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First mobile green energy generator that you can carry camping with you! A 3D printed, foldable wind turbine boosting 300W of power!
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205 backers pledged £24,108 to help bring this project to life.

Production phase started!

Posted by Omni3D (Creator)
2 likes

Hi guys,

its been a year since we started to work on the project and its been some time since we posted an update. I hope this one will make it up for you.

First the bad news: 

We've built 4 prototypes of the initial project and we've been testing it a lot. It turns out the turbines work fine, but after calculating all the materials and labour we were way over budget. We needed to make a step back and redesign the whole thing.

Another bad thing is that in order to deliver the energy in a efficient way we NEED MPPT controller which wasn't a part of the original plan. The current solution we used for testing is way too expensive (over $1k) so we also needed to come up with something cheaper.

Now the good news: 

For the past month we were able to finalise the redesign of all mechanical parts. 

This took us some additional time but with the know-how we've acquired during the project it turns out we were able to do it quite efficiently. In fact we're so sure of the current design that we've gone to the production phase. This means we setup an installation of 12 3D printers that work 24/7 building the blades for your turbines. Here is a little sneak peak.

We've calculated that we need around 30-40 days to 3D print all the blades we need to deliver.

Here is a photo of the 3D printed blades - this is full helix blade, 1,2 meters height, consisting of 4 modules, expandable up to 2,4 meters height just by adding more modules (up to 8) and creating a double helix.

3D printed blades
3D printed blades

As for MPPT electronics - we can't rely on the off the shelf solution due to pricing issue so we're designing our own - simple, efficient, connected and opensourced. We should be ready with the PCB and software part before we finish production of all mechanical parts, including 3D printed blades. It looks like both dates will align quite close to each other and you can expect your turbines to be delivered November - December.

Expect some more videos next week. Cheers!

Joanna Dabrowska and Greg Gibson like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Margu on

      Hi again,
      What are the weight of the wings ?
      Or say it differently : What is the weight of 3D filament we have to plan for printing ?

      What kind of materail would you recommend, ABS, PLA, both or other ?

      Thanks for your answer.

    2. Missing avatar

      Margu on

      Hi Omni3D,
      Thanks for your answers... whom I'm not fully satisfied.
      You say "Unfortunately its very difficult to make to turbine mobile and have it deliver 300W of energy". But in the KS campaign you told that the power will be 300W for 10 m/s wind speed. I believe that the KS campaign acts as a contractual commitment and I don't want for now think of any expandation by increasing the helix size.
      Let's wait for the power curves in order to develop or close this subject.
      Regards.

    3. Omni3D Creator on

      Hello everyone,

      sorry for the silent week, we were attending Euromold - one of the most impotant events in the 3D printing industry. We're doing everything in our power to meet your expectations. Unfortunately its very difficult to make to turbine mobile and have it deliver 300W of energy. That's the main reason why we're making the turbine easily expandable. The generator we're using can deliver 0,5kW - if the 1,2 m high version will not be enough, you can always expand to 2,4m double helix. We're hoping that it will satisfy everyone. I'm hoping to get the power curves soon and I will share it with you ASAP.

    4. Lee Trott on

      Thanks for the update guys, it's great to see the blades, they do look awesome.

      And it's good to hear that the budget problem isn't going to stop you guys from producing a finished product, but I'm also a bit worried like Margu that being 'way over budget' suggests quite a large change to the engine, or the power output!

      I'm sure you guys are really busy, but if you guys could give us a little written info on this before the videos next week, we'd really appreciate it.

      Kindest,

      Lee

    5. Missing avatar

      Margu on

      Hi guys,

      Nice work !

      You say "after calculating all the materials and labour we were way over budget. We needed to make a step back and redesign the whole thing."
      Do you mean you are downsizing the rewards and that the final engine will not reach 300W for 10 m/s wind speed ?
      Please reassure me.

      Regards.

    6. Omni3D Creator on

      Peter:
      We will release the STL files in 2 weeks. We will have two version of blade modules 20 cm height and 30 cm height - for build volume 20x20x20 cm and 30x30x30. The ones you see on the photos are printed on 30x30x30 cm as these are the printers we've got. Its recommend using the bigger ones.

      Seth:
      What exactly is your work in our project? Can you be more specific? Is Lenz2 wing profile your design? We've been researching quite a lot and there are a lot of academic materials about wing profiles. We used the design which in our opinion is the most efficient, however each user is free to modify it by printing new ones. The beauty of 3D printing allow us to post updates to wing profiles just as it would be a software update :)
      We're planning to use a Maximum Power Point Tracking algorithm - this is also the most efficient way manage the RPM.I remember you contacted us about a year ago - we moved forward quite a bit and the blades that you see on the photo - they do fold. You will see that on the next video we're going to release. Rest assured we will disclose the blades design soon enough.

      Joanna:
      Thanks for kind words :)

    7. Missing avatar

      Joanna Dabrowska on

      Great job guys... A few teething problems, but it is normal...I have a full onfidence in you and cannot wait to lay my hands on the finished product... Best regards and stay on course

    8. Missing avatar

      Seth Mos on

      So it looks like "they" are going forward with my work from my thingiverse profile. (Search lenz2 helical XL there).

      So if anyone needs the STL files or the raw Solidworks and Inventor files You can find them there.

      I've been working somewhat on the electric part, but as they also discovered you need a adjustable DC/DC converter. So far I've gotten upto 3 Watts on my prototype.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch…

      The cheapest way is a Arduino that controls the DC/DC conversion based on RPM. Since this turbine will pretty much stop at about 250 rpm max.

      We have had contact before, but not after I sought contact. The prototype drawing they sent me before didn't look like this, so I'm not sure why they are going forward with this design. I it is inherently not foldable. They should have disclosed their source properly before in my opinion.

      I've explicitly funded this kickstarter to comment on this and follow the progress.

    9. Peter Turner on

      Hi Guys,

      That is some good and bad news....

      Are the STL files going to be made available for the blade soon?
      What dimensions are the blades?
      what size bed do you need to print these?

      Thanks for the updates and all the hard work!