A couple years ago, I watched with caution as Philippe Starck announced plans to design residential scale vertical axis wind turbines. Everyone loves the idea of small wind — especially VAWT designs — but practical issues can sometimes preclude actual energy generation with these things. Nonetheless, after two years of research, it seems the French designer has some actual products to speak about. Speaking to a crowd in Milan, Starck unveiled two Revolution Air turbine models to be made by Pramac.
In July, we mentioned a small wind turbine from Earthtronics and Honeywell and want to provide an update. We also have some newer images of what the actual turbine may end up looking like. The WT6500 Wind Turbine, referred to as the Honeywell Wind Turbine Gearless Blade Tip Power System, will be priced at $5,995, with early units available in select Ace Hardware Stores starting in February 2010.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) just released a new report, the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study, detailing a sizable advance in the small wind turbine market in the United States. Small wind turbines, you may know, are those with a capacity of 100 kW or less. And the U.S. market for this niche grew 78% in 2008, with a total of 17.3 (MW) of new installed capacity. The report indicates that the growth is due, in large part, to private equity investment in the sector, as well as economies of scale, rising electricity prices, and heightened public interest.