Using big things to create electricity is generally good – but not always. Big things tend to be inefficient, hard to handle and to install. Wind turbines are just the case of this example – if they are too big, they are too noisy and insensitive to slow winds – that leads to inefficiency in all related aspects.
Still, there are inventors and wind turbine manufacturers that focus on this very niche: low-speed wind turbines. One such small wind turbine maker is WindTronics, who sold a small wind turbine patent to Honeywell, that is specialized in making building systems. Windtronics’ wind turbine operates in winds with speeds as low as 2 mph, and produce 2,000 kWh in a year if placed in a nicely-winded area (a class 4 wind resource), saving homeowners about 15 to 20 percent electricity expenses.
“We say if a turbine only works between 8 and 25 miles per hour, you have a very limited range of operation,” said Brian Levine, the vice president of business development at WindTronics, a division of EarthTronics. “Our device is rated to address a wider range at the low and high end.”
The secret to this efficiency is the turbine’s shape: it has a patented blades system that have magnets on their tips. Instead of using gearboxes like bigger sisters do, this small wind turbine produces direct current at very low wind speeds.
The 6 feet in diameter turbine also has a small operating noise, between 35 and 45 dB, lower than an average conversation and that makes it usable on private home rooftops, not only high buildings.
The price of Windtronics’ small wind turbine will be $4,500, and you’ll be able to purchase it from Ace Hardware stores in the U.S. starting October. It all depends on how much electricity you are consuming, for recovering the initial investment. I guess this turbine also has to be protected against theft, high winds (btw, it has a self-protection system that flips it sideways when wind speeds are higher than 45mph), and other factors, including thunderstorms.
It remains to be calculated the overall green contribution of this wind turbine and if the pollution produced during its making won’t outbalance the green electricity it makes. Knowing Honeywell’s overseas outsourcing habits, I wouldn’t be surprized of a negative balance. But, hey… still, let’s be optimistic!
More like this article
Not what you were looking for? Search The Green Optimistic!
Join the Discussion4043 total comments so far. What's your opinion ?
Howdy! Quick question that's completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I'm trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!
To the person from Volt-Air Electric - I might be able to assist you in the installation training; however, you didn't leave any contact information. Please feel free to phone me at 503.808.9003 to get further information on installation training of the Honeywell Wind Turbine.Thank you!
We are a Mechanical Contractor located in the Windsor area. We would like to become involved in distribution, sales, service and installation of your Honeywell wind turbines. Volt-Air has been in business for over 50 years developing our expertise and are anxious to evolve into new green technologies. we are ready both in manpower, equipment, and have the capacity on our premises to start at the earliest opportunity. We are familiar with the Management Team at the Windsor location, namingly Dave Fraise and Kevin Adams. We are currently doing service work at the Sprucewood location.
I would like to be part of the distibution or sales of the wind turbine. I live in Salt Lake City but am willing to relocate. Could you call me at 801 541 9907. I was raised in Alberta and have interests in Alaska. I understand Brian Levine is part of the marketing of this product and would appreciate a call from him if posible. thanks.