Philippe Starck Blows!

Lately Monsieur Starck has been taking a well deserved bitch slapping by us fun loving bloggers for his proclamation that “design is dead”. He quickly contradicted that notion with his recent announcement that he is launching a new reality TV series for the BBC all about the design process. Well P. Starcky you may have redeemed yourself just a bit with your latest “dead design” called ‘Democratic Ecology’. This transparent mini-turbine/windmill can generate 20-60% of the energy needed to power a home, at a price point of around $633. Sure it’s not the most efficient windmill out there but it is a step in the right direction. Try to ignore the fact that The turbine was on display in an pop nightmare cube decorated with green rhetoric, clearly intended to maximize the turbine’s aesthetic potential. Kudos to Pramac, a company better known for oil and diesel generators helped with the technical aspects of this design and have clearly been bitten by the green bug. OK Phil, you have been granted a reprieve by at least me, you may continue to create some good karma for yourself.

Designer: Philippe Starck [ Via: Inhabitat ]

15 Comments

  • zippyflounder says:

    Starky would have to show me the numbers before I bought into this bit of hokum. What is “average” household power consumption..day? night? summer? winter? What is the averages houses location? How big is that rig? Making broad unsubstainated claims can be understood a bit when it comes from a design novice, but not a “pro” such as yourself………hummmm?

  • enoo says:

    Oh… it took me a lot of time to figure the size of that thing.
    Then I noticed there was a light-grey character on the 1st image, that is supposed to give a sense of scale.
    So, how tall ? 1.70m ? Something like that I guess.

    And I suppose that the 20-60% is “on a very windy night :)

    • zippyflounder says:

      i guess installed inside his house, after all starky is damn windy…………

  • SgtMac02 says:

    How big is this thing? It sounds like a great idea…and a very reasonable price point if it actually comes to fruition…

  • stre says:

    $633 dollars my ass. maybe for the piece that he’s showing, but there are other things (like the generator and regulation/distribution stuff) that would have to be bought. i find it incredibly difficult to believe that suddenly the capital cost of residential wind power has dropped from $12000-$15000 to $633.

    on a side note, the original article states that $633 is “not realistically within everyone’s budget.” while i admit that there is a very small percentage of people who this wouldn’t help, basically everyone who uses electricity would benefit from this thing at $633. too bad it’s not really real. starck is just playing us all for fools!

  • zippyflounder says:

    did a bit of research, looks like that sucker is going to have to be in a REALY windy place to do whats claimed….oh well he does have a partner that knows about generation, wonder who checked his aerodynaics and engineering though…………..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_axis_wind_turbine

    Vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWT) are a type of wind turbine where the main rotor shaft runs vertically. Among the advantages of this arrangement are that generators and gearboxes can be placed close to the ground, and that VAWT do not need to be pointed into the wind. Major drawbacks for the early designs (savonius, darrieus, giromill and cycloturbine) included the pulsatory torque that can be produced during each revolution and the huge bending moments on the blades. Later designs like turby, quietrevolution and aerotecture solved the torque issue by using the helical twist of the blades, similar to Gorlov’s water turbines.

    Drag-type VAWT, such as the Savonius rotor, typically operate at lower tipspeed ratios than lift-based VAWT such as Darrieus rotors and cycloturbines.

    [edit] General Aerodynamics
    The forces and the velocities acting in a Darrieus turbine are depicted in figure 1. The resultant velocity vector, , is the vectorial sum of the undisturbed upstream air velocity, , and the velocity vector of the advancing blade, .

    Fig1: Forces and velocities acting in a Darrieus turbine for various azimutal positionsThus, the oncoming fluid velocity varies, the maximum is found for and the minimum is found for , where θ is the azimutal or orbital blade position. The angle of attack, α, is the angle between the oncoming air speed,W, and the blade’s chord. The resultant airflow creates a varying, positive angle of attack to the blade in the upstream zone of the machine which switch sign in the downstream zone of the machine. From geometrical considerations, the resultant airspeed flow and the incidence angle are calculated as follows:

    where is the tip speed ratio parameter.

