Posts Tagged ‘home wind turbine’
» posted on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 at 10:41 am by Woody Wilson viewed 394 times
A Canadian-made turbine designed to fit on roofs and help power homes and small businesses will go on sale in December.
It is being manufactured at a new factory in Windsor, Ont.
Reg Adams, president of manufacturer WindTronics, told CBC News the turbines will appeal to commercial and agricultural operations, as well as homeowners who are environmentally conscious, or need emergency backup power.
“We are complete emergency home standby systems,” he said in an interview. “It’s like the replacement of a home standby generator. We can build a battery support, and if the power outage is because of a storm, it will have wind. If not, we have charged batteries.”
Each turbine comes with a computerized smart box and inverter that will allow the unit to feed directly into the ac power system of a home or business, or feed the energy back into the electricity grid.
‘The Honeywell turbine makes wind technology affordable and accessible.’—Reg Adams, WindTronics
The design is intended to maximize power output while minimizing noise and vibration. The unit differs from industrial wind turbines in that it looks more like a fan than windmill and generates power through the tips of the blades rather than turning a generator.
“The Honeywell turbine makes wind technology affordable and accessible to the vast majority of Canadian homeowners, who have great wind resources,” said Adams.
24 years to payback
When its installed in an area with high winds, the turbine can produce up to 2,700 kilowatt hours a year. Based on Ontario’s peak power rate of 9.9 cents per kWh, a turbine could save $272 in power costs each year.
However, at a cost of $6,500, with an additional $3,000 for installation, it would take 24 years for it to pay for itself.
Adams says the company is currently negotiating with the Ontario government to have the turbines included in the Feed-in Tariff Program, which pays a premium for green-power energy.
He said if the Ontario government agrees to pay 50 to 55 cents per kilowatt-hour, it will make the turbines far more appealing to everyday homeowners.
If Ontario residents were able to feed power back into the grid under such an arrangement, the turbine would earn about $1,500 per year and be paid for in 4½ years.
The turbines will be sold at Home Depot and other major retailers across Canada.
» posted on Friday, June 4th, 2010 at 1:48 am by Woody Wilson viewed 584 times
01 June 2010
Amid the recent economic downturn, demand in the U.S. is rising for small wind turbines to power people’s homes. The American Wind Energy Association says sales of such turbines rose 15 percent in 2009. One man in Florida is generating his own power in order to cut his electricity bills.
A wind turbine sits on top of a small hill, and generates electricity for a nearby home.
Jim Dotson says he had the turbine installed last year and it is saving his family money.
“We figured out that we could about cut our electric bill in half, and that’s what we’ve done pretty consistently,” he said.
Dotson uses his computer to monitor the amount of electricity his turbine is generating.
He says sometimes it generates more power than he needs. He then sells the excess electricity to his local power company.
“Especially in the economic times that we’re in right now, any time you can be more self-sufficient, it’s a good thing,” he noted.
But Dotson lives in Florida, a state with very few wind-power installations compared to other parts of the country.
Frank Leslie, an adjunct professor with the Department of Marine and Environmental Systems at the Florida Institute of Technology, says scientists often view Florida as not windy enough to make turbines viable.
“The winds are very low. The southeast is not really blessed with high winds that one can extract energy from,” Leslie explained.
And the cost of installing a small turbine is high – up to $22,000.
“While the wind is free, the conversion of wind power into electrical power costs money,” he noted.
Leslie says Florida has a breezy coastline, but many parts are usually calm.
California, Texas and Iowa have the largest wind power generating capacity in the United States. This wind farm near San Francisco is one of the largest in the world with more than 4,000 turbines.
The U.S. government says wind only produces about two percent of America’s electricity demand, compared to 25 percent in Denmark and eight percent in Germany and Spain.
Still, Jim Dotson says he is confident he can continue to power his Florida home by harnessing the wind.
And he says he is even raising money to pay for a wind turbine to power a school in the west African nation of Burkina Faso.
What’s a wind turbine?
“Generally, a lot of people don’t understand how these systems work. There is some misconception,” said Casey Panichi, co-owner of Monarch Renewable Energy in Elgin.
“The first thing people want to know is the price,” Panichi said. “People are interested in how long the system takes to pay them back. People are curious if their county or municipality will allow a wind turbine. Zoning is a critical issue in our area. They want to know the required maintenance.”
The base price is $15,000 to $20,0000, depending on the rebates available, he said. It takes 10 to 15 years to pay off, he said.
Small wind turbines are not like the large kind that dot nearby counties such as DeKalb and Lee or the kind proposed for Lake Michigan near Evanston. Those are wind farms, he said.
The kind used in residential ares have blades about 12 feet in diameter and stand as tall as a flag pole, about 30 feet, he said.
“It can generate enough power for 25 to 40 percent of an average home’s usage,” Panichi said. “There are a lot of variables. Wind is (obviously) a variable. It accounts for the range you have. You have to have a good site — (an) unobstructed site for wind.”
