Windancer wind turbine

Lead Designer
Prize(s)1st Place in Sustainable Living/environmental Preservation / Alternative Energy Source Equipment
Entry Description

The Windancer Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine (3kW, 7kW and 23 kW)


Sharolyn Vettese and Dr. Alfred Mathieu
Wind Simplicity Inc
642 Sheppard Avenue East
Suite 617
North York ON
M2K 2B9 Canada
Tel: 1 416 227 9463
Toll Free: 1 877 335 9463

Wind Simplicity™ was founded in 2004 in Toronto, Canada by Sharolyn Vettese and her father, Dr. Alfred Mathieu.

Wind Simplicity’s Aim
Our team wanted to design a compact wind turbine to maximise the use of pollution-free, cost-free wind energy for the generation of electricity. We wanted wind power to be generated close to the point of use, which we think is the most effective mode of power generation.

There are significant environmental, security, political, cultural, economic and social advantages to a decentralized power supply. By having smaller wind turbines closer to electricity users, electricity loss due to transmission over long distances is reduced because generated renewable electricity is used first onsite. Greenpeace estimates 67% of primary energy input is wasted in the current global centralized power model and maintains that decentralizing is the best way to halve global CO2 emissions form power generation. With the Windancer, there is the added benefit of pollution-free electricity generation and the reduction of land use for generators because buildings like high rises can be used as towers or towers can be mounted near buildings.

We looked to the beauty and efficiency of nature (the maple leaf, the whale and the eagle) to solve the problems traditionally associated with wind turbines (including noise, vibration, size and aesthetics) to design a more compact, more efficient, safer horizontal wind turbine for all seasons adaptable to anyone, anywhere there are good wind resources and a good site, enabling them to become Consumer/Producers.™

Because the wind is variable, the Windancer had to respond immediately to the changing direction and speed of the wind via a direct drive, permanent magnet (radial flux) variable speed AC synchronous alternator.

The Windancer had to be an elegant, attractive wind turbine for all seasons that respects nature, is lightweight, noise- and vibration-free, safe for humans and nature including birds and bats, low maintenance, durable and suitable for a lower tower. The Windancer had to be suitable for connection to the electricity grid for net metering and/or stand-alone use/connection to a battery.
It had to be purely mechanical and long-lasting - a machine that could be easily repaired onsite by trained local people that was reconditionable without built-in obsolescence and made of recyclable material and heavy-duty top-quality parts.

The Windancer
Wind Simplicity's high-efficiency, compact, noise-free (3 kW, 7 kW, 23 kW) Windancer horizontal-axis wind turbine has a small footprint (refer to Specifications attachment). Designed to generate electricity close to users, it is compact yet highly efficient, minimizing loss of renewably-generated electricity due to transmission over long distances and land use. The WIndancer is ideal for urban, rural, remote-community and commercial/industrial use, it works effectively in variable low/high winds, turbulence, hail, ice, snow. It can be on- or off- grid, battery-connected, has unique safety features and its overall design is more visible to birds.

Innovative Design
The Windancer has 8 unique balanced “Samara” wind blades, inspired by the efficiency of the Canadian maple leaf’s winged seed, on 2 rotors, increasing blade surface area/wind efficiency. There are 4 Samara blades per rotor. The blades turn as one unit on the shaft that is turned by the direct-drive permanent magnet alternator. The Windancer’s unique, larger wind tail, inspired by the whale, ensures its wind blades always face the wind. It responds immediately to the wind’s changing direction. The Windancer’s design maximises electricity generation in low/high winds and minimizes turbulence. The new guiding principle is that the wind is the engine. The Windancer does not “harness” but "responds" to the wind as a dance partner eliminating conflict with nature and noise/vibration, making it safe and friendly to humans, animals and structures (the Windancer can be mounted on a variety of different types of engineered towers without guy wires – please refer to specifications attachment).

The Windancer’s features enable a smaller footprint and negligible noise and vibration so it can generate electricity closer to electricity users, facilitating municipal requirements.

The Windancer is self-starting in a 1m/s breeze (2 m/s for the Windancer23), without requiring electricity to start (compared to 3-m/s for average turbine). Low start-up enables it to perform in Canadian winter conditions (snow, ice, hail). Anodized aluminium blades ensure Windancer won’t rust near sea/salt for melting snow. Aluminium is lower maintenance than fiberglass, requiring less cleaning because it is non-pitting.

