Title:
Efficient windmill
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to a horizontal windmill system. The system has a windfoil system that rotates 360 degrees about a conventional vertical energy shaft to obtain a greater efficiency than other windmill systems.



Inventors:
Hallac, Ismet (Getzville, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/049110
Publication Date:
08/03/2006
Filing Date:
02/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63H1/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
VERDIER, CHRISTOPHER M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kevin D. McCarthy (Buffalo, NY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A windmill comprising: A. an approximately vertical energy shaft that rotates and generates electrical and/or mechanical energy when a sufficient wind force is applied to at least two rotating windfoil systems; B. each rotating windfoil system has a. an approximately horizontal wind panel having a width of W; b. an approximately horizontal interconnecting bar connected to and extending from the approximately vertical energy shaft; c. a rotating interconnector attached to the interconnecting bar at a distance of at least ½W+X, the rotating interconnector receives an approximately vertical rotating airfoil shaft that can rotate 360 degrees; d. an approximately horizontal swinging bar attached to the rotating airfoil shaft having a first wheel and a second wheel wherein the first and second wheels are positioned away from the approximately horizontal wind panel; e. the approximately horizontal wind panel is positioned between the approximately horizontal swing bar and the approximately horizontal interconnecting bar; C. a guide rail system having an outer rail and an inner rail that are approximately equidistant in a circle except at a flared entrance and an exit that are spaced apart from each other; the flared entrance receives the first wheel and allows the rotating windfoil to circumvent through the guide rail system until the first wheel is released through the exit while the rotating windfoil continues to rotate so the flared entrance receives the second wheel.

2. The windmill of claim 1 wherein the guide rail system is below the wind panel.

3. The windmill of claim 1 wherein the guide rail is above the wind panel.

4. The windmill of claim 1 wherein the wind panel is interconnected to the swinging bar.

5. The windmill of claim 1 wherein the wind panel is interconnected to the interconnecting bar.

6. The windmill of claim 1 wherein the wind panel is made of a polymeric material, metallic material, fibrous material, and/or combinations thereof.

7. The windmill of claim 6 wherein the wind panel has at least one aperture therein.

8. The windmill of claim 1 wherein the first and second wheels are positioned approximately equidistant from the vertical rotating airfoil shaft.

9. The windmill of claim 1 wherein the rotating interconnector is attached to the interconnecting bar at a distance of at least D, and the first and second wheels are positioned at least a distance D−C from the approximately vertical rotating airfoil shaft.

10. A windmill comprising: A. an approximately vertical energy shaft that rotates and generates electrical and/or mechanical energy when a sufficient wind force is applied to at least two rotating windfoil systems; B. each rotating windfoil system has a. an approximately horizontal interconnecting bar connected to and extending from the vertical energy shaft; b. a rotating interconnector attached to the interconnecting bar at a distance of at least D, the rotating interconnector receives an approximately vertical rotating airfoil shaft that can rotate 360 degrees; c. an approximately horizontal swinging bar attached to the approximately vertical rotating airfoil shaft having a first wheel and a second wheel wherein the first and second wheels are positioned (i) at least a distance D−C from the approximately vertical rotating airfoil shaft and (ii) away from the approximately horizontal interconnecting bar; e. a horizontal wind panel is positioned between the approximately horizontal swing bar and the approximately horizontal interconnecting bar; C. a guide rail system having an outer rail and an inner rail that are approximately equidistant in a circle except at a flared entrance and an exit that are separated from each other; the flared entrance receives the first wheel and allows the rotating windfoil to circumvent through the guide rail system until the first wheel is released through the exit while the rotating windfoil continues to rotate so the flared entrance receives the second wheel.

11. The windmill of claim 10 wherein the guide rail system is below the wind panel.

12. The windmill of claim 10 wherein the guide rail is above the wind panel.

13. The windmill of claim 10 wherein the wind panel is interconnected to the swinging bar.

14. The windmill of claim 10 wherein the wind panel is interconnected to the interconnecting bar.

15. The windmill of claim 10 wherein the wind panel is made of a polymeric material, metallic material, fibrous material, and/or combinations thereof.

