11/06/2015 at 16:19 •
The 3D files of parta & the assembly are available at
If you have problems opening or viewing them, let us know..
11/05/2015 at 14:33 •
The 3 videos below are supposed to demonstrate the flexibility of the concept.
These are all with unstable & unsuitable structural platforms. It is eye candy but we did no science whatsoever during these little tests. The videos just show you want different versions look like.
VIDEO 1. A 20 piece DNA turbine.
As you can see, it looks pretty cool. It spins very well even in low wind speed... Obviously, the mounting is crap & the setting (between buildings) is not good for catching any wind at all. The video gets across the basic concept. I think these things are beautiful & somewhat enchanting. A video does not do it justice but I could sit & look at one of these things going around all day long...
VIDEO 2. A 10 piece DNA turbine
As you can see, it is exactly the same but instead of stacking 20 pieces on top of each pother, we stacked 10. It will (more or less) produce half the power of the bigger unit..
VIDEO 3. A 5 piece DNA turbine.
The little baby!.. just the same as his big brother & daddy but this time just 5 pieces. This would be an ideal think for roof mounting on any roof in a windy location (possibly bolted to the chimney). Cheap, cheerful & handy.. Probably ideal for DIY folks as they could use something like a second hand car alternator as the generator...
In all cases, we have direct drive. The DNA pieces turn a generator. The generator is located at the bottom of the helix. There are fairly huge bearings at the top & bottom (I will post pics, 3D drawings etc later).
We do not have any proper data yet so we have no idea what generator we will match with what turbine. Adding gears is a possibility (but a possibility we want to avoid if at all possible). There will be a good 6 months of testing , measurement & analysis to be done once we mount the 20 piece helix in its proper mounting in the field. The main thing we need to see is it it can withstand hurricane force gusts (we are bound to get some serious gusts over 6 months even in a non windy location?)
The modular system is not limited to 5, 10 or 20. The big picture plan is that we use multiple stacks to power one generator. The various stacks being connected by a Bevel gear we developed. The logic is that the generator (& GTI) is expensive but the DNA stacks are cheap. We will buy a generator that we expect will be fully used even in quite low winds. Once at full output, the DNA stacks that are not required to power the generator will just spin... We think this idea will make the overall system much more efficient & it will help eliminate excess capacity & it will give constant energy, not peaks & lows. It only makes any sense if you fully understand the cost of all the components..
10/27/2015 at 17:22 •
This may be the lowest tech log we have ever written!.
But, we got an engineer (we call them a static), I think the proper word is probably a civil engineer.. One of us knows him. He analyzed everything & told us all we needed to know about the foundations for the windmill. We think it is absolute overkill. But, we really know nothing about this area so we just did what we were told...
First, dig a big hole.
Next, call a big cement truck.
Then level the thing off...
Then have a laugh & tell your colleague that he missed a bit !
Now, we have to wait 28 days for the cement to set!. What can I say, as a group, we have many talents!
We did skip the step of applying for planning permission. That could take a hundred years by which time our planet might be destroyed!. This is a site of convenience & I think we can convince the authorities it is a temporary structure (it will be if it falls down). Unfortunately, it is not a windy site but good enough for proof of concept.
Our Static engineer also told us we had to change the base of the windmill & the quantity of bolts we intended to use but that is easy..
More in about a month!.
09/08/2015 at 11:33 •
Below are some pics of the actual FRP piece that will make the windmill.
First pic just shows the scale of the real FRP piece compared to the model we printed on our 3D printer. Each actual piece weighs exactly 5kg.
Second pic shows how big it is compared to a nice office chair !. You can also see bits of our other projects in the background..!!
The two pics above show the male & female locks to keep the turbine together..
Assembly is pretty simple. Make the top & bottom bearings & holders. Insert a pole through the big hole in the center of the DNA piece. Stack the pieces as high as you like & lock them using the locks. Put a PMG (generator) on the bottom. Build a foundation, place in a windy area, make electricity. Of course, it is a bit more complex than that & I will show the reality in future project logs.
The key point is the modular nature of the build. Our one DNA piece can be stacked to make a small or a relatively larger windmill...Next log will be about the poles, the bearings, & the super structure to stop the turbine falling over...
09/04/2015 at 07:19 •
The key design considerations were that the product needed to be cheap, easy to fabricate & easy to transport. This ruled out the possibility of building a single, large turbine.
The finally settled on this design.
In the center you can see a hole. The piece is slid onto a pole & then all pieces locked into place using the male - female connection points visible on the top & bottom.
When these individual pieces are stacked, they form the following shape.
This is 1.26 meters wide. Each DNA piece is 210mm high. Stack 20 together & the turbine is over 4 meters high.
To build a scale model, we 3D printed the parts.
We then mounted the model pieces on a model pole to check everything worked well..
As you can see, our little model even has ball bearings so we could test if it was spinning correctly. You can also see that our 3D printing efforts were not exactly perfect but good enough for proof of concept.
The next step was to make the FRP tooling & spend lots of time looking at how to mount the turbine, pole strength, finding suitable bearings etc. To be described in future project logs..
The idea of a DNA shaped turbine is not new. Various companies in China make them but not in a modular way. Also, one USA company spend about USD70M of investors money developing a ''Helix turbine". After running out of money, they were bought by another company but I believe the product they developed it no longer available. Unfortunately, in the land of green products, a lot of companies seen to waste millions hyping products that could never repay the massive development costs. After burning through the investors money, a lot of these companies just go bankrupt & the product is never heard of again..