The Windancer’s innovative safety features include a permanent/stationary lightning arrestor at highest tip because putting lightning wires in the blades may interfere with TV/radio/computer signals and lightning may pass in-between blades and destroy the generator.
The tower can be lowered in advance of severe storms. Other safety features include:
• Automatic high-wind velocity control, adjustable
• Remotely controlled electric emergency brake
at low rpm
• Windblades lockout control on wind turbine
• Yaw (east-west) lockout control on wind turbine
• Windtail cabled to body
• CSA, or equivalent, approved
• Furling U on windtail for manually rotating wind
turbine out of wind
• Lanyard Contacts (3) for installers

The Windancer’s salient, balanced biomorphic design and human scale make a striking environmental statement connecting the community to the environment. The Windancer’s aesthetic can be democratized - it can be painted different colors/designs for environmental branding by corporations and to facilitate community participation, acceptance and ownership by organizations such as schools and churches. Color customization also facilitates visibility to birds.

Because it’s high-efficiency, compact, lightweight with negligible noise/vibration the Windancer is easily adaptable to urban, rural, industrial, commercial, remote-community use. It’s low maintenance, easy to repair (direct drive, no gears, transmissions, computer parts), made of high-quality parts, has a low start-up speed and is self-starting (requires no electricity to start). The Windancer can be used on/off-grid and/or with a battery. The easily portable Windancer can be installed without cranes (3 kW/7 kW) and mounted on a variety of lower engineered towers without guy wires (free-standing or attached to buildings). A turbine for all seasons, it was designed to operate effectively in ice, hail, snow. Its anodized aluminium blades don’t rust. Other uses include heat exchange, water heating/pumping/purification and mechanical applications. It’s durable, reconditionable and recyclable (aluminium blades, steel body).

Manufacture and delivery
The Windancer is manufactured in Ontario, Canada using a top-of-the-range Alxion permanent magnet radial flux brushless alternator. Mostly off-the-shelf parts are used wherever possible to facilitate production and reduce consumer maintenance costs. The Windancer's modular design facilitates the production of larger models up to 80 kW. Made from anodized aluminum and steel, the Windancer can be recycled at the end if its life.

The Windancer is delivered to consumers in three parts and easily assembled onsite. The Windancer3 and Windancer7 are deliverable on a pick-up truck and do not require large flatbed trucks and large cranes, minimizing the impact of these vehicles on the environment. The Windancer can be installed without the need for cranes because it is compact.

The Windancer's ability to be assembled in three parts facilitates transport overseas as its mass/volume can be less than if transported as one unit. In line with green principles, the towers needed to mount the Windancer can be manufactured locally and local trades people can be employed to install and maintain the units.


The main function of the Windancer is to generate electricity from a renewable electricity source, the wind, which is potentially available 24/7, 365 days a year. The Windancer reduces pollution because it reduces the need for energy made from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, which not only pollute but can use up precious water resources. The Windancer does not need electricity to start and there are no emissions or noise pollution from the Windancer while it is operating.

With a small footprint the Windancer is highly efficient yet compact/lightweight for its kW output and designed to be close to the electricity user, minimizing electricity loss because it does not need to be transmitted over long distances and land use.

Purely mechanical (direct drive with no gears or transmissions) and made of top-of-the-range parts the Windancer is built to last, it can be easily repaired, reconditioned and recycled. The multiple blade-design of the Windancer is more visible to birds and bats. With a design inspired by nature’s beauty and efficiency, the Windancer makes a highly visible environmental statement raising awareness of renewable energy via its interaction with the wind, thus connecting the community to the environment.

