Good news for homeowners and other small users who have a lot of wind in their area but have not trusted wind technology until now. Honeywell have launched a $5000 turbine that is far more effective than any other known technology and pulls a decent current from winds as mild as just TWO miles per hour. (Buy it here)
Individual wind power have never caught the mass market, because small turbines are noisy, inefficient, require maintenance and break down a lot. Most small turbines need strong winds to turn a heavy central generator which creates current — the generator is positioned at the blades’ center, which moves at one tenth the speed of the periphery. And less speed translates to less power.
Honeywell’s wheel-shaped WT6500 takes an entirely new approach.
Magnets mounted near the tips of its 20 blades sweep through an outer ring of copper coils to produce a current, making the entire wheel the generator. Because this arrangement traps energy from the fast-moving blade tips and eliminates the heavy central generator, the WT6500 can pull a current from winds as slow as two miles an hour (most home turbines need 8mph gusts). Better suited to home use than other turbine designs, the wheel is six feet in diameter, whisper-quiet, and can produce up to 1,500 kilowatt-hours of power per year—enough to replace about 15 percent of an average household’s energy bill. Depending on an area’s clean-energy incentives, the turbine can pay for itself in only a couple of years, though most owners will make back their investment in five to 10.
HOW IT WORKS – FROM POPULAR SCIENCE MAGAZINE
- A flap on either side of the wheel catches wind, which spins the turbine toward the gusts.
- The wind moves the turbine wheel, including its 20 blades.
- The blade tips contain rare-earth metal magnets. As they sweep through copper coils in the outer frame, they generate a DC current.
- An inverter [not shown] gathers the current. It can store the power in a battery or convert it to AC for immediate use.
Looks like the Chinese Rare Earth monopoly just got another boost!
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