Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

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Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby Aushiker » Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:57 am

Image

Trinity portable wind turbine ... 30 cm in height, 15 watt generator, 15,000-mAh lithium-polymer battery pack and two USB ports.

The plastic-bodied Trinity is carried as a 12-inch (30.5-cm) cylinder when not in use. When you want to juice it up, you pull out the turbine's three aluminum legs, and prop it up to catch the wind. The legs can be laid flat to form a pedestal, or partially extended to form a tripod base. And yes, it is waterproof (rated to IPX6), should the wind be accompanied by rain.

As the blades turn, they spin an internal 15-watt generator that in turn charges a 15,000-mAh lithium-polymer battery pack. Using one of two USB ports on the bottom of the unit, you can then plug in your phone (or other device) and charge it. According to Skajaquoda, the Minnesota-based company that's developing the Trinity, one full charge of the battery should allow for four to six phone charges – you can also forgo the battery, and charge your phone directly from the generator.


Source: Gizmag

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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby TonyR » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:46 pm

I see they give no information on their website at what wind speed it will generate 15W and looking at it I suspect it will have to be a rather high wind speed. Even if it were conservatively spec'd with an average output of 5W it will take 15hrs to recharge the battery and I suspect, mounted next to the ground with those small blades it will be lucky to manage 1W of output with a charging time of over 75hrs. And only $399 but you might get one by Jan next year if you give them $249 on Kickstarter plus $40p&p plus duty and VAT!
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby james01 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:18 pm

TonyR wrote:I see they give no information on their website at what wind speed it will generate 15W and looking at it I suspect it will have to be a rather high wind speed. !


Simple, you erect it on the handlebars and pedal like fury to achieve suitable windspeed (I'd guess 25 mph +). On the other hand commercially available equipment allows you to charge efficientlyfrom your bike's own dynamo. Hmmmm.
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby TonyR » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:51 pm

james01 wrote:Simple, you erect it on the handlebars and pedal like fury to achieve suitable windspeed (I'd guess 25 mph +).


Or you could hook it up to an electric hub and have it pedal itself to those speeds :roll:
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby irc » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:50 am

But wind turbines are green and environmentally friendly so it must be a good idea.
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby vinyl_theif » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:08 am

irc wrote:But wind turbines are green and environmentally friendly so it must be a good idea.


Agreed, when used within a suitable application or environment, but at 1.8Kg (4 Ib) I feel this falls outside the boundary of cycle touring.

Also, this obviously works on the cyclist's most evil of all weather conditions WIND! Understandable it would be used when stationary - camping, and the hefty $400 price tag would just about cover the cost of a SON dynamo hub + rim and wheel build, ensuring a charge whilst moving, a condition that is guaranteed from a cycle tourer!!... unlike the guarantee of an evening breeze. :wink:
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby ConRAD » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:50 am

TonyR wrote:.... or you could hook it up to an electric hub and have it pedal itself to those speeds :roll:

... provided you respect polarities ,,, of course !!!
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby mrjemm » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:24 pm

I believe that style of 'blade' is inefficient also. Would it be so much harder to make a folding propeller style one?
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby RickH » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:27 pm

mrjemm wrote:I believe that style of 'blade' is inefficient also. Would it be so much harder to make a folding propeller style one?

There is probably slightly more risk of dangerous failure with a propellor style one as there is effectively only a single connection point on a blade and a small turbine would probably need a high spin rate to be effective. Design could though mitigate somewhat against that. With a column one there are 2 connections for each blade so it is more likely to collapse in a heap rather than shooting out projectiles in random directions. I nearly lost an eye as a child with a toy helicopter (place on launcher handle, hold at arm's length & pull string to accelerate the rotor) that shed a blade as I attempted to get it airborne! :shock:

There's an ongoing project/discussion on the Thorn forums (link) with a guy working on an extrawheel trailer with a dynohub to generate extra power (in addition to a dynohub on the bike). One of the ancillary parts of that project is making it so the wheel can be used as a wind powered generator when camped - stiffened lycra vanes seemed to be the preferred option most recently - but specific details/pictures haven't been published yet.

Something like a small wind turbine or solar panels are probably more useful if a trip is likely to have significant times when camped up off grid and either not cycling or doing day trips from a base.

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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby hufty » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:18 pm

:) I wish all wind turbines were that height
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby vinyl_theif » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:15 pm

mrjemm wrote:I believe that style of 'blade' is inefficient also. Would it be so much harder to make a folding propeller style one?

A vertical blade is omnidirectional, where-as a standard blade requires head-on placement, or need of a tail fin for alignment. Also a double bevel-gear set-up would be required to change from horizontal to vertical drive - this in it self adds unwanted friction, lessening the efficiency - unless the dynamo/generator is placed in-line with the prop axle, which ; (a) reduces the wind pick area, furthering the need for even a bigger prop and (b) raises the centre-of-gravity, meaning bigger legs.

A Standard propeller blade versus vertical blade efficiency depends overall size of each blade, governed by the desired power need from the dynamo / generator. The blades on the Trinity are a tad under 30cm, say ~ 29 x (about) 3 cm wide, giving an area of 87 sq cm, to match that on a prop blade would mean being significantly longer - standard blades from spindle-to-tip are not flat along the entire length therefore requires a longer blade to match the area of a vertical blade. The larger a prop blade becomes, (think wind farms) the better it’s efficiency. Vertical blades are better for smaller, restricted space, such as atop tall building, business towers, or even unmanned weather stations.
Last edited by vinyl_theif on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby mrjemm » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:27 pm

RickH and Vinyl, you may want to go to a boating forum and search wind generators. Probably similar amount of discussion on those there as hub dynamos here. And nigh on the entire market for the little'uns that bolt on your transom are... yup, fan type. The only reason folk go for the uprights is finger safety basically. All tests in magazines etc. show this type to be less efficient.

Why would you need a bevel? the generator/dynamo goes in line with the prop. A tail can also be made to fold, and the blades can be made softish, or even with an outer ring. Have a look at this example-

http://www.ampair.com/sites/all/files/p ... gazine.pdf

If you're really worried about adding a tail, make the turbine the tail. But whatever, the whole concept for cycle touring is rather daft. The small vanes on the back of yachts that live for wind, in windy places, and weigh more than this bugger don't really make much power TBH. Probably far and away better off using a hub dynamo.

A vertical blade may be unidirectional, but only a 1/3 max is being pushed by the wind, the opposing 1/3 is against the wind, albeit with a swept face.

All daft though.

Edit... Just saw the bit about raising CoG and needing bigger legs. Use a single leg and guys. Or a pole poked in the ground. After all, I assume this is for when camping, not in a B&B.
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Re: Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

Postby khain » Fri May 02, 2014 9:46 pm

This is a nice idea and I like the design.

However, it's far too heavy for cyclists or hikers, and pointless for just about anyone else. If you're in a motor vehicle it makes much more sense to charge your phone from the lighter socket. It's also far too expensive.

If the weight was brought down to well under 1kg and the price to under £100 it might be of use to cycle tourists, assuming it would stay upright at that weight.
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