New gearless wind turbine from WindTronics and Honeywell said to generate electricity at one-third the cost per kWh of any other wind turbine.
Unlike the more traditional geared systems found in both horizontal and vertical axis wind turbines, the new 2kW wind turbine from Honeywell uses a gearless blade tip system. A wind turbine that has no gears and no hub is lighter, quieter, has fewer moving parts, and is arguably more suited for rooftop applications than those that do.
The fan-like Honewywell WT6500 wind turbine can generate about 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually for a home with a strong wind resource; and up to 2,700 kWh for a location with a strong (class 4) wind resource. Depending on wind speed and energy use, a single unit can be expected to generate up to 20 percent of the annual electricity for the average American home.
Including tax and installation, the entire cost of the turbine will range from about $7,000 to $8,000, which isn't exactly cheap for a turbine of its size. Or is it?
With a federal small wind tax credit of $2,000 for a 2 kW wind turbine, plus other state and local incentives, the total price of the WT6500 is quite reasonable, especially if it lives up to its billing as a low-wind rock star. And if you're fortunate enough to be able to combine this with the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit you could be looking at up to $10,000 in tax incentives.
But what sets the Honeywell Wind Turbine apart from others of similar size is that it starts spinning at winds of just 1 mph and generating electricity at 2 mph; generating power in low wind conditions, when others do not.
In fact, Michigan-based WindTronics say it generates electricity at one-third the cost per kWh of any other wind turbine (in both class and size).
A gearless turbine harnesses energy from the tips of the turbine blades, where they are moving the fastest. The low-vibrational impact of the gearless wind turbine means that the 95-pound, 6-foot diameter unit can be mounted on a pole, a rooftop, or even attached to a chimney -- although I'd want someone else to test that last one before I'd try it.
According to CNET, Windtronics has big plans to make small wind a more viable option for the general public. And with the company expecting to produce an estimated 50,000 units in its first year, they might just be able to do that.
Background sources: Jetson Green; CNET
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