Windspire, One Step Closer to Cheap Small Wind!

Windspire Windspire Installed

We have to be skeptical with small wind because it’s been so shady up until now, but Mariah Power is seriously poised to release their vertical axis wind turbine this spring for $3,995.  This is incredible news.  They just passed the ETL (safety) certification and also comply with UL1741 and IEEE 1547.1.  Translation:  the Windspire is safe to go to market.  But you’ll notice that the Windspire features a new design, which is expected to produce about 1800 kilowatt hours per year in 11 mph average wind conditions.  That amount of wind power is roughly 25% of a typical household’s energy. 

The Windspire has several features that make it a likely candidate to dazzle the market.

  1. It is propeller free and conveniently shaped at thirty feet tall by four feet wide.  Doesn’t need a lot of elbow room. 
  2. It has a fully-integrated design, aka the plug ‘n produce design, which includes the high efficiency generator, integrated inverter, and wireless performance monitor.  The integrated design allows for simple installation (estimated to cost around $1,000). 
  3. It uses a new, slow-speed giromill rotor for silent operation.  The giromill rotor is being independently tested, so the company can bring an element of trust to their marketing. 
  4. It is manufactured in gray but can be painted any color you want.  It has undeniable visual appeal, which I think is augmented if you line up a row of three or four, rotating like spinning rims on a tricked out car. 

This turbine is going to be a big hit, I can feel it.  Via REA.

More info on the ETL Listed Mark.


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  • http://metrohippie.terapad.com josh

    This is fantastic! Perfect for an urban rooftop patio…. thanks for the link.

  • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

    Yeah, I think it would look great, but I’m not sure if it’s made to go on a roof. Installation requires a 6 ft deep x 2 ft diameter concrete foundation, so that may not work on a roof.

    A good roof option is probably the turbines by Aerotecture.

  • adam knapp

    Yea, they’re 30 feet tall. I’ve seen a few variations on this design, I think vertical rotors are the future of wind technology.

  • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

    @adam knapp

    I think you’re right. With vertical turbines, you have a lot more space to catch the wind, whereas, with the turbine-style or horizontal axis turbine, you’re limited to get wind at the right vertical level.

  • K

    Are they serious? $4000? I’d buy that for $500, but $4000 is clearly a ripoff.

  • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

    @K – you’re clearly entitled to your opinion but you haven’t enunciated a basis for it. Why $500? Are you comparing it to something that’s cheaper?

  • D

    Are you kidding? 3995 to buy, 1000 to install=$5,000 in place. Generates 1800 kwh a year at $.10=$180 a year payback= $5000/$180=27.7 years!!!

  • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

    @D -

    Not counting any incentives and not counting the desire to quit using coal and not counting the desire to minimize pollution.

    And it doesn’t mean everyone buys it. Think about places where the average kwh is more like $.14 or $.15. Add that to a situation where there’s a local wind incentive and you get more than the average of 11 mph of wind.

    At $.14, you’re talking about a 20 year payback, but what if you get more wind and a better incentive. Then your payback comes under the warranty period.

    All I’m saying is, we’re getting somewhere with this tech.

  • Man

    I put solar and wind into my house. Had my house reappraised after installation. Now I pay more in taxes then the wind and solar are benefiting me. No joke. Danged if you danged if you dont.

  • Steve
  • http://www.pro-think.com B Dear

    Very cool design. I do wish it was more affordable though.

  • TY

    Preston does have a point though, although the technology is new doesn’t mean people should be paying an arm and a leg for going green, just because it is a green item doesn’t mean the people buying it or selling it have green incentives. You have to realize that money still runs the business world not the incentive to make the world cleaner. — If a company truly wanted to help green up the world and was not looking to profit themselves beyond world benefit this item would be much less money.

  • Jim

    “If a company truly wanted to help green up the world and was not looking to profit themselves beyond world benefit this item would be much less money.”

    Ah, the Star Trek economy, where you work doing whatever you like and don’t use money.

  • Curtiss Lonsbury

    This is a very interesting design. What about laying it on its side and putting it on the peak of a roof? After all, they are very good at handling turbulence, and the roof of a house (or barn, etc.) would actually funnel air to it and decrease the wind speed needed to make it run.

  • Will

    No point in mounting this on its side. A vertical rotor is designed so it can generate power with wind from any direction. The roof may concentrate the wind, it may also slow it down.

    H-rotor designs get about 15% energy from the wind. Horizontal axis turbines are closer to 50%. Whether the area of the H-rotor offsets this at a similar price, I don’t know. It also needs to be mounted with no obstructions. This would be easier in Colorado than Maine. I’m not sure vertical rotors are the future of wind power, three blade turbines are more efficient, but I am all for people trying out.

  • michael driscoll

    The 1800 kwh per year is with minimal wind speed folks. Thats less than 5 m/s. They operate at 3.2 m/s. My place has an annual of 7-9.5 m/s meaning 4000-4500kwh per year.

  • Brother Donald

    Lovely concept and they are pretty to look at. Having 2 of them installed in May of 2009 has turned out to be a monumental mistake to the tune of $14,000. Not a SINGLE WATT OF ELECTRICITY has been generated under optimum wind conditions. Windspire had been unable and unwilling to solve this problem. They should be embarassed to continue to promote this faulty product. Shame on them.

    If you would like details on this fiasco, feel free to email me FBSE22@aol.com

    Caveat emptor!

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