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Going where the four winds blow with the mobile wind turbine concept


October 6, 2010

Pope Designs has come up with a mobile wind turbine concept that can be erected anywhere the wind blows

Pope Designs has come up with a mobile wind turbine concept that can be erected anywhere the wind blows

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Despite numerous refinements and improvements to the technology used to harness the power of the wind, windmills of old share an obvious characteristic with their gigantic modern counterparts. They're static. A network of designers coming together under the banner of Pope Designs has come up with a mobile wind turbine concept that could just change all that. Able to generate and store enough power to meet its own needs, the turbine could also be erected anywhere the wind blows to provide a source of clean energy to those who need it.

The designers don't mention exactly how much power generation is possible from the concept and given that it stands a good deal shorter than many of its static cousins that have now become such a familiar sight, ratings in megawatts are doubtful. However, the ability to temporarily locate wind turbines wherever the need may arise presents an attractive prospect.

The idea of the mobile wind turbine concept is to place a three blade turbine on the back of a huge, six-wheeled truck. Once driven to a windy spot close to the site which requires an injection of clean power, the first order of business would be to make the support structure stable. A couple of stabilizer supports on each side of the vehicle expand outwards, each driving hydraulic spikes into the ground at a 26 degree tilt towards the structure and to a depth of 18-inches (45.72cm).

The glass-filled, thermoplastic tower consists of two pieces joined so that when raised they open like scissors. The lightweight but strong, self-erecting tower is raised using hydraulics on the main boom and a winch on the top section. Wires from each of the four supports help keep the tower in position. One of the turbine blades is permanently mounted on the rotor hub, the others being detachable for ease of transport.

As the single-occupant cab might suggest, this is a one man operation where the driver would attach all of the blades with the help of a self-threading mechanism. Once in place, the tower would be raised without falling outside of the vehicle's footprint of 62.5 x 45 feet (19 x 13.7m). At full stretch, the tower is raised to 97.6 feet (29.76m) above the ground.

The mobile wind turbine runs off its own generated power but when stored energy is low, a diesel generator would automatically start up and take over. As well as helping to make the platform more stable, heavy batteries would also store generated power when there's little or no energy demand. For large scale portable power needs, several mobile turbines could be set up, with trailer-sized battery storage units taking any power that the generators don't use.

Pope Design sees the mobile wind turbine as being useful for providing clean power for such things as vertical drills, air compressors and a host of electrically-driven tools. More than what it can power, perhaps the most attractive feature of this concept is the ability to place it wherever it's needed, for as long as its needed.

Imagine a housing development built using wind power, where the turbines move on when the work is done. Or a rock concert where the amplifiers and lighting needs are met by a number of turbines close by. Remote research outposts, military bases, disaster relief and so on. A road legal, lightweight version could also be made available to schools, exhibitions or business parks.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

the first place I thought of a need for it, that place is not mentioned . Disaster scenes, earthquakes like Haiti come to mind. Relocation camps come to mind.


SPOT ON walt, you hit it

Bill Bennett

Was about to say the same. In catastrophe region first thing people need is water and electricity. This thing would be an awesome quick response electricity generator. Since it delivers constant power (assuming batteries take care of low wind times), this thing has an advantage over diesel generators which require a steady flow of fuel.

Facebook User

Military and humanitarian organizations will just slobber all over this wonderful piece of high-tech gear!

Matt Rings

Nice Concept.. but what a waste of a truck.... Making the Turbine an integral part of the truck is wasting resources. One of these turbines would often be installed and left as is often for some time. (It is not a crane truck that is only needed on site for one day.)

If the Turbine were a detachable payload unit, then the payload can be offloaded and the truck go and deliver another turbine to other customers, or back to the dock (Probably in Haiti as they will no longer be needing a temporary power source) to get another for the Honduran disaster relief effort in 2015.

Also the truck can be used for other tasks with payloads designed for specific needs.

Stick in a sleeper cab, as the driver will need somewhere to sleep between delivering and setting up the installation.

Lastly, The truck will not get far on the stored power, good thinking to put in a diesel generator, that means that the disaster area will also be able to make use of a diesel gen-set when the wind doesn\'t blow...

In fact for windless climes with disasters, they can have a heavy duty diesel generator as an alternate payload... (or for the second load as a significant \"backup\" for the unreliable (at any single location in any single day) wind power.

Needless to say that all of the ideas which are made public domain in this web site ar no longer patentable (obviously whatever is patentable in the initial concept has been sewn up before the story was released.., so all these ideas are free-for-all...

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