    The resultant aerodynamic force is decomposed either in lift (L) – drag (D) components or normal (N) – tangential (T) components. The forces are considered acting at 1/4 chord from the leading edge, in order to minimise the pitching moment. The aeronautical terms lift and drag are, strictly speaking, forces across and along the approaching net relative airflow respectively. The tangential force is acting along the blade’s velocity and, thus, pulling the blade around, and the normal force is acting radially, and, thus, is acting against the bearings. The lift and the drag force are useful when dealing with the aerodynamic behaviour around each blade, i.e. dynamic stall, boundary layer, etc; while when dealing with global performance, fatigue loads, etc., it is more convenient to have a normal-tangential frame. The lift and the drag coefficients are usually normalized by the dynamic pressure of the relative airflow, while the normal and the tangential coefficients are usually normalized by the dynamic pressure of undisturbed upstream fluid velocity.

  • zippyflounder says:

    OOOPPPPPPPsie ……check this out….”The Windstar 1066 turbine with a rated power of 50 kW. The turbine used 30 foot long blades of pulltruded fiberglass. The turbine’s rotor was 35.5 feet wide. Field testing demonstrated increased efficiency of the longer blades of that model and pointed to the potential to produce a cost-effective and efficient machine that does not employ “stators” (aerodynamically shaped columns on the outside superstructure that funnel a wider swept area of wind into the rotors to increase power output).”

    starkies unit has a blade size of 3′ or so, that would make ohhhhh about 5,000 watts MAX! Dont know about you folks but 5000 watts aint much when a toaster pulls 1500 watts all by its self.

  • Edgar says:

    Saw this at Milano :)

    • zippyflounder says:

      was it functioning? or just a place for birds to hang out on?

      • Edgar says:

        It was active; it was spinning and so but I really didn’t like it or even understood the real function… It was a big module, ugly. not very functional.

  • carl says:

    I think he has forgotten to plaster his name acress it in huge letters.. :)

    tomorrow will be less, yes i agree, less Starck..

    forget reputations, you are only as good as your last piece of design… so for phil, perhaps design is dead?

  • eric says:

    starck is a pitiful excuse for a designer…ridiculous

  • Solar Warrior says:

    You typically spend about $10,000 to get a home-sized wind generator, plus all the ancillary equipment, the 35′ pole so it’s high enough to get some wind, etc. Another $5K and you get the inverter (to stay hooked up to the grid and so you don’t need massive batteries) and the labor to hook it all up (and the certified electrician where required). And for all that you get a system that produces 1.8kW peak — in other words, that its max when the wind is blowing at 30+ mph. In most places (not right on an ocean shore), where the wind is averaging 6-10 mph, that standard wind generator might produce about 700-800W, or about 15-18kWh/day. That amount could certainly be 20-60% of a household’s usage (in my experience as a solar installer, typical American single family homes tend to range between 20 and 100 kWh/day). But the idea that you might get something that does the same thing as a $15,000 set up for less than a grand…?! If it sounds too good to be true (and especially if there’s no substantiating data being reported…)…

  • li lungto says:

    You typically spend about $10,000 to get a home-sized wind generator, plus all the ancillary equipment, the 35′ pole so it’s high enough to get some wind, etc. Another $5K and you get the inverter (to stay hooked up to the grid and so you don’t need massive batteries) and the labor to hook it all up (and the certified electrician where required). And for all that you get a system that produces 1.8kW peak — in other words, that its max when the wind is blowing at 30+ mph. In most places (not right on an ocean shore), where the wind is averaging 6-10 mph, that standard wind generator might produce about 700-800W, or about 15-18kWh/day. That amount could certainly be 20-60% of a household’s usage (in my experience as a solar installer, typical American single family homes tend to range between 20 and 100 kWh/day). But the idea that you might get something that does the same thing as a $15,000 set up for less than a grand…?! If it sounds too good to be true (and especially if there’s no substantiating data being reported…)…

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