Summary of Windancer benefits

The Windancer generates more renewable electricity:

-sooner with the lowest start-up speed 1m/s (2m/s Windancer23) self-starting

-at lower wind speeds/more often, including in summer, which adds up over time

-at higher wind speeds

-potentially 24/7/365 with fearless operation in all Canadian weather (ice, hail, snow)

-direct-drive, immediate wind response is more effective than a machine with gears and transmissions

-superior horizontal-axis technology with negligible noise and vibration (more efficient than vertical-axis wind turbines)

Increases property value with a quality, engineered Windancer and tower installation

Maximses green-energy visibility to connect community to the environment

-attractive, multi-award-winning design

-colours can be customized (environmental branding etc)

Saves more money on maintenance/installation costs:

-ideal for lower towers without guy wires

-no crane required in most cases (compact, lightweight, strong)

-built to last with top-of-the-range parts

Alxion brushless permanent magnet (radial flux) direct-drive alternator

-no hidden costs once installed

-no high-maintenance computerized parts


-portable asset (compact, lightweight, strong)

-ideal for retrofitting/new construction

-on/off-grid use

Peace of mind
-negligible noise and vibration

-max. safety features include permanent stationary lightning arrestor at highest tip

-CSA or equivalent approved (Canada)

-higher visibility to birds and bats

-won’t interfere with TV radio signals

-local on-tower servicing

-designed and manufactured in Canada

-built to last

-provides more independence in a power outage including protection of property, perishables, productivity and lifestyle (purchase of a battery optional)

- pollution-free electricity onsite

-turn-key installation available

-help preserve the planet

Wind Simplicity has grown from 2 to 6 employees and our high-efficiency, compact, noise-free horizontal wind turbine, the Windancer™, has attracted media attention for its unique biomorphic, direct-drive design, inspired by nature, that uses the wind as the engine. We are glad that several independent panels of experts agree on the merits of our technology.

Gold Design Exchange Award in Engineering
In 2007, an independent jury of leading business executives, designers and community leaders awarded the Windancer™ a gold award for design excellence in the Canadian Design Exchange Awards Engineering category for excellence in innovation, function, aesthetics, accessibility, sustainability and profitability.

Green Dot Award
In 2008 Wind Simplicity won a 1st Place Green Dot Award that rewards and promotes forward-thinking businesses that create environmentally friendly products/services, and that rewards revolutionary green proposals. The GDA aims to bridge the gap between truly innovative businesses that practice excellence in environmental responsibility and international consumers and media.

National Energy Globe Award
In 2009 Wind Simplicity was awarded a prestigious National Energy Globe Award for Canada for outstanding achievements in sustainability. Wind Simplicity’s Windancer was selected from 769 projects submitted from 111 nations to win an award. The Energy Globe Awards are likely the world’s most high-profile environmental prize. The Windancer was acknowledged by the Award’s independent renewable energy panel for excellence in environmental protection and energy efficiency.

Finalist CME Regional Innovation Award for New Technology (NRC IRAP) 2009
The 2009 Regional Award for New Technology recognizes innovative excellence in the development and application of new process manufacturing technologies in Canada.

Please refer to our web site for additional information about Wind Simplicity.


Father-daughter team Dr. Alfred Mathieu and Sharolyn Vettese, combined their skills and knowledge to develop the Windancer’s unique features. Skilled in Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mathieu grew up around windmills. Ms Vettese environmental activist, avid eco gardener and poet, developed an understanding of wind mechanics in her involvement in the development of Toronto’s North York Centre, an urban wind corridor. A chance encounter with a falling Samara seed from the Maple tree was her inspiration for the blades. Ms. Vettese and Dr. Mathieu also drew on the whale and hawk for design inspiration.

Sharolyn Vettese, BA, Wind Simplicity CEO & Inventor:
Sharolyn is a graduate of McMaster University in Psychology and a dedicated environmentalist who has been a Canadian provincial and a federal candidate. She was the volunteer Co-Chair of the Yonge Street Area Ratepayer Associations in Toronto. In this role, which she held for 12 years, Sharolyn became knowledgeable about the wind shear that was created by the new North York Centre high rises. Sharolyn has several patents-pending.

Alfred Mathieu, PhD, Wind Simplicity President & Inventor:
Alfred is a WW II 5 year veteran, European theater, who obtained his B Sc and M Sc from the University of Alberta and majored in Mechanical Engineering. He received his PhD in Agriculture (Clay Mineralogy) from the University of Saskatchewan while working as a Research Officer with the National Research Council of Canada.
Alfred was appointed Advisor to developing countries by FAO of United Nations, and became a Director of the United Nations. He was Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Cameroon in Yaounde. He has extensive experience in the development and management of large United Nations projects in Africa and the Middle East and participated, as a Consultant, in numerous missions for organizations including FAO, UNESCO, WHO, ILO, African Bank. Alfred has numerous patents-pending.

Awards and Prize