An attractive and quiet wind turbine is only 30-ft tall, 4-ft wide, and distinguished by a propeller-free design. The Windspire, a vertical axis design from Mariah Power, Reno, Nevada, generates power which is converted to alternating current to power a home grid.
The turbine was designed from the ground up as a complete system to maximize electrical and mechanical efficiency and to minimize system cost. Patented technology includes a high-efficiency generator, integrated inverter, hinged monopole, and wireless performance monitor. The 1.2-kW unit can produce about 2,000 kWh per year in 12 mph average winds. The turbine includes wireless monitoring software so users can check power production in real time.
Starting at $6,500 for the complete system (without installation) the Windspire is said to be priced lower than comparable wind turbines and other alternative energy options. The price includes poles, inverter, wireless performance monitor, and the hinged monopole. There are no expensive extras to buy. After deducting a 30% federal tax credit (available in the U.S.), and local rebates in some areas, a net cost is even lower. An average payback is less than 10 years.
Rugged yet simple construction means durability and low maintenance. Developers say the Windspire wind turbine will operate for 20 years or more. It is made with durable, corrosion-protected steel and aircraft grade aluminum, oversized bearings, and a simple mechanical structure. It is rated to withstand winds up to 105 mph, snow, and ice.
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