the front page of our website as an $10,000 Platinum Angel Kickstarter Donor. EVEN MORE, you will get EIGHT T-shirts designed by an esteemed sculptor/artist exclusively for Migler Windmills AND you get a miniature car-top windmill fully assembled with your name or the name of your company e.g. "XFINITY" in bold letters (See $5,000 reward of rmore details).

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Funding period

- (40 days)