As you might imagine, I have been deluged with PR pitches this week ahead of Earth Day (April 22), but this item from Windtronics caught my attention: the company is now shipping a small, gearless wind turbine that is capable of producing up to 1,500 kilowatt-hours annually. Perhaps it is the fact that the wind is gusting up to 31 miles per hour right now here at the top of my hill in northeastern New Jersey.
The product, named the Honeywell Wind Turbine, weighs about 185 pounds and measures six feet in diameter. It can be mounted either on a roof or on a pole; it can supply electricity directly to your home through an option called Non-Grid Tie, be connected to the grid through the Power One Aurora Grid Tie Inverter, or be connected to 12-, 24- or 48-volt batteries via a Direct DC option.
The technology is priced starting at $5,795 (without installation) and it can be bought through what Honeywell describes as an "ever-expanding" network of resellers, dealers and distributors, including both independent hardware stores and bigger companies such as Ace Hardware and True Value. Not Home Depot or Lowes or any of those discount-y type of hardware stores yet, sorry.
For those who care to know such things, the wind turbine can generate energy in wind conditions starting at two miles per hour, using a turbine design called the Blade Top Power System. You need a licensed electrical contractor to install one, because you'll need to think about things like:
- Location of the turbine on your property and mounting options
- Rebate programs that might apply in your state
- Service and warranty options
If you're thinking about whether wind technology is appropriate for your home or business, Windtronics suggests doing your homework on one of the microsites it has developed called Wind Knowledge. It's a pretty cool calculator that figures out whether wind is a good option for you personally, based on local conditions and utility rates.