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Wedge-Shaped Windmill Requires Much Less Wind
For several years, retired farmer and machinist Fred Brammeier has been working on a new type of windmill that he says will operate more efficiently and in lighter winds than conventional windmills.
  Brammeier says he woke up one night in August, 1992, with the idea for what he calls the WedgeWind. After many sleepless nights and many drawings, he had a concept which he proceeded to patent in the U.S. and several foreign countries.
  Shaped somewhat like a pyramid laying on its side, it works on the same principle as an airplane wing. That is, air hits at the point and is forced up the slanted sides. There are turbines on three sides of the base which look like squirrel-cage fans.
  "Air speeds up and becomes concentrated as it moves up the sides," Brammeier explains. At the same time, the speed of the air moving along the outside of the wedge creates a vacuum from inside it, so the wind wraps itself around the turbine blades, creating additional force.
  "This allows it to produce power in much lighter winds than a conventional windmill," he says.
  Brammeier has produced a small model of his invention that measures 40 in. from point to base. He envisions a full-sized version measuring 35 ft. from point to base, with 35-ft. sides. He's currently working with a metal shop to produce one.
  "The best part of this is it has so much blade area that it doesn't have to be high in the air or require a high wind to make it economical. It will make electricity in the slightest breeze and can continue operating in high winds when other mills have to shut down or cut the blade pitch in order avoid damage," he says.
  Rather than driving a generator directly or with belts and pulleys, Brammeier will power hydraulic pumps with the WedgeWind turbines. Hydraulic pressure from the three turbines will be used to operate a generator, or a bank of generators. "There'll be governing and pressure relief valves in the hydraulic system, in order to provide a steady flow to each generator," he says. When the hydraulic system has built sufficient pressure to operate the first generator at a steady speed, a valve will open to begin powering it. If the pressure continues to build, eventually the governing valve for the second generator would open, and so on. If pressure continued to build after all the generators in the system had kicked in, the relief valves will allow the hydraulic fluid to escape from the pressure tank and recirculate.
  Brammeier says farmers could locate a WedgeWind on top of a building or grain bin. He's looking for a manufacturer.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fred Brammeier, Box 988, Wilton, Iowa 52778 (ph 563 529-0370).

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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1