16. The windmill of claim 16 wherein the wind panel has at least one aperture therein.

17. The windmill of claim 10 wherein the first and second wheels are positioned approximately equidistant from the vertical rotating airfoil shaft.

18. The windmill of claim 1 wherein the exit is flared.

19. The windmill of claim 10 wherein the exit is flared.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to windmills.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,779,966, Smith II discloses various embodiments of windmills. We will defer to his explanation of the history of windmills, which is set forth immediately below:

“Windmills have long been used to capture wind energy. Most persons are familiar with the windmills of Spain and the Netherlands. These windmills use spokes that are coupled to a central axel. The spokes typically have some type of wind-catching means attached to them. Accordingly, the wind catching means catch some wind, which causes the spokes to revolve and rotate the central vertical shaft. The rotation of the central axel is then captured rotational energy which can be put to use to grind grain, generate electricity, or to raise an object, for example.

More recently, windmills have been rediscovered as a new and effective way of generating electricity. These new windmills are often quite large and often appear in large numbers of groupings in power fields. However, windmills, old and new, have disadvantages. For example, old windmills are generally inefficient, while new windmills are quite large and difficult to place. Furthermore, very few windmills are capable of operating when the wind speeds are low.”

To address that problem, Smith II proposes a horizontal windmill design. In particular, Smith II discloses “a method of driving a windmill . . . us[ing] an airfoil that is attached to a horizontally mounted airfoil support to capture energy from the wind. Energy is captured when wind blows into the concave portion of an airfoil, and due to the Bernoulli effect of the airfoil. The captured energy is then transferred to a vertical shaft to provide mechanical energy to an electric generator or a machine. Optionally, an overdrive condition may be detected, and the rotational velocity of the airfoil support may be controllably adjusted.” That horizontal airfoil captures energy from the wind at a maximum of 25% of the time when it circumvents the vertical shaft. Why 25%? The airfoil captures the wind energy only when the concave portion of the airfoil is properly positioned, in a stopped position, to capture the air. That stopped positioning is at maximum 25% of the time that the airfoil circumvents the vertical shaft. The remaining time that the airfoil circumvents the vertical shaft, the airfoil is in an unstopped position wherein the concave portion is not positioned to catch the wind. To compensate for this low quantity of capturing wind energy, Smith utilizes numerous airfoils.

That design is inefficient in relation to the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a horizontal windmill system. The system has a windfoil system that rotates 360 degrees about a conventional vertical energy shaft to obtain a greater efficiency than other windmill systems.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a view of the present invention in schematic format for just one windfoil system circumventing about the vertical energy shaft and within the guiderail system.

FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of FIG. 2 in association with the wind.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A horizontal windmill 10 is illustrated in FIG. 10. The windmill 10 has at least two rotating windfoil systems 11a,b having at least a wind panels 12a,b; a vertical energy shaft 16, and a guide rail system 18.

The vertical energy shaft 16 is identical to the vertical energy shaft used in most windmills 10. That is the vertical energy shaft 16 rotates (arrow 17) in response to the wind panels 12a,b capturing the wind. When the vertical shaft rotates, the vertical energy shaft 16 provides mechanical energy to an electric generator or a machine in a conventional manner. Nothing is unique about the vertical energy shaft in the present invention in relation to other vertical energy shafts used for windmills. Accordingly, we will not discuss how the rotation of the vertical energy shaft results in the generation of electrical and/or mechanical energy for use for other devices.

Each rotating windfoil system 11a,b is interconnected to the vertical energy shaft 16. Each rotating windfoil system 11a,b has an interconnecting bar 30, a rotating interconnector 32, a rotating shaft 34, a swinging bar 36, a horizontal wind panel 12 a,b; and two wheels 38a, 38b. Each interconnecting bar 30 extends from the vertical shaft 16 a distance D, and at the distal end 31 and/or at least past the midway point 80 of the interconnecting bar 30 is the rotating interconnector 32. The rotating interconnector 32 supports the rotating shaft 34, and allows the rotating shaft 34 to rotate 360°.

