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Very Efficient Vertical Wind Turbine Once Thought Impossible to Build


fullerwindmill_t700As wind industry claimed that vertical turbines are ineffective, inventor Adam Fuller developed a project to prove this theory wrong.

He designed a windmill consisting of 8 turbines, each having 4 structural steel wind scoops. The vertical turbine has 32 scoops in total and the wind can blow from any direction making the blades spin. By now the prototype is working flawlessly and even the slightest breeze of wind can make its blades spin. The turbine has a 12 feet diameter and is 36 feet tall.

As nobody made a large scale vertical turbine before , Fuller thinks his will be the one: “I’ve been able to demonstrate that for every 10 feet of baffle, there’s a 300 percent increase of output with the rotor. So my thought is that a 40 foot baffle will increase output by 1200 percent. If the 40 foot baffle system is successful, that means that 1 turbine and baffle system (about $200,000), would have the same amount of power as 12 turbines without baffles (about $150,000 ), so there’s financial efficiency. That’s a big change” .

Fuller wants to build a 120 foot model of the vertical wind turbine which he estimates could produce 30,000 to 75,000 kWh each month, enough to power up with energy 30 to 70 homes.

His success in implementing a large scale vertical turbine will probably depend on government funding. But as his project seems to work perfectly he will probably not need to knock on many doors to fulfill his dream.

[via cleantechnica.com]

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  1. Hi, this is Adam Fuller (the inventor). I just stumbled across this and wanted to give an update.

    Picture of a MODEL of the latest design:

    My design creates a cylindrical vortex at the axis of the VAWT turbine. There are ZERO negative pressures therefore 2000% more power capability. Most VAWT’s are in the range of 3% efficient or less because of negative pressures. Also, wind passing on left, right and collapsing on leeward side of stationary baffle system help ‘pull’ wind through the baffles. This energy from wind outside the swept area helps increase efficiencies.

    Linked-in page:

    My contracting business website:

    I have this year perfected a highly efficient energy storage system that will have a delivered cost for a 10Mwh system of about $350K. This compares with current 7Mwh battery based systems that sell for about $3M.

    Also I will be filing provisional international patents for Phase 2 VAWT that will become the largest VAWT (actually largest windmill) ever made, capable of 5Mw to 15Mw, have in the range of 11,000 to 14,000 square M of swept area (current ‘prop style’ GE 6Mw is about 6500 square M of swept area) and will have a delivered cost of as low as $1.5M vs $7M for GE’s 6Mw.

    Banks of these turbines will solely feed into the storage system I have developed having an efficiency from 75% to as high as 90%. Provisional patents are being filed for the storage system as well as components for the storage system that will have applications in other segments of the energy marketplace that will be highly effective at:

    1) Reducing utility operation costs by 33%

    2) Reducing coal fired carbon emissions by 33%

    I am also pursuing manufacturers for the licensing of a radically efficient air motor technology I have developed. Air motors are either really complicated or really inefficient (25% efficient is high) and makes the use of compressed air impossible for any realistic use in vehicles.

    However, it is estimated an astounding 40% of industrial electricity use is consumed by compressing and discharging air for industrial processes and my work could have a dramatic effect on efficiencies of small motors and compressors as the motors I have developed may exceed 90%.

    Proving systems are currently being built and 3rd party confirmation secured and my long… ridiculously long… journey of invention will finally be rewarded.

    I havent read through any of the posts here, because I have seen fatally pessimistic views in other blogs and the terrible things some people have to say really gets me down.

    But I will leave you with this: INNOVATION is not solely in the Universities and it is not only for high technology. Basic sciences {fluid power, magnetics, energy from space (Google Thomas Henry Moray)} are still very unexplored territories and little nobodies like me are what BUILT this country and exploded the economy with our innovations. If us little guys were given some support (STAGED MICRO GRANTS) there would be many more jobs in this country.

    Proof? This countries economy exploded after WWII ended because innovation was supported in all arenas. If a little guy had an idea, it wasn’t impossible to gain support from business and government.

