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Author Topic: Novel and fun ways to integrate wind power into transport and buildings  (Read 448 times)

Offline Cloxxki

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We all know about sail ships. Wind turbines, probably even airfoils both static and on ships.

I'm in a flat and windy country, we rose to world power shortly due to using wind mills for sawing wood, grinding wheat, etc.
Perhaps it's in my DNA to be obsessed with making the wind help us out.

One of my obsessions has been the Blackbird project.
Short: it's light wheel based vehicle with a large propellor that, depending on transmission, can drive the wheels or be driven by the wheels. For a speed boost with perfect tailwaind, and exceed that windspeed for ground speed, the wheels drive the propellor which pushes the craft forward, faster. Physics professors have waged their reputations on this being impossible, and they lost. It works. This first craft steered by a human reached about 3x windspeed along the ground when goign dead downwind. 10 kph wind, going 30 kph downwind, that sort of thing. Pretty wild.

With the same prop, but geared as a turbine driving the wheels (or water propeller), the craft can drive upwind at double the wind speed. This is a less controversial application oddly, there are well attended wind races with self built crafts that race upwind on wind power. The human mind will accept the gearing of a turbine to crawl uphill more easily than beat a downwind balloon going straight downwind the whole way without tacking.

I've long pondered whether we could place airfoils along roads to help cars "go faster". The dark green vanes on the highway guardrail supposedly were (to my astonishment) not meant for that purpose.
If all vanes were linked with an actuator, they could all be trimmed to have a desired angle with the wind and road for optimal results? The wind is there anyway, let's use it!

Now with the knowledge of the Blackbird vehicle, I wonder: what if we combined both?
A "wind tunnel" is formed from large clam sheels shaped to function as airfoil to direct the wind hitting the tunnel, which will statistically be nearly always from the side. The wind is directed over the road to be tailwind traveling in one direction. With this near permanent tail wind, it will be near to have a wind powered vehicle capable to triple wind speed for road speed.
The clamshells are closely spaced, and may as well be linked as well. When a crosswind from one side is measured to be consistent, the downwind side shalls could close up to make the wind tunnel more efficient. Even with fixed airfoils it might work just fine, using the Tesla Pump principle where a fluid (in our case air) will only want to flow downstream anyway, there would not be much leakage on the downwind side anyway.

It's a challenge for me to frame direction for Bing's AI, but this is somewhat showing what I mean.
With a vehicle that is happy to go downwind efficiently, you're not dealing with crosswind to generate speed. Crosswind calls for great stability, sail ships have keels, ice yachts wide stance blades, land yachts wide stance wheels.

Taking it to the next level...would the wind tunnel benefits from being multi layered? Also a large T-shaped ridge could be above the road, always locking in a lot of crosswind to be processed by the airfoils below.

Designed well enough, such a wond tunnel could snake through the landscape where there is room for it, and always offer ample tail for the road users. It could even be two road decks above another or side by side, with reciprocating ducts to ensure wind is distributed and in the desired direction for each.

Now before you tell me: It would be easier and more efficient to make a road shaped wind park of loads of turbines, and put a dual direction road underneath. More of the wind would be put to use. True, yet so boring  8)
When the wind tunnel isn't used, turbines may flip from the road surface to hardvest the directed wind, suddenly the whole road is a ducted fan turbine.

Below: AI generated picture. Took a long while to get a 3/10 representation of what I envision. The language model of these services isn't there yet, it seems to go off words more than sentence meaning.

Offline Cloxxki

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Re: Novel and fun ways to integrate wind power into transport and buildings
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2023, 04:43:02 PM »
Feeling the strong winds at the corners of tall buildings in the city, I long thought that on those corners vertical turbines could be placed to extract that energy, and maybe calm things down on the ground.
Some designs are more integrated than that. I wonder how it will be to live or work next door to a huge turbine spinning away using the building its foundation.

Has no-one worried about uneven wind harvesting that might affect the Earth's spin?