The swinging bar 36 extends from two sides of the rotating shaft 34. In relation to the sides of the rotating shaft 34, the swinging bar 36 is divided into two halves, a leading bar 40a and a trailing bar 40b. The leading bar 40a and the trailing bar 40b extends, preferably a distance of D−X. The distance D−X means the respective bars 40a,b do not contact the vertical shaft 16. At the distal end 42a,b of each of the leading and trailing bars 40a,b is a curvature of the bar 43a,b and/or a guide rail interconnector 43a,b facing the guide rail system 18. Positioned on each distal end 42a,b is a respective wheel 38a,b.

The wind panels 12a,b extend from the swinging bar 36. In an alternative embodiment, a support bar 37 extends from the rotating shaft 34 in two directions parallel or almost parallel to and aligned or almost aligned with the swinging bar 32. The support bar 37 is positioned a distance C from the rotating interconnector 32, while the swinging bar 32 is positioned a distance C+A from the rotating interconnector 32. That distance A allows the wind panel to interconnect to both the support bar and the swinging bar to catch the wind. Obviously, additional bars and/or wires (cross- or not) can be used to secure the wind panels in place.

The wind panels can be made of any material that can harness the power of the wind. The wind panels can be for example and not be limited to air permeable and/or air impermeable materials with and/or without apertures to capture the wind. The apertures may be needed to control the force applied to the wind panels, like a parachute aperture. Examples of the wind panels include metallic material, polymeric material, fiberous materials and/or combinations thereof. A preferred wind panel material contains fiberous materials.

Each wheel 38a,b has a predetermined diameter that fits within the guide rail system 18. The guide rail system has an outer rail 181 and an inner rail 182. The outer rail 181 and the inner rail 182 are normally equidistant (slightly greater than the diameter of each wheel) in a circle, as illustrated in FIG. 2, except at a flared entrance 183 and a flared exit 184 (does not need to be flared as illustrated in FIG. 3). The flared entrance and flared exit are designed to allow the swinging bar 32 to rotate so the respective wheels 38a,b can alternate being in the guide rail after each rotation of the windfoil system 11 a,b as shown by arrow 40. By forcing the swinging bar 32 to alternate between receiving the respective wheels, the wind panels simultaneously alter the positions to avoid any stopping position, as disclosed in Smith II, or any other gimmickry to alter the position of the wind panels to the desired position. This rotation of the swinging bar maximizes each wind panel's exposure to the wind exponentially in relation to the prior art as illustrated in FIG. 3. Except for the transition of the wind panels, the wind panels in the present invention are receiving at least a portion of the wind (arrows 66) at all times when it circumvents through the around the vertical shaft 16.

The guide rail can be positioned above (as illustrated) or below the interconnecting bar 30. An important aspect of this invention is that the wind panels rotate 360 degrees to obtain the desired result, and this is best accomplished if the first and second wheels are approximately equidistant from each other in relation to the rotating shaft.

The present invention provides technical advantages as a system, device and method for capturing wind energy in an efficient manner in relation to the prior art devices and/or methods. The present invention converts the wind energy into mechanical or electrical energy through known means. In a system embodiment, the system includes a wind capture means that uses wind to generate a mechanical force, an energy coupling means for transferring the mechanical force to a horizontally mountable wheel having a shaft coupled thereto, and an energy transfer system that couples the mechanical force from the shaft to a machine.

The invention may be embodied as a system that transfers wind energy into rotational energy (a wind/energy transfer system). The wind/energy transfer system includes a wind capture means, such as an airfoil. A force in wind is capable of being transformed into a mechanical force, as is recognized by anyone witnessing a conventional windmill. Accordingly, the wind capture means catches wind force. An energy coupling means, such as a bolt, transfers the force caught by the wind capture means to an airfoil support, such as a horizontally mountable wheel, which typically has a shaft coupled thereto at approximately the center of the airfoil support. An energy transfer system, such as a bolt, couples the mechanical force from the shaft to a machine, such as an electric generator.

Though the invention has been described with respect to a specific preferred embodiment, many variations and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the present application. It is therefore the intention that the appended claims be interpreted as broadly as possible in view of the prior art to include all such variations and modifications.