    Support has all but ended by 2000 and funding is now focused almost solely towards colleges and universities. There are a lot of little guys with a lot of great technology but deaf ears are everywhere…

  2. Congratulations Christi and Adam Fuller. Your has given us a great snapshot of people’s interest and understanding of this subject.
    Adam is probably onto something here. #29 Fancy, Adam’s turbine has a baffle (if its anything like mine this “cowl” has several segments. He is blocking the wind stream hitting the convex side of the blades (the return swing) thereby removing (or lessening) the negative side of the drag force balance equation: 0.5 *ρ A ( V-v)2 Cd) – (0.5 *ρ A ( V+v)2 Cd ) = Net force which solves to the velocity at the edge being 2/3rds of the wind velocity (the Savonius gains positive pressure from the centre gap to achieve parity with wind speed.
    Adam’s design (if it is what we have studied), can accelerate in isolation from this negative influence to generate a vortex – which is another whole dimension in wind power. The design we were studying, pumped air up the vertical axis turbine, thereby anchoring the unit with a downward reaction. Ours was a scalloped helix, much like Aerotecture’s. Other names to search for more conventional, but commercially available vawts are Windstream (triple helical) and Ropatec (cycloturbine).
    These really are the turbines for urban environments – the big horizontals are for unpopulated rural areas and out to sea.
    Adam keep up the good work, success is around the corner.

  3. Can you suggest some solution for a single home having load of about 2KW? System should support off grid solution as this home is located where grid does not exist.

  4. Multiplication of Vertical Wind Turbine Efficiency – The efficiency of vertical wind turbine can be multiplied considerably by making simple mechanical modification at the base of the turbine shaft. It functions on the basis of wind speed variation principles. An air pump type technique to be fabricaed at the base of the the turbine shaft. A shockabsorber to be fitted under the pivot of the shaft, which will help to creat up-down moment of the shaft operating the pump to creat air pressure and automatic releasing of air pressure giving force to the turbine shaft when the wind speed is low. This process will continue to creat force to run the turbine shaft unimpedely. Please contact for more elaborations.

  5. Hello everyone! My instructor gave me 5 kVA Vertical Axis Wind Turbine as project study. He wants a design and he wants it “direct coupled”. Does anyone think it it’s possible? I think it will give variable output. Please help me…

    -Leonil, 5th year ECE student from Philippines

  6. Wow, 75,000 Kwh a month. Now that’s impressive, especially for something built by just one person. I’ve never seen a wind generator with wind scoops before. I’ve only ever seen generators with blades. Now I’m interested to find out what the difference in efficiency is.

  7. Hey, if anybody out there has any info on this please get back to me. The pma that i need to build is a 48v but i am not sure how to build it. I have built two single phase and one three phase and the three phase ran the smoothest but did’nt put out as much power and none of them put out what they were supose to. So i do not want anymore of those $47-$50 DIY e-books, just somebody that has a real good plan for low rpm and 48v. Thanks, Rob.

  8. I would like to know how anybody saves anything on thier power bills by building a wind generator? The wind mill or vawt is cheep and easy to build but then comes the expensive stuff, the wire for the coils in the pma is over a $100, the fiber glass and resine… however thats spelled, is not cheep, the neo magnets are not cheep and there is the rectifier, volt meter,charge controler, inverter and the big one, the batteries. After buying the batteries you just lost any savings on your power bill, 6v batteries are $120-140 ea and used forklift batteries are$800+ and new ones are over $4000. Even a good sized bank of 6v’s will cost around $2000 and about the time that you start to get ahead, the batteries wear out and it’s time to start over. If you do not live where it is windy all the time, the generator will not be able to keep the batteries charged so they do not go bad so you have to stay grid tied so when the generator is not charging it switches over to a battery charger. Hear where i live it’s windy in the day but at night it’s dead. The generator would not be able to charge both the batteries and supply the home load at the same time thus the batteries will just get drained lower and lower untill they are no good. Batteries will only do that for so long and then thats it. How do you do it? I would like to power my green house in the winter and have power for my home when the power goes out but i just can not see where i come out ahead.

  9. I like all these ideas, they have potential. I though have a better one that makes all the above redundant. Stop using as much electricity, cut the population, ban the use of internal combustion engines and grow your own food.
    Materials required: Nil
    Road congestion: substantially reduced
    Pointless journeys: substantially reduced
    CO2 reduction: substantial
    Sustainability: excellent

  10. Hi Adam

    Don’t let all the negative inputs get to you, product developent will always be full of negative opinions on all fronts.
    I hope you manage to build your dream machine and show the value of the technology you have discovered….

    Good Luck!

