Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wind Turbine in a Box


"wind turbine in a box"

Loosely adapted from a press release

Looks like a big cooling fan doesn’t it? – the type of thing you might see on a film set. Looks a bit silly - actually! In fact, it is a really high tech “off-the-shelf” wind turbine. It is only 36 inches or just under 1 meter in diameter. It will be sold over the counter in a box and it has a forecast retail price of US$2000 or less. The developers hope maybe it will sell under the $2000 €1300 mark.

The micro turbine has no gearbox and therefore it has low friction allowing it to start generating power in very low winds of only 3 miles per hour. They also claim that the thing has no upper wind speed restrictions – still generating in a hurricane!!!

The 36” model will have a nominal output of 200 watts. I wonder if it uses the same type annular generator that I wrote about in my posts on Enercon?

The turbine has been developed at Grand Valley State University’s “Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center” MAREC, in Muskegon. It is the first in a series of micro turbines which could revolutionize home and commercial power generation.

If they turn out to do what “it says on the box”, you could screw three or four of them onto a back wall and provide a good deal, if not all, of the home power needs!!

The turbine was invented by Imad Mahawili, MAREC’s executive director. Mr. Mahawili’s company, E-net LLC, has licensed the technology to EarthTronics, a manufacturer of energy efficient lighting.

They say: Testing of the product has already started and additional prototypes and pre-production will be completed immediately. Once the final testing is complete EarthTronics plans to debut the first working model at several conventions in September. EarthTronics plans to be in production with product available to the retail markets by first quarter 2009.

The company expect to sell hundreds of thousands of these little whirlygigs. The company are holding tough on releasing any specific details of the "wind turbine in a box". They are not saying exactly what the thing is made of how it works or much else, other than it is a gearless design.

The third world is seen as a major market for this design where there are some 1.6 Billion people without access to power grids.

Again the principle of "WAS" needs to be firmly applied to this announcement.


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