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Friday, December 28, 2007

The future of wind power


By Mike Heine/The Week

At times, the three blades of a traditional 120-foot wind turbine stood nearly still.

Yet Adam Fuller's 36-foot-tall vertical wind tower, standing just yards away, turned silently in the breeze. The only sound? A small chain wrapping endlessly around a sprocket no louder than a bicycle.

Fuller, a Racine inventor who spent his entire life savings on his project (he is living in a motel to cut expenses), thinks he has developed a windmill design that could power the future.

"The concept is pretty basic," Fuller said of his wind tower, which stands in Marlin Dunham's back yard in rural East Troy. "What made sense to me is to create a design with a lot of surface area.

"That creates a more efficient machine by creating more drag on one side and an aerodynamic shape on the other side."

Stacked together are eight turbines, each with four wind scoops. The early prototype design is just half as tall as Fuller is permitted to make it, but so far he is impressed.

Since October, it has spun flawlessly, and silently, in the slightest breeze to sustained winds of 50 mph, he said.

"I have indications that it is going to work. It's a good theory," said Dunham, who powers his home and others with two traditional windmills and solar panels on his roof.

Easy energy



Fuller claims his patent-pending all-steel design could be built for about $150,000 and pay for itself in four years with electricity savings and being paid for supplying energy onto power grids.

If it ever hits a height of 120 feet (he is permitted now for a 72-foot tower) and reaches into the mainstream winds, he feels it could produce 30,000 to 75,000 kilowatt hours monthly, enough for 30 to 70 homes. Most homes use about 1,000 kWh per month.

He can build one, by himself, in about a week or two at his Racine fabricating shop, he said.

Rational rotation

Traditional wind turbines, like the ones proposed in Magnolia Township, rely on revolutions per minute by having wind glance off a blade.

Fuller's more pinwheel-like design has more points of impact for the wind to strike. Thus, it takes only the slightest breeze to turn the blades and is still able to produce a considerable amount of rotational torque to spin a generator, he says.

"There are multiple impact points as wind goes through the turbine," he said. "It focuses on torque vs. rpm's like traditional prop designs.

"It's a more efficient process. Think of a diesel engine. The load capability that a diesel engine can carry is much more than a gasoline engine, but it operates at a much lower rpm than a gasoline engine.

"Higher efficiency is the focus of it (by) processing the wind better than the current technology does."

More pros than cons



Fuller thinks of himself more as an inventor than he does an environmentalist. He knew he could make the design and knows it can work.

Along the way he realized his machine was virtually silent and harmless to birds.

Traditional turbines will kill migratory birds with the blindsiding of a blade, he said. His vertical design is a solid stack, visible enough for birds to fly easily around.

It also produces almost no sound when it gets moving at speed, which he has tested up to 90 mph.

"I'm going to change everything we know about alternative energy," he said of the design.

An added benefit is the generator is at ground level, making maintenance easier. The bearings high up in the tower can also be greased from the ground.

Roping the wind



Fuller hasn't caught on yet with an investment group willing to finance or put his tower into mass production.

He hasn't even hooked up a generator to his unfinished prototype yet. He doesn't have the money to buy one that can work on lower revolutions.

But he is hopeful there will be a market. He envisions thousands of "micro" wind farms with several towers on as little as three acres powering our future.

"I realize the situation that's coming in 20 years, both with global warming and with current energy reserves," he said. "It's pretty alarming, when you do some thorough research, the situation that we're going to be in if there isn't some new technology introduced."

For more information



Interested in Fuller's ideas? Want to become an investor? To find out more, call him at (262) 308-7948.

ooo

8 Comments:

Anonymous afisch said...

Hello Adam Fuller.......

I've seen your article in the Ashland Daily Press, and seen your YouTube on the Walworth County News of the Week.

The Alternative Energy Committee of Madeline Island (Apostle Islands off Wisconsin's north coast)has been in existance for six months now and we have succeeded in securing our first grant money.

The State environmental people say that the best potential for wind energy production in the state is here in the Apostle Islands.

I think you and we should get together to explore the possibilities of working with each other and furthering both your aims and ours in this very exciting field.

Please give me a call at 715-747-5030.

Alan

January 14, 2008 2:34 PM  
Blogger Dennis said...

Mr. Adam Fuller,

Your idea of multiple cups arranged in staggered layered patterns capturing minute amounts of air is one that was conceived many years ago to be used along highways and interstates to develop enough electricity from vehicles passing by to light the roads.
With the advent of the high output white LED’s this may now be possible. I am in hopes that your idea can actually get the attention of a smart investor and start creating electricity through the free renewable resources that God gave to us to use.
If you are interested in CAD designing for your project please contact me.

Dennis J Aitken
CAD drafter
detailer@mia.net

January 14, 2008 8:53 PM  
Blogger jimm said...

Adam,
We recently spoke and I advise I have interest in your wind generation concept for a separate niche. I'm curious about your patent application and what your patent is intended to protect. Is it the multiple cups and larger skin surface? Also, how is your project progressing as of late February, 2008?
Thanks, JimM

February 27, 2008 8:58 PM  
Blogger Heyyou said...

Dear Mr. Fuller, funny thing is, I have a son named Adam Fuller. I read about your design. They said you needed a slow speed alternator and couldn't afford one. Well a guy named Hugh Piggot sells these and tells others how to make their own. His design is for wind or water power. I'm in the process of making mine. I scrounge free parts, but it looks like even if you bought all the stuff it would only be a few hundred dollars. I thing Hugh is found at scoraigpower.com Good luck, 'son'!

March 23, 2008 5:19 PM  
Blogger Dan Plutchak, editor said...

Readers,

Adam Fuller checked in recently with an update on the latest development with his windmill.

He's made some modifications which he says increases the efficiency dramatically.

He's also working with some new investors.

You can contact him at:

(262) 308-7948

April 29, 2008 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can a person buy the plans for this windmill? We live in west central Illinois and the wind is here but not strong enough to turn a tall wind mill. I am very interested in this plan.

June 24, 2008 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exciting idea. Local boy. Good for him. I see big things for you. Oh wait, that was a wish. The big oil, & electric companies are going to do everything they can to stifle you & prevent this from becoming reality. It is in their best interest to see you fade away. Like electric cars, hydro cars, solar panels & wind turbines before you - the corporate powers & the elected officials they own will never allow this to come to fruition. Im sorry. I love the idea. I support the idea. I want the idea. Reality sucks & life isnt fair.

July 29, 2008 3:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Fuller,

I am very interested in your product. I am looking for inovative energy concepts that can be sold to businesses and residences.

Nothing ever happens with great ideas unless somebody sells someting. This is what I hope we speak about.

Please give me a call at 716-860-1286 or email me at jleviness@safespan.com

John LeViness

September 24, 2008 6:56 PM  

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