  11. It has always amazed me how quickly the internet down-play zealots are ready to dismiss prior to having complete information. The turbine in the pic is only a portion of the invention. Critical parts make the turbine you see in the pic potentially as much as 1200% (yes 12 times) as powerful and DEMONSTRATED 600% more powerful.

    Due to the economy, a financial partner defaulted and I have not been able yet to build the very large machines (in the realm of 10,000 square feet of swept area). I have perfected however a smaller roof mounted version and have reduced the manufactured costs (minus generator but including drivetrain) so ridiculously low that I will be introducing 10Kw units INSTALLED at $4,995.

    There have been mistakes and from those mistakes have come monumental successes… including the opportunity to eliminate 90% of end-user costs for practical wind power equipment.

    To the nay-sayers… well nothing I say will change your derogatory ways. Not many people know this, but Charles Goodyear died penniless and his enormous work didn’t reach marketability until 20 years after his death. This is the way of the inventors world.

    The unique aspect of the designs I have developed (and are currently patent pending) is the ability to create a vortex SURROUNDING the rotor. What this does is to remove 100% of negative pressures.

    Any VAWT yields the difference of positive & negative pressures. By removing 90% of the negative pressures the flat-line yield is more than 900% gains. I am currently building the perfected design and will be locating it, video-taping it, mass-marketing it to a select market and 3rd party confirmations PUBLISHED.

    I am discouraged that so many Americans (and many of the businessmen I have met) are so quick to make assumptions without getting into the meat of a concept. If American innovation does not find support, America loses. I know this from experience… there is very little in terms of resources available to an individual, non-college educated inventor.

    I am about to launch with this very exciting technology and I have done this alone… very, very alone. Very alone. I stress this because there has only been 1 individual businessman that has stood by his commitment to help see me through. This is the owner of the building I have used for development John Shott, of Rapids Business Center in Racine WI.

    Last summer, I was forced into bankruptcy through a series of investor failings. I went back to work as a general contractor and after another failed investment opportunity Dec. ’09, I simply abandoned any interest for investment. I figured out another direction (see the web-site) and have busted my ass to raise the capital to launch. I have it, I am launching a very unique technology in a very niche market segment and through the course of success in this will raise the funds to implement my wind-farm vision.

    To the guy that says large VAWTS are all over the place, I CHALLENGE you to find a 10,000 sq. ft of swept area VAWT. Only 1 exists to my knowledge and that company hasn’t brought their technology to market after 13 years.

    To the guy that says I have invented nothing new, I challenge you to find a VAWT that creates a vortex with a common axis to the rotor. It has never been done before…

    The only reason this technology is about to change an industry is because of my refusal to give up. It shouldn’t have been this hard.

  12. Adam Fuller may be an inventor, but he invented nothing here. It’s just a variation of the Savonius Rotor that has been around since 1922.
    If he does something with that square cage around it, it would even be a bloody good looking variation.
    Nobody in “The Wind Industry” has said that these rotors are ineffective, because if they do what you want them to do, they inevitably ARE effective. For instance: no cooling truck has a HAWT on its roof, but they all have a VAWT, albeit a small one.
    They are however inefficient, especially when you want to generate electricity (gearing losses).
    A Savonius rotor is about 22% efficient, out of a possible 59% (Betz coefficient), whilst a Darrieus rotor (1931) can achieve about 40% and is far more suitable for generating electricity. It is also a LOT more difficult to build if you want DIY.
    HAWT’s have efficiencies in the high 40% these days and are very well suited for electricity generation, even for “home” generation.
    If you’re on the DIY track, you should ask first what you NEED and then look at how you can accomplish that.
    A HAWT for domestic use is very difficult to build (if you want to build a good one); a Darrieus rotor is also difficult, but less complex and you can make it self-starting by building in a savonius rotor.
    Everybody (more or less) can build a Savonius rotor. Perhaps not as savvy as the one like Adam Fuller has build, but the 3 cut-up oil drums I used in 1974 to power a water pump did exactly what I wanted them to do (great torque!)

    Ron Dzierwa makes some good points:
    Wherever you are, there is most likely a possibility to supply (part of) your energy needs by building something yourself.
    However, I wouldn’t build anything that doesn’t pay for itself.
    The second thing is the bottom line for the utility companies; which are simply greedy [email protected], who don’t give a damn about what people or the environment need.
    I live in Ireland (being Dutch) and here we have a feed-in tariff that pays domestic customers almost twice the going rate when they DELIVER extra kwh to the net as when they take energy from the net.
    It is specifically aimed at “home” users; people that have a windmill not exceeding 11kW rated (I think).
    This will of course end after about 10 years, after which you can just turn the meter back.

