Sustainable Free Energy from the Wind
Windthruster Units for Boats or Land Vehicles.
By Peter Worsley
The system described below is now being tested by Dellencat of Sweden click here for details
(A wind power system that is completely different from traditional sailing)
Latest! - Video of
Automatic Windthruster Sailing Control System testing go here
1. Patent is now granted and
applications are invited to negotiate manufacturing licences.
Email for details.
To see how it works, click here.
|Ships used wind power
to make progress around the seas and oceans of the world for thousands of
years and it is only in more recent times that using wind power to drive a
boat has been relegated from a commercial necessity to no more than an
One of the reasons for this could be that sailing, in its traditional form, is a skilful, complicated process which requires a lot of attention from the crew and constant monitoring of wind strength and direction to make acceptable used of the wind's power.
It also requires a considerable amount of physical effort and activity from the open decks of a vessel.
Crews have to suffer the effects of cold and wet out in the open. There are inherent dangers, such as being swept overboard, accidents with ropes, being hit by booms and many other hazards. Every year worldwide there are hundreds of cases of injury or event death from these hazards. Nowadays, when there is the option of using motor power instead of wind power, it is hardly surprising that using wind power is unattractive to all but adventurers and those that take pleasure in conquering hardships as a challenge.
How much easier it would be if we could devise a system that eliminates all the foregoing disadvantages of using wind power and still give the opportunity of using free, sustainable eco friendly propulsion system either as a main source of power, or supplementary to reduce fuel consumption and pollution from ship's engines.
This is why the concept of Windthruster Units, which work automatically, and with almost zero attention has been developed.
Autonomous Windthruster Units Described
The Units have only one external control, a power lever for forward, neutral and reverse (and all intermediate settings) and the units can be made in various sizes for different sizes of boats and simply bolt on.
The system has, instead of a cloth sail, a solid (but very light) wing similar to that of an aircraft. This wing provides the thrust to drive the boat, and with a coupled flap at the trailing edge, can give up to three times more thrust than a conventional sail of the same area, with a considerable reduction in drag also. The wing can rotate freely about a vertical axis 360 degrees.
Controlling the wing unit could not be more different than that used with a conventional sail.
Any wing or sail needs to be adjusted to the correct angle relative to the the wind to provide the required thrust to drive the boat.
We could, of course, provide a manual system as used in conventional cloth sails, where the helmsman must keep a constant eye on the wind direction and pivot the wing accordingly all the time, but it will be almost impossible for any person to react fast enough and in the right degree and with the speed that is necessary, and this is quite apart from the fact that there would have to be someone on watch 24 hours a day to perform this duty.
With a Windthruster unit, this is done automatically in the same way that an aircraft's wing is kept at the correct angle of attack by another surface some distance behind it, the tail. Most planes could not fly if their wings were not controlled in this way.
So it is with the Windthruster unit; a tail is mounted some distance behind the main wing, and by varying its angle, it automatically keeps the wing at the correct angle and instantaneously and automatically reacts to gusts and any changes in wind direction much more accurately than could be done with a manual system. The tail is adjusted to the correct degree and after that, the wing and tail unit follow the wind automatically.
The Complete Automatic Thrust Solution
In order to get a complete thrust solution for all conditions and directions, two further things have to be adjusted.
1. For best performance the angle of attack of the wing, governed by the angle of the tail, needs to be varied according to what angle the wind is coming from, for example: whether the wind is coming from the side of the boat (beam wind) or whether the wind is coming from more ahead of the boat.
2. If the wind comes from the other side of the boat, the tail needs to be adjusted to a mirror image of where it was before causing the wind to work from the other side, to enable the wing to still push the boat forwards (automatic tacking).
These two points are dealt with by the non-electronic (patent-applied for) features of the Windthruster system, and result in a system where there is only one control, a "power" lever with forward, neutral, and reverse with every other setting in between.
The Auto Control Unit (the drum shaped module in the picture) automatically adjusts the tail for whichever side of the wing the wind is coming from, and to the correct amount for the heading of the craft. In this way the system is completely self tacking and self tending. This unit is a simple system and works mechanically and not electronically, therefore doing away with the need for an electric power supply and another possible source of unreliability.
Using the System
There is one lever for operation with three main positions: Neutral, Forward and Reverse. The lever is pushed forward to go forward and pulled backwards for reverse, naturally in between these two is the neutral position.
Neutral is a
"parking" position with the tail at zero angle of attack and the wing/tail
assembly simple weathercocks around according to the wind direction.
Forward and Reverse
are then used to move in the required direction.
There is no need for
the helmsman to change tack manually or adjust the angle of attack.
Windthruster Units will
work 24/7 without attention or adjustment in varying wind strengths and
|1st Wingsail model||2nd Wingsail model||Fullsize Boat||Electric Power||What are Wingsails?||Contact|
|Construction Method||Windthrusters||Rotary Sailing|
P. Worsley 2010/2013