Windspire, the Small Footprint Wind Turbine Alternative
One of the most frequent objections to wind turbines is that some consider them an eyesore, and they take up a lot of space. Enter Mariah Power, a Nevada company, with their innovative designs. The Windspire solves the large footprint problem with a propeller-free design capable of operating in most any terrain or environment.
Unlike the traditional propeller-style wind turbines, Vertical Axis Wind turbines, (VAWTs) consist of blades positioned vertically, which rotate around a vertically placed axis. These blades can be either curved or straight. The Windspire is a type of Giromill, a VAWT which uses straight-sided blades. Mariah Power researched the optimal airfoil configuration, developing the Windspire absent of self-starting problems normally associated with Giromill turbines.
Not only do Vertical Axis Wind Turbines offer the advantages of an exponentially smaller footprint than what we’re used to seeing, the heads don’t need to orient themselves with the changing wind directions. This vertical design readily harnesses wind energy from any angle. Though designed to be extremely quiet, the Windspire can handle winds up to 100 mph. They come equipped with a high efficiency generator, integrated inverter, hinged monopole and a wireless performance monitor. Windspire’s manufacturer provides a warranty is a generous 5-year warranty.
The 1.2 kW Windspire is rated to produce some 2000 kilowatt hours per year under wind speeds of approximately 12 miles per hour. The internal wireless modem (included) allows you to transmit power production information directly to your computer on a continuous basis, allowing you to check your power production. The 1.2 kW Windspire is available now for around $5,000including installation. A low wind version, an off-grid or battery-charging version , and a 3 kW version are each currently in development.
It’s easy to see that Windspires could easily supplant the awkward and space-hungry Horizontal wind turbine designs in closed spaces, allowing the everyman to have a commercial-level generator in his own back yard. This is amongst the many improvements in design which will lead us into energy independence. As we move towarads the promise of renewable, passive energy sources, companies like Mariah Power will most certainly pioneer the solutions of tomorrow.