The problem: Wind turbines kill birds.
The Rainbow Power Generator is patent-pending (US/CA 62936892). We are currently determining if we wish to pursue this patent or release it open-source. Pictures will be added shortly.
The Rainbow is a totally new and innovative way to generate wind power using solid-state and fluid thermal power generation technology coupled with aerodynamic heating from natural wind. Because there are no moving parts on the exterior of the structure, and it is shaped like a wing into the airflow, it has a very low risk of harming birds. The reliability is also much higher, and maintenance much lower, than traditional wind turbines.
The Rainbow(TM) produces electrical power from a temperature difference generated between the upper and lower surface of the wing due to aerodynamic heating. This is a combination of two effects:
- the pressure difference generated by an angled wing (i.e. aircraft lift, which most people are familiar with) results in a corresponding temperature difference, and
- the lower surface has a higher skin friction coefficient (i.e. it is rougher) than the upper surface
Electricity generation from a temperature difference can be done at small scales by solid-state and ultra-reliable thermo-electric generators (TEGs). For larger Rainbows, there is a heat pump / turbine within the wing circulating a refrigerant-type fluid that is more efficient at generating electricity than TEGs. The Rainbow is also capable of producing combined heat and power (CHP) with the waste heat produced by the wing, including in winter.
While it is intended primarily for Arctic installations (e.g. remote communities, polar research bases, remote industrial sites, military etc.) it can be used almost anywhere on Earth. We are also looking into offshore Rainbow installations in coastal Alaska and British Columbia; also areas with a high diesel use and high cost of importing fuel.
The Rainbow also generates power from solar energy, making use of available space on the structure to increase the total power output and provide diversification of renewable energy sources. The solar panels are optional.
Delivery and installation:
Rainbows are completely self-contained and automated. They are intended for installation in remote communities where ongoing fuel delivery is expensive and polluting due to the additional transit miles.
The modular nature of the Rainbow facilitates quick and easy transport to the installation site by land, sea or air, and rapid assembly using minimal tools and equipment on-site. Our flat-packable Rainbow sections will fit inside cargo trucks, ships and aircraft (e.g. C-130 Hercules).
Detailed specifications are coming soon. Please revisit this website shortly.
Current Project Status:
We are developing a small-scale working prototype of the Rainbow(TM) which will inform larger scale design decisions. The data from the prototype is easily scalable to analyze larger Rainbows using similarity parameters (e.g. Reynolds number for aerodynamics).
We are also approaching various funding agencies for prototype funding. As the prototype is built, we hope to gain additional funding through larger investors and crowd-sourced funding to take our vision to a much larger scale.