dune hopper


An airfoil is moved by the wind, it goes up and down like birds that start to fly, but do not succeed. It seems clumsy, but trying over and over again arouses compassion. Man can recognize himself and his irresistible urge to fly. It can be compared to children that are jumping, a fraction of a second they linger in the air and then come down again, jump up and come down again, jump up and come down again.

The wind speed, or wind force determines part of the object’s character. At low wind speeds, the profile will rise and fall almost gracefully and can be associated with a seagull planning into the wind. At higher speeds, the profile may give a funny impression and almost happily hop up and down. At high speeds, it becomes pitiful and you literally see a maddened creature.

The dune hopper is a work of art that converts wind into usable energy. The concept is based on lift force. Lift force is what makes an aircraft fly. It is a reaction force to the deflection of the wind. Bringing a wing into the wind at different angles causes an alternating play of upward and downward forces. With that, you can drive a mechanism and have a ‘windmill’.

The dune hopper demonstrates a physical principle that is difficult to grasp. The viewer will marvel at how this object can move. Its dipping motion and spinning around its axis poetically show the possibilities of wind.

Many applications are conceivable: the dune hopper can pump water for a small fountain. This can be used to play with, but also to rinse someone’s feet when coming from the beach. When the wind turbine drives an air pump, one or more compression vessels can be filled and kept under pressure. With these, beachgoers can inflate their beach balls, air mattresses and inflatable boats. Even cyclists can inflate their tyres there. A bouncy castle is also an option.

description: A wing section is placed on a mechanism. the flywheel causes the wing to be pulled through its dead centre. The whole rotates like a wind vane around a vertical axis, so the wing always turns in the wind. about eight dune hoppers are placed in a row in the dune. they are not interconnected, so each windmill moves at its own pace. 

location: the dunes near Callantsoog
client: Kunst & Cultuur Noord Holland and St. Innovatief Zijpe
in development

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