Wind turbines’ blades capture kinetic energy from the wind, turning it into electric energy through a transmitter, Panichi said. An inverter converts the energy into utility-grade electricity, he said. Homes remain connected to the utility company’s grid, so when the wind turbine is not operating, standard electricity can still be used, he said.
If the turbine produces excess electricity, the utility company can provide a credit to the homeowner but will not pay the homeowner for any electricity, Panichi said.
– Gloria Carr
» posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 3:37 pm by Woody Wilson viewed 344 times
ELGIN — The display at Randall and Binnie roads north of here features the top of a wind turbine with a sign to call a guy named Joe for more details about renewable energy.
If you call Joe Galvin, he’ll explain the concept behind the buzz words “renewable energy” or “wind energy.”
Galvin, an agent with Monarch Renewable Energy, put up the display a few months ago to generate sales leads and pique interest among the roughly 45,000 motorists who use Randall Road daily. His idea has worked. Galvin has been receiving lots of phone calls.
“We get a lot of phone calls every day,” he said. “People are kind of curious. We have people interested in buying, but we get people asking what is that thing.”
Monarch, based in Elgin, is bringing small wind turbines to a new market — residential use — co-owner Casey Panichi said. Panichi had one built as a demonstration at his home near Campton Hills last fall, when the company announced it was broadening its portfolio of products and services to offer wind power options geared toward smaller residential use and larger commercial applications.
Wind energy is a topic of conversation everywhere, with federal tax credits encouraging the technology. Last week, Evanston officials announced an idea to put wind turbines in Lake Michigan. Late last year, a wind farm opened in DeKalb and Lee counties, causing consternation among neighbors. And local school districts such as Community Unit School District 300 are looking to invest in wind energy.
Elgin, coincidentally, is becoming the site of a cottage industry of sorts for wind energy. Monarch and the largest manufacture of wind turbines — Winergy Drive Systems Corp., a subsidiary of Siemens Drive Technologies — are headquartered here.
The problem is that Elgin, like a lot of communities, doesn’t have an ordinance allowing wind turbines, either residential or commercial. That’s about to change, and supporters of the wind energy hope it will open the door to a greener city.
Monarch is an authorized dealer and installer for the Skystream 3.7 “grid-connected” wind turbine for commercial and residential use. The company’s customer base ranges from residential and agriculture to estate homes and nonprofits, Panichi said. It is installing several of those wind turbines for D300′s Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville. Monarch also is planning to expand to provide thermal solar technology and energy-efficient lighting systems.Panichi and his business partner, Scott Crompton, started the business a year and a half ago. Since then, there’s been a growing interest in small wind turbines.
What has helped fuel the interest is the deals on small wind turbines, Panichi said. President Barack Obama’s administration is focused on encouraging renewable energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and last year it lifted a $2,000 cap on a tax credit. The 30 percent tax credit from the federal government and a 30 percent rebate from the Illinois Commerce Commission both go toward the purchase of a small wind turbine, he said.
Panichi’s company fields calls from people with questions ranging from what is a small wind turbine to the cost — between $15,000 and $20,000 — and how long it takes to recoup the initial investment.
Galvin has been surprised at how well-received the idea has been, even the cost, he said. The tax credit and rebate help, he said.
“No one says that’s absolutely insane,” he said. “It’s all about savings, I think more people are trying to save money as it relates to not being reliant on the electrical-supplying entities in the area.”
The market in small, residential wind turbines is relatively new — so new that some governmental entities don’t have zoning ordinances addressing the installation of the units. That’s changing, however. Kane County is considering an ordinance to regulate the use of turbines for residential, non-commercial use. It would require homeowners have at least two acres of land to install small wind turbines or a single turbine up to 76 feet tall on their property. The board is expecting to have a draft ordinance by June.
The city of Elgin is working on an ordinance covering commercial wind turbines, Monarch is working with the city on the draft, he said. The ordinance should be helpful and may be the first step toward an ordinance dealing with residential uses, he said.
“There were a lot of things I never thought about that you need to look at,” Elgin Councilman David Kaptain said. He is a member of the city’s Sustainable Master Plan committee, which is working to amend or introduce new ordinances that would make Elgin greener.An example of a potential problem: shadow flicker. This is when a turbine spins and momentarily blocks the sun, causing an irritating flicker, he said. Another issue is having enough acreage for a small wind turbine, he said. Kaptain himself researched the possibility of installing one but finds it would be hard to do so in his neighborhood. He is not sure whether such turbines will work in Elgin’s established neighborhoods but believes they may be feasible in Elgin’s far-west neighborhoods, he said.
City staff has finished a first draft of an ordinance dealing with commercial wind turbines, not residential — which will be trickier, Kaptain said. The draft will be sent to the council soon, although he did not yet not have details about the ordinance. Other ordinances in the works deal with solar energy and building energy efficient homes.
Kaptain supports the idea of using commercial wind turbines in the city, such as to power Elgin’s new fire station or portions of The Centre. He also would like to see a wind turbine incorporated in the city’s new far-west park along with using solar and geothermal energy.