(Master project TU Delft, in cooperation with EvenDimmen, INBAR, Bosman Watermanagement and INHolland ComposietenLab Delft)
Bamboo is a versatile material with very good mechanical properties. Bamboo has been used for thousands of years as building material and for craft products. The income of tribal craftsmen in India from weaving bamboo products, is decreasing because of the competition from cheaper materials. The products (mainly baskets) that they currently make from bamboo slivers are of a relatively low value. It is a challenge to find new and high value applications of handwoven bamboo.
Wings for a simple windmill are such an application. The steel wings of the Bosman windmill - of which the original design dates from 1929 - are replaced by bamboo wings, being lighter in weight and several times cheaper. The bamboo wings improve the efficiency of the windmill and lowers the cost price. Besides that, it gives this renewable energy generator even more a green image!
The wings can be produced by tribal craftsmen in India, using a hand lay-up moulding production technique. The wings are currently in testing phase in the Netherlands.
The project has been featured on many blogs, newspapers and magazines, including Treehugger and Inhabitat.
High resolution pictures of the bamboo wings can be downloaded here.