Not all wind turbines are megawatt units. Two designs from HelixWind, San Diego, are said to work in low-wind speeds common around residential areas and small commercial businesses. The developer says its Savonius-turbine design (a vertical axis windmill) catches wind from all directions creating smooth torque to spin an electric generator. Mounted up to 35-ft up, the company says the Helix system creates electricity in winds as low as 10 mph to power a home or business.
The S594 is a commercial scale system for applications on medium to large buildings. Long helical blade scoops, 16-ft high by 4-ft diameter, use a single-pole support for the top bearing. A direct-drive permanent-magnet generator reaches rated power at 200 RPM. Power goes through a grid-tie inverter for use onsite and back into the utility grid for net metering. The company says its design life is 30 years. The table lists a few more specs.
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