New AES WindJet 5 Small Wind Turbine Installed in Kansas City [Video]

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This month, AES Wind installed its first demonstration AES WindJet 5 turbine in Overland Park, Kansas.  The twin-rotor turbine is rated at 5 kW and was designed to increase efficiency by up to 54% over existing designs.  With a slow rotor speed, the turbine is quieter, more durable, and less likely to create problems with birds. 

The AES WindJet 5 is the first of a family of wind turbines to be released by the company with power ratings ranging from 1.5 kW to 100 kW.  The WindJets have been designed for several applications, including in the light industrial, agricultural, retail, municipal, and residential contexts. 

The WindJet small wind turbine shown in these images was installed at the corporate office of A.L. Huber, a construction contractor in the greater Kansas City area.  A.L. Huber will have a real-time turbine performance display panel for visitors to learn exactly how much energy the turbine is creating.  

[+] The AES WindJet Spins Like Crazy on YouTube. 

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Photo credits: AES Wind.


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  • BillW

    1) That axis sure looks horizontal to me.
    2) They need to spend some time on design. That unit looks like a dumpster on a pole.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      A little harsh, but point 2 is well taken. On point 1, the WindJet rotates on a vertical axis and spins on the horizontal axis. Company calls it “vertical axis.”

  • Biboch

    Boy, that sure is ugly… looks like a bird-grinder. I really believe in wind turbines, and I’ve seen a lot of them, but now it’s time for some industrial designers to get in there and make it look like something you could show to your mom with pride. Maybe there are some unemployed designers from the auto industry?

  • Anonymous

    OMG that thing is ugly. It will have to work MUCH better than traditional designs to get anyone to buy that.

    Good for them, experimenting with alternatives, though!

  • bobbobberson

    They honestly look like Stadium lights, I don’t see ugliness being a huge problem, but yeah it could use a facelift. Is it possible to combine that with a cell-phone tower or a street light? Then you got some options.

    People will rally around things that are slick or cute. Wind turbines and seals are sleek or cute and people don’t have a problem supporting those. Dumpsters on a Stick are not likely to be a rally point.

  • http://mportlandrealestate.com/ Portland Condo Auctions

    Awesome. I am happy to see some smaller scale wind projects coming to fruition. A small and affordable wind turbine for every home in America would do wonders on our foreign oil dependence.

    -Tyler

  • BillW

    Hmm. Conventional “propeller blade” wind turbines also rotate on a vertical axis and spin their rotors on a horizontal axis. Usually, a vertical axis turbine is one that is omnidirectional and whose rotor spins on a vertical axis. Obviously, it’s the company’s error, not yours, but it sure seems like a misnomer to me.

    Re point 2, don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-wind power. But it’s hard enough to get really stylish turbines past the NIMBYs. Here’s hoping that what’s pictured is a proof-of-concept prototype.

    [this was supposed to be in reply to Preston, above, but somehow it ended up down here.]

    • http://frankrobbins.blogspot.com TeddyFrank

      I would say that it looks a lot like a farm combine. I like it.

  • Anonymous

    Seems to me what is significant here is that they are using ducting to improve the efficiency of the unit. I don’t see any mention of this in the post or the comments as everybody seems overly concerned about what it looks like.

    Anyway this is cofigured more like a water mill, or perhaps a paddle boat brings up a better mental image. There appears to be duct at the top which is directing airflow downward on the rear of the paddle cycle, as well as a duct in front of the lower half directing air into the upward cycle of the paddle, as well as keeping the bottom rotation which is typically into the wind, blocked from the headwind. I think its pretty clever given a paddle style mill like this would typically only catch the wind over a small percentage of its frontal area, they are capturing wind energy over a larger area and directing it towards segments of the paddle rotation that typically get no wind.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Good points, Greg. When we talk about this turbine again, I think we’ll try to be more clear (like you explain) on how the design is used to improve the turbine’s efficiency.

  • Danb

    Oh dear I hope this was not funded with tax dollars… looks like another black eye for small wind to me. It would sure be nice if folks would do some research before installing big projects like this. It’d be nice if they’d get some real data on a design before the press gets everyone all excited about stuff like this. This has no chance of being cost effective and there is no way it could possibly be 54% more efficient (I really wonder which orifice they pulled that number from) than conventional designs (the laws of physics do not allow for that much improvement). It has no chance of being even nearly as efficient as a conventional design. This is one of the more outlandish designs I’ve seen lately – especially considering the hype and the cost. Oh… and lastly, it is a horizontal axis wind turbine no matter what the manufacturer should like to call it.

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