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.