Autonomous power supply
Wind energy from the roof of the house – this flower turbine from Holland works as quiet as a whisper
The Archimedes wind generators are designed for home power generation. They produce no noise and are super light. They produce electricity even with very weak winds.
From a technical point of view, solar energy for everyone is easily possible. If you have a sunny – i.e. not shaded – spot, you can set up a solar panel there and feed the electricity generated into the house network or a battery. The components are now cheap – only bureaucratic obstacles can hinder the dream of your own electricity.
With wind power, the situation is very different. Small systems for domestic use are extremely exotic, even if there are a few companies that offer something like this. The Dutch-Korean company “The Archimedes” wants to change that. Their products follow a completely new concept of a wind generator. The slogan is: “The reinvention of the windmill”. It is not simply built a large system in miniature.
The lower the altitude, the less energy
Wind power for the home has to contend with a problem that solar energy does not have: The closer you get to the ground, the lower the wind speed. In order to get into a zone with continuously strong winds, wind rotors grow higher and higher. “Energy Dragons” aim even higher. Technically, this is easily possible because kites only need ropes for support and no mast.
If you want to harvest electricity on the house, the barn or a commercial building, you can’t go up, the roof ridge is the highest of emotions. And this is where The Archimedes comes in. The generators are designed to generate electricity at lower wind speeds. And then the devices must not put excessive strain on the statics of the roof so that they can be placed on existing structures.
The “LIAM F1 UWT” model has a diameter of 1.5 meters and weighs around 100 kilograms. The turbine starts up even at minimal wind speeds. At an average speed of 5 meters per second (m/s), it generates 1500 kilowatt hours a year. 5 m/s doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the equivalent of 18 km/h. The continuous output is “only” 700 watts – that’s roughly equivalent to two solar modules. 20 or even 30 panels are often packed onto a house.
The Archimedes does not use the classic propeller shape. The wind is caught by a spiral in the shape of a cone or flower. The axis of rotation remains horizontal. Archimedes writes that this form is particularly effective in low-wind, micro-turbines. Liam F1 is said to harvest 48 percent of the energy flowing through. In addition, the system is particularly quiet, a basic requirement for installing the device in residential areas. The maximum sound pressure should only be 48 dB. This corresponds to a “quiet corner in a quiet apartment”. The 48 Db fall at a distance of one meter. If the system is on the roof – two storeys high – it would not be noticeable under normal conditions, even if you are standing directly in front of the house. Due to the helical shape of the spiral, Liam automatically aligns itself like a pennant to the optimal position of the wind.
Low capacity but long runtimes
The capacity in watts of such devices is always comparatively low – especially in comparison with solar systems, where nowadays 20,000 watts and more are often installed for a single-family house. However, the value is clearly put into perspective because the wind turbine basically runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year. While the peak yield of a solar system is only possible during the day and decreases considerably when the sunny season is over. LIAM F1 would cover about half the needs of a small household, and about a third for a larger family home. The manufacturer sees the best application of the system in combination with solar power. Of course, one could also install several turbines if the conditions allow. The Archimedes is currently working on a larger model. Here the diameter of the spiral is 2.8 meters and the power is 2000 watts.
What can these systems be used for? What are the disadvantages?
The small systems with a weight of 100 kilograms can be set up on any roof. The large prototype is more likely to be suitable for the roofs of multi-storey houses or commercial properties. However, there must also be enough wind blowing. The wind speed at the place of residence listed in the weather report is only a first rough guide. It is measured at a height of ten meters with no surrounding obstacles. Those who live in the lee of other buildings or surrounded by trees can achieve much lower values. If you get closer to the ground, the value usually drops dramatically. Before purchasing such a system, it is always advisable to monitor the wind speed at the location of the planned installation for a longer period of time. The Archimedes only publishes prices on individual request.
Compared to other wind energy solutions, the maximum yield of Archimedes devices is low. At high wind speeds, the spiral slows down, the LIAM regulates itself at 14 m/s – when stronger winds blow, they do not generate more energy.
The whole device has been optimized for operation close to the ground with low wind speeds and low noise. If these factors are unimportant, there are much more powerful rotors that can also harvest the high energy of a strong wind. Conversely, they don’t work at all in a gentle breeze of 2 to 3 m/s.
Source: The Archimedes