Wind Powered Trikes

wind powered trike 1

Pterosail Trike Systems is sailing and cycling over 3,000 miles from coast to coast across the USA this summer. The Pterosail is a street-legal recumbent tricycle with sails. It can reach up to 40 mph in good winds. No wind? Pedal. See also, below: the Whike, a Dutch made sail assisted trike.

wind powered trike 2

Related: Guido Vigevano’s wind car / Sailing rockets / Kiteboating / Velomobiles.

Sailing Directly into the Wind

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“In the late 90s/early 2000s my interest was in developing boats that can sail directly into the wind. To some, this seems impossible, and they find it hard to accept that it is possible to overcome the wind using the force of the wind itself. This technology has further implications also, it can allow a boat, or a buoy, to remain stationary in the water, unsecured, no matter how hard the wind blows without using any fuel. Having revived the project recently (2008) I am doing further research.”

I cannot help but admire the simplicity of the design. Find all information here.

Windmills and Wind Motors – How to Build and Run Them (1910)

windmills DIY

“I have endeavoured in the following pages not only to interest the practical amateur in a branch of mechanics unfortunately much neglected, but also to present a series of practical original designs that should prove useful to every reader from the youngest to the most advanced.”

Chapter 1 : windmill evolution
Chapter 2 : a small working model windmill
Chapter 3 : a small American type windmill
Chapter 4 : a small working windmill
Chapter 5 : a practical working windmill
Chapter 6 : production of electricity by wind power

Windmills and wind motors – how to build and run them (1910).


Floating Citadels, Powered by Wind and Water Mills

floating citadels

This engraving, published in 1798, shows the gigantic St. Malo raft, designed in 1791 during the French Revolution. The engraving informs us that this extraordinary structure was 600 feet long by 300 broad, mounts 500 pieces of cannon, 36 and 48-pounders, and is to convey 15,000 troops for the invasion of England. In the midst is a bomb-proof, metal-sheathed citadel.

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TimberTower: a High-Tech Wind Turbine, Made from Trees

Timbertower Our article on industrial windmills appeared on The Oil Drum and, as could be expected, this generated many interesting comments. One in particular was made by a reader named “anyone“, who sent in a link about a high-tech wind turbine placed on a tower made entirely of wood.

So while we suggested to redesign traditional windmills by using modern, high-tech materials, the German company TimberTower proposes the opposite: redesign modern wind turbines by using traditional, low-tech materials.

Large wind turbines are usually made of steel, and while they definitely deliver more energy over their lifetime than it takes to produce them (contrary to small wind turbines), using no energy at all would of course be even better – and cheaper.

Wood is easier to transport (the TimberTower is manufactured out of glued laminated timber panels which are assembled on-site), doesn’t need to be mined, has no corrosion issues (think of offshore turbines), and it captures carbon. And while trees bend in strong winds, they usually don’t break.

Using a timber tower for a 100 metre high wind turbine can save approximately 300 tons of sheet steel, writes the company at their website. One “TimberTower” also ties up approximately 400 tons of CO2. They say they can build them as high as 200 metres. Serial production should start in 2010. More:  TimberTower. Related: wooden pipelines, wooden bridges.

Kite Power

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Italian company Kite Gen is building a full-scale 3 megawatt version (video) of its promising wind turbine concept, we learn from MetaEfficient. A large kite is drawn upward to altitudes around 800 metres, where average wind speeds are four times as strong as they are near ground-based wind turbines. The kites power turbines by rising and flying back to gound level continuously. The retrieval phase is said to require a small fraction of the power that is generated during the flight. A first prototype was built in 2006. One of the recent improvements is an automatic launching system, powered by fans. The technology generated an interesting discussion at the Oil Drum last summer. Previously: Floating windmills – energy from the clouds. Related: Kiteboating & Kite Aerial Photography.