Gearless Wind Turbine Launches Today

The much-anticipated Honeywell Wind Turbine from WindTronics officially launches today, one day prior to Earth Day.  This is a small wind turbine that we’ve mentioned extensively – here’s a video of one spinning.  The launch is supported by a global network of distributors, partners, and retailers ready to sell the unique turbine from a starting price of $5,795, plus installation.

I say this is a starting price because it depends on the connector.  The Honeywell Wind Turbine can be connected to the grid (Power One Aurora Grid Tie Inverter option), a building (SmartBox option), or a battery (Direct DC option).

The small wind turbine has a diameter of six feet and weighs less than 185 pounds.  Its main feature is the gearless design, which is called the Blade Tip Power System, that uses an outer ring of magnets and stators to capture power at the blade tips where speed is greatest. 

The turbine spins at 0.5 mph and generates energy at two mph of wind. Honeywell Wind Turbine is rated at 1,500 watts in 31 mph winds, according to WindTronics materials. In terms of noise, an important factor tied to location, the turbine has “negligible” vibration and makes about 35 db of noise at 10 feet. 

The WT6500 Wind Turbine can be used in either the residential or commercial context, subject to local zoning and permits if required. To help people learn whether small wind like this makes sense, WindTronics developed a tool to estimate local wind speeds, utility prices, and rebate programs, which is available online at WindKnowledge.com

After crunching the numbers, you may find the turbine retailing at places like Ace Hardware, True Value, and Northern Tool and Equipment, or you can search for one at WhereToBuyOne.com.

Credits: WindTronics.


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  • Joe

    It’s too bad that Honeywell lended their name to this turbine. It has been plagued by wild performance claims and it is clear that it is specifically being target towards those that have little experience in wind. An example of these claims are the unique gearless design. Very few if any of turbines this size have a gearbox. Yet they make it sound like it is unique. Secondly would be the claim of starting up at 2 mph. It may start spinning then and perhaps they have the correct power electronic to allow power production at those speeds but the energy available in the wind at that speed is miniscule. So if it is a 1500 watt turbine at 31 mph expect to see about 1-5 watts out of it at 2 mph. That is deceptive. I had a friend that is not an engineer or familiar with wind read this article (a potential buyer type of person) and their take away was that they would be producing significant power at low wind speeds.
    The next fallacy they tout is building mounting which is a horrid idea for a wind turbine. Nobody that is employed in the wind industry would ever mount a turbine like that. There are so many test reports out there about it’s ineffectiveness that it’s laughable.

    Sorry to sound down on this but it is so painfully obvious to engineers and wind professionals that this is a quick sale to cash in on ‘green technologies’ that it makes it hard for the people that are building real turbines for power production. Do your research.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Joe, I think it’s important to make sure there’s honesty, but I don’t see what you’re saying. The gearless design claim? Not a claim, it is what it is. Starting at 2 mph? Not a claim, it is what it is. Building mount claim? Not a great idea, but people still do it and it’s an option. 1500 watts at 31 mph? Not a claim, it is what it is.

      If your friend inputs her zip code and average electrical bill at WindKnowledge.com, there’s a full payback analysis that includes estimated installation costs and rebates. In my area, it’s pretty clear, I’d still be in the hole $2,300 after 15 years. That’s honesty. I just don’t think it’s fair to say this is all about a quick sale.

      • JB

        Preston, What joe is saying is entirely correct. Gearless desgin is a claim, and that’s true. However, its certainly not a unique design. There are 3.5 MW turbine’s that are gearless that have been in production for years.

        Starting a 2mph, thats a correct claim as well. The point is the statement 1,500 watts in 31 mph winds thats like saying my cars has 650 hp at 9000 rpm, and your car will never reach 9000 rpm because its a Kia optima (just an example). Its an exaggeration, look at this website with average wind speeds for several cities and rural areas across america (http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/avgwind.html)

        Its from the national climatic data center, and although its a few years old it complied data over a large number of years to get those numbers. There’s only a handful of locations on that list with avg wind speeds over 12mph. And the only location over 20 is the top of a mountain in New Hampshire.

        Also, to put this in an urban area there are several details left out. For a wind turbine to perform optimally it should stand about 20ft higher than any structure within a 250ft radius. That may mean 50+Ft up, and several area’s have codes against that.

        As for a pay off period of 20 years, if anybody in their right mind is willing to agree to that and call it saving money they might not be smarter than a 5th grader. The payback period they have listed is if you pay cash for the turbine and don’t need to take out any loan at all for the 9,500. The number of 6,900 is after a tax credit, which is the same but not an upfront savings. I also want to question how do savings go up each year?? I saved $111 two years ago in electricity, but o wait, the wind got faster in this past year and now i saved $116! That doesn’t quite work out for me.

        To stay in a home that long, let alone keep up with maintenance 15 years down the road, which there will be. They only guarantee the product for 5 years and it has an expected 20 year life. So just as your about to finish paying off the turbine (not counting installation – taxes – interest) the odds are it will no longer function or function well.

        Its a great idea, and a great buy!! For somebody that wants to say look —-> “I have a wind turbine, I’m helping the environment and I’ve gone green.” An engineer such as myself would not purchase this, I’ll just turn off the lights, use fluorescent light bulbs, set my tv and other electronics to the power saver mode and probably save the same amount of money in the long run.

  • http://www.classicurbanhomes.com Classic Urban Homes

    I think this sort of technology is fascinating and I really am excited about its future prospects. As it stands now, I think the broad market is not yet ready for a technology that is no where near a breakeven number over any reasonable time frame. I went to the http://www.windknowledge.com site and ran the numbers. (Side note – their use of the federal tax credit is TOTALLY WRONG. The 30% federal tax credit expired Dec 31, 2010. The new number is a max of $500. See http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index).

    In my area, the estimate is that, after 15 years, I would be in the hole by over $4,500. If I financed the equipment as part of a mortgage, my annual payment would be about $500 and my “savings” would be about $250. That’s only $20/month, but no where in the calculation is the cost of maintenence or repair or the turbine. Most people forget about that. I also wonder how much more the technology will improve in the coming years….

    So, again, I love the idea and hope that in the near future we can all make use of technologies like this. I just don’t think there will be widespread acceptance until the “green” you can show people is the green in the pocketbooks.

    • Crizer Wind Energy

      I think you have been misinformed on the status of the Federal Tax Rebate. The $500 max rebate refers to $500 per 0.5kwh for systems that were placed in service in the year 2008. For all systems placed in service after 2008 there is NO maximum on the rebate.

      Check out this site if you have any questions. http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=US37F

      …let the wind blow

  • http://www.doubleglazingquote.org.uk Double Glazing

    Cool. With this gear less turbine, it is much easier for the operators to operate it.

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  • http://www.sawt.us Rocky

    I never believe roof-top turbine is a good idea, thinking about the vibration and turbulence.

    • http://www.easy-wind-energy.com DanBrown2000-seo

      As long as there is failsafe for high wind speeds, windmills can easily be manufactured w/o vibration at operating speeds.

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