Harnessing Flowing Fluids to Create Torque
US 20120034079 A1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTwY22E_Lvc&feature=player_embeddedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HPVp6IL-ro&feature=player_embedded Abstract
An apparatus and method for producing high output and low cost/time, sustainable energy (e.g., wind or water) via natural currents that is environmentally friendly and includes a gravity-assisted equalizing control system is provided.
Wings with a large surface area can be included in the design, as well as an optional counterbalance system that synchronizes the wings' position and speed with a mechanical leverage point on the body of the device. When a fluid flows past wings of the device, the fluid flow induces motion in the wings, which causes a shaft to move, creating torque at the generator.
The outcome is a coordination of harmonizing the wings pitch angle to the natural frequency of a fluids specific velocity. The device can adapt itself to the velocity of the surrounding fluid through a rotational sweeping control system that produces a more streamlined profile to maximize reliability.SUMMARY
In various embodiments, a device and method for harnessing flowing fluids provides usable power to homes and businesses, such as those adhering to structure height or environmental restrictions. The device comprises one or more wings that pivot around a central axis attached to a generator, which can be a generator capable of generating usable power, such as electricity or pumping water, or can be a coupler capable of connecting to a generator. The wings are also attached to a control system that is configured for orienting the wing in response to both the position of the wing about the central axis and a speed of the flowing fluid.
In one implementation, the device is mounted on a base that positions the device partially underground. Alternatively, the device is mounted on a base similar to a telephone poll or a typical windmill tower. The connecting point of the structure to the device may be a bearing capable of rotating the device. The mounting system may then come forward, or into the direction that natural current is coming from, keeping the center of gravity of the project over the bearings previously mentioned.
In one implementation, the one or more wings oscillate through an arc about the central axis. In one such implementation, the control system reorients the wing according to the speed of the fluid flow and the position of the wing in the arc to maximize efficiency and reliability.
In another implementation, the one or more wings rotate around the central axis. In such an implementation, the control system reorients the wing according to the speed of the fluid flow and the position of the wing in its rotation to maximize efficiency and reliability.
In various embodiments, a rudder is attached to the central axis. This rudder remains fixed in position while the wings pivot. As the fluid flows past the rudder, it reorients the device on the base to face maximally into the fluid flow
In various embodiments, the control system is a counterweight-based apparatus. As the wings pivot around the central axis, the counterweight-based apparatus orients the wings with the assistance of a weight and gravity.
In various embodiments, the control system is a spring-based apparatus. As the wings pivot around the central axis, the spring-based apparatus orients the wings with the assistance of springs.
In various embodiments, the control system is a fluid-resistance-based apparatus. As the wings pivot around the central axis, the fluid-resistance-based apparatus orients the wings based on resisting the speed of the fluid flow.
In various embodiments, the wing is hinged at the shaft. This allows the wing to fold towards the shaft in response to debris in the fluid flow, high fluid flow speeds, or an action by the control system.
The various embodiments provide a mechanism for high output and low cost/time, sustainable energy (e.g., wind or water) via natural currents in a design that is easier to manufacture than most carbon fiber or fiberglass windmill blades at a lower price with a smaller carbon footprint. The design is more environmentally friendly, causing very little harm to the animals or ecosystem, and has a far greater overall energy output than existing technology, as it moves slower than windmills and utilizes cubic area/surface area to be converted into electricity. In addition, it has a much lower minimal amount of natural energy currents necessary for the device to run on, and its improved reliability and resistance to damage from unpredictable weather conditions reduces cost over time. The device mimics a bird's wing as it flaps through the air or a fish's fin as it propels itself through the water, given the nature and properties of the natural energy current, and is scalable to any size.
The device can also be organized in wind or water farms to maximize efficiency per square acre of land in use. The device can be built half way underground, or mounted on an above-ground structure (e.g., a tall, narrow circular structure, similar to a telephone poll or typical windmill tower).http://www.google.com/patents/US20120034079