The smart and efficient domestic wind turbine
It's a simple, portable, and ingenious wind-harvesting device. Meet the Liam F1 Urban Wind Turbine (UWT), an intelligent windmill power generator.
The world's most influential inventions and scientific breakthroughs saw the light of day when uncomplicated ideas materialized as functional objects.
Dutch company The Archimedes developed an innovative wind turbine for domestic use that produces 1,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year with a wind speed of 5 m/s, i.e., 18 kilometers per hour or 9.7 knots.
To put things into perspective, an American household uses around 30 kWh per day, or 900 kWh per month and 11,000 kWh per year.
Consequently, a single Liam F1 UWT power-generating device could provide over 10 percent of a home's energy needs in medium-to-high wind locations.
The same structure would power 20 percent of a household's demand in Germany.
The larger model available is double in size, generates more energy - 7,500 kWh per year - and could power many homes worldwide.
The Archimedes Screw Principle
But what's really impressive about this compact wind turbine is its design.
Liam F1's spiral/screw-shaped rotor always points in the direction where the wind blows and converts its kinetic energy into mechanical energy.
The gadget only needs winds of 3.8 knots (2 m/s) to start rotating and producing energy.
The inspiration for the creation of Liam F1 UWT comes from the famous Archimedes screw principle and the windmill, one of the most common structures in the Netherlands' landscape.
The manufacturer notes that it is more efficient than a standard propeller blade, and its low-noise operation is always kept under 48 dB.
Liam F1's overall look resembles a rose and can be easily installed on the roofs of any building.
The largest model is 1.5 meters wide; the smallest is 0.75 meters wide. You can even align several units to harness more energy.
100 Percent Mechanical
The mastermind behind the reinvented windmill is Marinus Mieremet, an inventor who started working on the Liam F1 UWT in 2003.
He wanted to create an instrument that could yield more sustainable energy while simultaneously looking good, producing low noise, and being bird-friendly.
The three circular blades wrapped around one another (and then expanded) create a three-dimensional conical turbine that reminds us of the elongated mollusk shells.
The trick was to efficiently funnel wind into the modern windmill, especially in turbulent environments.
The two-part-only device makes it 100 percent mechanical and requires minimal maintenance.
In 2006, Mieremet submitted a patent application for the Liam F1 UWT.
Six years later, the developer teamed up with South Korean company Esco RTS to perform additional wind tunnel and field tests in nearly any weather condition, including air temperatures of -4 °F (-20 °C).
The smart wind turbine for domestic use could probably be the design of the future when it comes to self-sufficient energy homes.