    Americans might find this weird, but the EU has set a target for non-fossil fuel related energy to be delivered.
    This incentive has brought on a host of initiatives, like solar for (partial) house heating and the windmills I mentioned before, as well as more attention for the Passive House concept (just Google it)
    An initiative like this has also brought in new players in the windmill market, who now produce domestic windmills, that can claim the feedback tariff.

    Now, if I were in the USA, I would sense an opportunity here!

    Good luck everyone!

  13. My hat is off to all of you for trying to do your part to clean up the air. I am pondering building a wind generator, but my first project is going to be a very simple solar batch hot water heater placed in series from well to solar heated black tank under glass to interior Hot water Tank. Pondering this project, a thought came to mind. Why not use an old refrigerator box to mount the tank in? You would already have the insulated box, which would be fairly water resistant with the application of some silicone sealant. Anybody out there done this?

  14. Vertical wind turbine to be looked at as simpler and no gear (at top) is required. I suggest combining wind and solar by making the blades metalic painted BLACK and tilted so to accept heat from sun, heated metalic blades will create flow of hot air that does wind action on airfoil, hence solar heat combined with wind rotate the vertical turbine. I think in middle east may be less wind speed but burning sun. In the night the reverse hapens, metalic blades cool faster than surrounding air that create another effect. Why not rain also does another action, please advice

    Read more: https://www.greenoptimistic.com/2009/01/28/very-efficient-vertical-wind-turbine-once-thought-impossible-to-build/#ixzz0eT7U63kw

  15. Vertical wind turbines are creative design.I think it can make full use of the wind power.I am DIYer,intend to build my homemade wind turbines.Now I have some questions,can this kind of wind turbine be made by home scale? How much does the materials cost?
    This is my current plans wind power cost

  16. Hey All:
    There are a lot of interesting comments out there. I have built a magnetic train, a pnuematic robotic arm, and several other things just because I came up with an idea and was able to find the scraps around to try. If you do nothing, you will accomplish nothing. I live at the bottom of a hill at the end of a row of houses and it acts like a wind tunnel. I do not have a lot of room so my windmill will have to be vertical. Building the windmill will not be as much of a challenge as integrating into my home, that will be the interesting part. I think I will try… If it fails, I will find out what didn’t work and fix it. If I can learn something and even offset my electric bill a little, it will be worth it. Go Legos…

  17. That is an interesting disign, very unique. I personally like to make my VAWT unique as well. My personal favorite is a three bladed savinous rotor, made out blue transparent arylic. Not as as large as your turbine though, only about 3 sq ft sweep area.
    Two online sources I recommend to look at regarding building wind turbines, centurionenergy.net and otherpower.com

  18. Hey Ron, your comment really gives a sense to fight for Green Power. The real issue is not to think how much the actual developments can bring but how much we can save from our planet. And even though actual technology is not so bad for sure development will not stop here. Even if we do small steps on our way it’s much better than none. Appreciate your comment and hope to be an inspiration to everybody.

  19. Everybody seems to have a reason it won\\\’t work. If it works at all, and produces electricity that is anywhere near the cost of what I get from my local coal fired plant, then SIGN ME UP! I don\\\’t live in an area where i can install a 200 foot tower and mount a 90 foot windmill, and i am certain that the local power company is too enamored with their bottom line to spend ANY money for a real wind turbine. But i bet i could put one of these on a mast that can get above the surrounding trees and generate more than the zero kW that i am doing now. How about the rest of you naysayers? How many of your wonderful horizontal wind turbines do you own? I think its wonderful to think about the big picture, and impress everyone about how much you studied in college, but there is a time and place to act locally, even if we are thinking globally. Even if they are not the perfect wind turbine solution, vertical turbines are a PERFECT idea for individual supplemental capability. Even if you can only offset a few kW per day, its a start. If everyone had one, it could make a real impact. If we all sit around on our collective behinds pontificating about the ultimate in efficiency and waiting for the greedy power companies to spend their \\"hard earned profits\\" on wind power, we will forever be in the grips of that same fossil industry. Do you think folks two centuries ago worried about the relative efficiency of the wooden windmill they were building? I doubt it, they just needed water pumped, or grain ground, and they needed it now. If a windmill would help at all, they tried it. If vertical wind turbines put these devices in the range of individual households, then lets see one of you \\"Cannot\\"s come up with a better idea!

