The Whirlydoodle Project
What’s A Whirlydoodle?
A small, hand assembled microelectric wind turbine. The LED colors on the Whirlydoodle’s blade is entirely powered by ambient breezes. The color and intensity of the lights vary with wind speed.
What’s The Whirlydoodle Project?
It’s an idea for using Whirlydoodles to increase awareness and acceptance of wind energy by creating a public art installation that is beautiful and inspiring. I believe Whirlydoodles, which are wind-responsive, can help people to visualize the link between wind and energy and to perceive natural rhythms in the environment. Right now, it’s just a few Whirlydoodles around town to test them in an urban environment. I would love to hear your ideas and comments.
Who’s Behind It?
At this point, just me, Ann Arbor inventor Timothy Jones. The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, through the active support of their Energy Programs Director, Dave Konkle, has assisted me in placing installations in the downtown area. Our first goal is to place some Whirlydoodles around town to see if they generate interest, questions, and hopefully smiles.
What Might An Art Installation Look Like?
A thousand or more Whirlydoodles would be placed in an evenly-spaced array on a hill or across a rolling landscape. Visitors would observe the entire site from a vantage point and be able to walk among the windmills. An evening breeze would cause waves and dashes of red to move across the field while stronger winds would cause green, blue and red colors to sweep and blend across the landscape. This landscape art project would be the highest concentration of wind electric generators in the world.
What’s the next step? Establish different arrangements of multiple Whirlydoodles to get a better idea of the visual effects that can be produced and the impact of high urban light levels. The flower power patch in a park idea would test a small array of Whirlydoodles in a park or other area with low ambient lighting. The Whirlydoodle tree idea involves ten or more Whirlydoodles around and up a light pole to create colors in three dimensions. The short line of Whirlydoodles along Washington Street gives some impression of how one line in small large array of Whirlydoodles would react to the wind.
Your Great Idea Here – Hey, I’m just an inventor, not a visual artist, so your idea about how to create a compelling visual display using Whirlydoodles is essential. Since the Whirlydoodle changes in color and intensity with wind speed, it provides an opportunity to create a striking visual representation of this plentiful source of energy.
So How Do I Get Involved?
If you think this project is a good idea, let the City of Ann Arbor know by responding to the quick, one-question survey below. You can also contact me if you would like to get involved by creating a proposal for the installation. Visit the site www.whirlydoodle.com on a non-mobile device for a more visual experience and to leave comments on the Whirlydoodle blog. And here’s a link to more info about the Whirlydoodle. Thanks for being curious about the Whirlydoodle! – Tim Jones