For a designer to achieve environmental integration they must first understand these technological systems and devices to properly integrate them into a design. For this reason I feel that it is necessary for me to study the devices that I wish to integrate into this thesis. Wind energy is an area of interest, so I will construct and study a wind turbine device and all of its components to understand how it works. This process will provide the understanding needed to integrate it into a design. My goal is to build a residential wind turbine small enough in scale to mount on the roof of a house.
Source: Theo Jansen
The prop is made with chloroplast blades that are mounted to an aluminum shaft. The prop is designed to rotate in a counter clockwise direction because of the required rotation of the generator. All bolts must have Locktight on the threads or lock nuts to prevent connections from coming apart which can occur when joints are frequently in motion.
To transfer the rotation of the prop to the generator, a pulley runs along two sheaves of a different diameter to result in a 4:1 ration. This ratio makes the generator spin at a higher revolution per minute (rpm) than the prop. Ball bearings are pressed on to the top and bottom of the rotor axle to minimize friction. These bearings must press into a steel sleeve and the axle must not have any play inside the bearing. Every piece is designed to be easily assembled and disassembled, and it is capable of packing down to a space 8” tall by 42” wide by 72” long.
I spent over 70 days in a fabrication shop measuring, cutting, welding, and grinding the steel frame to finish the full scale working prototype.
After the prototype was complete, I moved it outside of the shop, and it immediately whirled to life. To my surprise, it worked incredibly well, even at low wind speeds.
Advancement in this field requires the knowledge of engineering, software programming, material science, physics, and robotics. This complexity requires the collaboration of a team of participants from many fields of knowledge. Because of the difficulty of creating such a team, architecture has yet to push itself in this direction, but this spurring is what is necessary to discover this iceberg of development. Design analysis integration promotes the design process through a team of analysis experts which generates specific design analysis requests, leading to the assistance and input of the team (Augenbroe, Malkawi, & Wilde, 2004).
The result of a collaboration of knowledge in multiple fields could expand the possibilities for architectural design and result in an outcome that is wholly integrated as a machine for optimal performance.