  20. Yes, I agree. Until wind turbines of any orientation become as expensive per KWH as Nuclear or clean coal power plants to build we will not be seeing many commercial applications. When we figure out how to build one that we can be sold to the public over the next 40 years so corporate america can reap profit on it for decades, as well as charge you for the power it’s making, then we’ll see lots of them!

    ARMchair engineers, got to love them. Just like when your at a party and the grill won’t start. All of a sudden you have 30 drunken experts on the subject and everbody has a different idea about what’s wrong and how to remedy it. My hat’s off to this chap for getting off his duff and doing something productive that actually IS PRODUCING power as opposed to generating hot air….

    If you’ve never built something to prove what your TOLD or READ as correct or incorrect try to keep your pie hole shut and your comment to yourself. If you want to hear yourself talk there are philosphy groups that like that sort of thing. Were in the situation were in now because there are so many ‘smart’ people out there that don’t know anything. I’ve seen 6 year mechanical engineering graduates from prestigious institutions that did not even know what an allen wrench was. And we wonder why there is no manufacturing in this country!?

  21. The problem with this story is that it makes no mention of the cost per kWh of the vertical turbine. I’ve talked to engineers about the physics of wind turbines before and the biggest problem is that there are few places in the US that has enough wind speed to generate cost effective electricity, especially if you’re talking about low altitude wind like this guy is proposing.

    The two biggest variables in energy potential of wind is:

    E = Surface area of wind being swept x wind velocity^3 x C

    The reason horizontal axis blades are used is because it is the most efficient way of increasing Surface Area while using minimal material since the length of the blade and area surface area is related by a power of 2.

    Surface Area of Circle = 2*pi*radius^2

    The other thing to note is how important velocity is. The difference between the potential energy of 15mph wind and 20 mph wind is:

    15^3 = 3375
    20^3 = 8000

    8000/3375 = 2.3

    So 2.3 times more energy can be derived from 20 mph wind than 15 mph wind. That’s why turbines are built so tall. As you go to higher altitudes, wind speed increases.

    When it comes to building grounded wind turbines, many very smart engineers have already worked on this problem. If vertical turbines were more efficient, I’m sure we would see more of them. There are lots of new innovative ideas of how to generate wind energy more efficiently that are based on capturing high altitude winds by putting wind turbines on big balloons or kite-like vehicles. I don’t know how viable these ideas are, but even the best solutions are still at least 20 years away from mass adoption.

  22. I made a vertical turbine back in 1984 and all the guys at the VC company I took it to showed very little interest. I felt so humiliated that i just went home and gave up.

  23. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Anybody with half a brain who does some research on this subject will find that there are many MANY studies that show vertical axis wind mills like the one this guy designed use more material and achieve less efficiency than a 2-3 blade horizontal axis propeller.

    if you want a really efficient vertical axis go look up “Darrieus wind turbine” Way more efficiency that what this pile of junk can do. And uses less material to build too.

    It’s reporting like this that dooms us to using oil and coal and nuclear and destroying our planet in the process.

  24. BTW vertical turbines are now made even in Taiwan so you can make the cost factor half now

    BTW I am not Taiwanese or Chinese or even in energy sector and this is not an AD.
    I found this on alibaba

    Place of Origin Taiwan
    Brand Name HiEnergy
    Model No DS400
    Payment & Shipping Terms:
    Minimum Order Quantity: 50
    Packaging Details: 50x50x150 cm
    Payment Terms: L/C,T/T

  25. Nobody’s made a large scale vertical wind turbine before? Nonsense, there are plenty of vertical wind turbines. Every try googling “vertical wind turbine?”

    This is why I hate the internet!

  26. Will be interesting to see how the bigger model performs. I think it’s a bit optimistic to assume linear increase with size.. But hey, time will tell.

    I’ve always thought vertical wind turbines would be worth looking into: they don’t need the directional adjustment and they are a lot more compact in some ways and you could have the “guts” of the generation mechanism nicely located at ground level too (advantages for servicing and safety of workers)


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