Designers of a six-ft diameter turbine put permanent magnets at the tips of its blades and coils in a shroud for 95-lb unit that its developer says generates electricity in wind speeds from 2 to 40 mph. The design eliminates a gearbox, shafts, and traditional generator for an almost friction-free design. Homeowners will be able to buy the wind turbine and mount it on rooftops, attach it to chimneys, or put it on a pole. Developer WindTronics, Muskegon, Mich. says it will sell for $4,500 as the Honeywell Wind Turbine and distribute it through Ace Hardware stores in the U.S. starting October.
WindTronics calculates that the fan-like turbine can generate 2,000 kWh/year for a home with a Class 4 wind resource. The power figure is 15 to 20% of the annual electricity consumption for an average U.S. home.
The company says the turbine’s installed cost is about a third the cost of traditional turbines with a lower installed cost/kWh than any turbine on the market. What’s more, federal and state rebates cover from 30% to 100% of the overall cost. The unit comes with a computerized controller, inverter, and inter-connect switch to wire the system into a household panel.
All turbine functions are controlled by a computer connected to an anemometer, constantly reading wind speed and direction. The controller interacts with the turbine’s yaw motor, optimizing the turbine’s positioning, maximizing wind capture up to 40mph.
Editor’s note: An analysis
|Find your electric bill and then divided your monthly charge by the kilowatt-hours (kWh) used. In northern Ohio, electric power costs about $0.12/kWh.
Hence, the dollars spent on the turbine would purchase:
$4,500/$0.12/kWh = 37,500 kWh of power
If it generates 2,000 kWh/yr, then,
37,500 kWh/2,000 kWh/year = 18.75 years till a payback.
In areas where power cost $0.22/kWh
$4,500/$0.22/kWh = 20,454.54 kWh
20,454.54 kWh/2,000 kWh/yr = 10.22 years to payback.
Of course, if the wind is stronger, the payback will be shorter. And it might be shorter in any case with incentives from the Federal government and state agencies.
Filed Under: News, Turbines