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The Zédolille



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18 single sails, each 20° phase-delayed

I participated 2006 with my Sjoelltake and Tirajator at the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, I thought that I would win and waited for the apprisement. I had some time and devoted myself to the third principle of movement I still did not succeed to grap: the movement of a caudal fin.

I went on in my mind until I found a way to transform the movement of a circle into the movement of a spherical lemniscate. Thereby I found a whole family of lemniscates which are all very simple. They are easier to realise than the lemniscate of Bernoulli.

The movement I mean, is to see here:

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schematic presentation of the profile in the stream
(the inversion arises a new propulsion!)

(On the side Lemniscates you can see the lemniscate with the vectors for the wind and forces.)

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YouTube video showing the Zédolille in a wooden model (click on the picture)

Every sailor knows, that beam reach is the best route. Beam reach means that the ship moves on a course perpendicular towards the virtual wind. And the virtual wind is the sum out of real wind and the head wind. Because they have mostly a different direction it is necessary to add them as vectors. That means that the virtual wind can differ while the real wind stays the same.

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There are still three angles to optimize:

  • the angle of the pathway α
  • the angle of the sail β
  • the angle of the length γ

While turning the sail cannot deliver energy. So there must be at least a second sail correctly phase-delayed. These family of sails are not allowed to cross in the air of course. There are many ways to realize this.

The Zédolille Windmill has crucial points in comparison with the propeller windmills: it does not need a mast and therefore no big foundation. The handled wind plane is more than double. You can take ultralight sails instead of epoxy resin profiles. And last but not least: the Zédolille does not kill any birds or bats because the sails move slower.

Comparison of the wind planes

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the green area is handled by a 2 sail Zédolille, the red circle is the area of a propeller windmill.

The pressure of the wind


The best route
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a profle with different angles
blue: real wind; grey: head wind; light blue: virtual wind
orange: buoyancy force; red: pressure of the wind; green: harvestable energy

As you can see: the closer hauled the profile moves the more pressure you will get and this causes the heeling.

The faster the sail moves, the more energy you will gain. So it is not the question to maximize the energy but to minimize the heeling! As heeling I define the ratio between the force perpendicular towards and the force along the direction of the movement. Tell me how much heeling your material can stand and I tell you in which direction with which velocity to move. If you move less close hauled you can take wider sails. That is the joke.

Because the profiles of propeller windmills can only move in an area perpendicular to the axle of the propeller they move perpendicular towards the real wind. Because they turn with high speed the virtual wind comes from infront. And so the buoyancy force goes more perpendicular than along the movement. This causes much heeling. Therefore you need thick and expensive materials for propeller windmills.

profile of a propeller windmill
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movement perpendicular the real wind


Note: the heeling occurs in 100 m highness. That means that the lever rule rules. So an huge foundation is required. But a foundation out of concrete will get some rifts in process of time, water comes in, the mast gets gridiron. You cannot see these rifts.

And now, how it is done right:

profile of a Zédolille Windmill
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... and the movement 90° + α
instead a massive profile a sail
like at an ultralight airplane

Because the profile runs with the angle α behind it takes the spike of the pressure of the wind. The sails move beam reach. In dependency of the angle α the heeling subsides until it disappears at 35° at all.
Therefore you do not need these giant baseball bats. And you do not have this problems with the transport. Sails with the frames can be made ready at the place of the windmill. Gears and generator are near the ground, so they can easily repaired.


The Fastrun-Number


The fastrun-number at a windmill is the quotient of the velocity of the body of the windmill and the velocity of the wind. A fastrun-number of e.g. 3 means, that the windmill blades move with a three times higher speed than the wind. Has got the wind a velocity of 8m/s it makes a speed of the blades of 24m/s. To transform m/s in km/h you must multiply the value with 3.6. At a windspeed of 8m/s and a fastrun-number of 3 the blades have got a speed of 3*8*3.6km/h = 86.4km/h.

The propeller windmills have all a fastrun-number of more than 5. A Zédolille has a fastrun-number of about 1 (it depends of the angle α). At a velocity of the wind of 8m/s a propeller has the speed of 8*5*3.6km/h = 144km/h and a Zédolille a speed of 28,8km/h.

So it is clear, that the Zédolille does not kill birds, bats and insects directly.


Wake Turbulences


Because of the high velocity and of the turning only in one direction at the propeller windmills there are long wake turbulences behind the propeller windmills with a very chaotic air stream. The Zédolille sails move much slower and in both directions: left and right. So the result is an offset. The wake turbulence behind a Zédolille is substantial less brutal for insects as at propellers and compareable with those behind huge buildings.



The propeller windmills are now history.


The Zédolille of the home-side
in top view

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and in side view

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Does it remind you of something?
Yes, of the movement of sea-anemones.
They use this movement to catch plankton out of the stream.