Monday, July 13, 2015

Waving Wind Sticks Can Replace Windmills

Sticks planted in the ground get moved by the wind where the movement is captured and converted to electricity. Image Credit: Vortex Bladeless (2015)

Waving Wind Sticks Can Replace Windmills

There is a new wind energy capture technology in town and it deserves a serious look. The form factor is a stick that is effected by the wind as was the Tacoma Bridge on November 7, 1940.

Most people are familiar with a technology that was popularized by the Dutch in recent centuries which was used to move water from or around land and perform many labor tasks in their culture ... and has become the iconic symbol of all things Dutch - the Windmill. Of the 10,000 windmills in use in the Netherlands around 1850, about 1000 are still standing.

The total number of wind-powered mills in Europe is estimated to have been around 200,000 at its peak, which is modest compared to some 500,000 waterwheels. Image Credit:

Capturing the power of the wind through blades and transferring the motion created through a bar shaft to pump mechanisms, generators, or grinders, that once required human effort, to have the benefit of function.

Growing interest in alternative energy sources has made the three-pronged metal and composite wind turbines planted across open, wind-driven landscapes, a familiar sight.

Electric power windmills have been a feature in the Palm Springs entrance to Coachella Valley for at least 20 years. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

There is a company in Spain that wishes to have this display become less noisy, labor intensive, and cluttered through grabbing the wind energy through vibration or oscillation of a single stick.

This excerpted and edited from Quartz -

HOWLIN' - This wind turbine generates power without blades
By Zach Wener-Fligner for Quartz - May 19, 2015

Thanks to a Spanish energy startup known as Vortex Bladeless, there’s a new type of turbine with a rather different look.

With the potential to be cheaper and more reliable. Vortex’s generator resembles a giant straw in the ground and harnesses wind energy without the need for rotating windmill blades. It’s designed to vibrate in the wind as much as possible, like a guitar string; those vibrations are then converted into stored energy.

According to the company’s website, the Vortex turbines are 53% cheaper to manufacture and 51% cheaper to operate than traditional wind turbines. This is in part due to their lack of moving parts—there just aren’t that many components to break. Their current model, the 41-foot Vortex Mini tube, captures around 30% less energy than a traditional wind turbine, but can also be packed more densely into a given space.

The company has raised about $1 million from the Spanish government and private investors, according to Wired; it says it will begin raising more money via crowdfunding on June 1.
[Reference Here]

Windmills and solar panel farms are popping up everywhere creating an aesthetic eyesore, backed through the infusion of public monies. It is time to consider a cheaper, quieter, and more artful way to capture alternative (to petroleum) energy to fuel our lives.

Most like the concept of converting the lessons learned through the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster to achieve artful display landscapes, here on this Oblate Spheroid, that deliver on the promise of a better way to convert wind to energy for the good of all.

TAGS: windmills, solar panels, Tacoma Bridge, oscillation, wind stick, Vortex Bladeless, turbines, electricity, power generation, Oblate Spheroid, crowd-funding,

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Anywhere Grid-Less Hosteling For One With Ecocapsule

Ecocapsule is smart house powered purely by the solar and wind energy. It allows people to reach
the frontiers with the luxury of the hotel room. It can serve as micro-house, cottage, pop-up hotel
or even as charging station for electromobiles.
Image Credit: Nice Architects

Anywhere Grid-Less Hosteling For One With Ecocapsule

Ever wonder how hard it would be to live in a space without access to electricity wires from a pole, or water from a pipe, supplied by a societal utility - and further, once achieved, hard hard it would be to replicate the solution?

A group of folks located in the Slovak Republic known as Nice Architects have created an egg shaped living space that hopes to make a living off-the-grid "audience-of-one" a reality and it goes by the name of Ecocapsule.

A 2D top-down view schematic of the Ecocapsule's living space floorplan. Image Credit: Nice Architects

This egg-shaped living space is set to be debuted in Vienna, Austria this month (May 28 & 29, 2015) at a start up show that began in 2012 and has become what Forbes magazine calls "a smarter SXSW (Austin, TX)", the Pioneers Festival.

First functional prototype of the independent micro-house Ecocapsule will be exhibited in the
foyer of the Hofburg palace as a part of Pioneers festival 2015 event in Vienna. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Each unit is equipped with solar panels, a retractable wind-turbine, and a design that captures rain water.

Solor and wind power conversion included. The egg shape enhances water capture from dew or rain which is stored in a tank located underneath the floor and pumped for use in the sink, toilet, or shower. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Inside, the design includes a kitchenette with running water, a flushing toilet, and hot shower.

Interior view from the storage end of the Ecocapsule. One has a hands on environment where one can sleep, cook, shower, deal with personal waste & cleanliness, and have little worry about power assisting in maintaining basic living needs. Image Credit: Nice Architects

The Ecocapsule is suitable for a wide range of human-living applications. Suggestions by Nice Architects include independent research station, a tourist lodge, emergency housing, a humanitarian-action unit ... or as we might suggest at Oblate Spheroid, a personal/office space to be placed in the backyard which eliminates the cost and time consumed complying for the need of permits required by the local government offices.

Urban elbow room without the hassles associated with dealing with permitting. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Place the Ecocapsule on a flatbed trailer, and now one has an actual trailer for grid-less, energy assisted, hosteled comfort for almost any application including ... just camping.

Exterior view shows external and interior storage plus bed. Image Credit: Nice Architects

Those interested in buying one will be able to pre-order at the end of 2015, with delivery in the first half of 2016.

FAQ Section

What is the price of the Ecocapsule?

Price of the Ecocapsule will be announced in the last quarter of the 2015. 

When will  be Ecocapsule available for purchase?

We will start taking pre-orders in the last quarter of the 2015. We expect to start delivering first produced units in the first half of the 2016.

Shipping price - Ecocapsule can fit info standard shipping container, keeping shipping cost low. Here are examples of approximate shipping fees:

Slovakia -New York               2393 USD   2200 Euro

Slovakia-Buenos Aires           1958 USD   1800 Euro

Slovakia-Johannesburg           2937 USD   2700 Euro

Slovakia - Melbourne             1631 USD   1500 Euro

Camper version - We are still developing chassis for the capsule and hopefully we will be ready in late 2016.

Custom versions:

We will be initially offering one version of the Ecocapsule. Later we will extend customization options.

Where can we see it?

First public display of the Ecocapsule will be during Pioneers festival in Vienna (28-29th May 2015).

Later it will be displayed in Slovak national pavilion at Expo 2015.

Basic Specifications:
(ht: Nice Architects)


W - 8.366 Feet - 2.55m 
L - 14.599 Feet - 4.45m 
H - 7.381 Feet - 2.25m or 14.763 Feet - 4.5m with extended pole

Weight: 3307 lbs. - 1500kg

Installed power output: wind 750W / solar 600W

Battery capacity: 9744Wh 

TAGS: Ecocapsule, Pioneers Festival, SXSW, Forbes, Slovak Republic, Nice Architects, Vienna, Austria,