The whole renewable energy craze has spawned lots of development with wind energy. Many windmills are popping up in the horizontal-axis orientation, much like the traditional Dutch windmills of old. The technology has been updated to gigantic and very expensive windmills at heights in the 300-500 foot range. This of course are very expensive, and have many hurdles to overcome on each installation.

Many inventors have worked to make smaller-scale windmills. Vertical-axis equipment seems to rule the day with this scale of equipment. The smaller vertical-axis wind turbines for home use are less expensive, less intrusive, and have fewer moving parts.

I found a great video from arturomoises64 of a demonstration of some vertical wind turbines in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

 

The author’s description is as follows:

These wind turbines are moved by low winds and even at high speed winds they will not go out of control. They are very high torque and very efficient. They measure 6 feet height by 11 feet wide  and are made out of fiberglass and steel. This design is very safe for birds and do not need to be installed as high as other types of wind turbines. They are completely silent and are esthetically pleasing, a hypnotic blend of science and sculpture

The construction of the blades utilizes a composite material molded into a complex shape to catch the wind and turn the axis, which is undoubtedly connected to an electrical generator of some sort. Simple design, great application for composite materials!
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