Southwest Windpower, maker of the small-wind turbine Skystream, just announced a refreshed Whisper line of turbines for battery-charging applications including off-grid residential homes. The Whisper 100 (7′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 100 kWh per month at 12 mph; the Whisper 200 (9′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 200 kWh per month at 12 mph; and the Whisper 500 (15′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 538 kWh per month at 12 mph.
As the small wind industry grows, it’s becoming easier to buy certain models of turbines online and from big-box retailers. For example, Southwest Windpower offers the Skystream 3.7 through Home Depot and now offers the Whisper 100 through Lowe’s. Whisper 100 can produce up to 100 kWh a month in moderate to high winds, according to Southwest Windpower.
Recently Southwest Windpower announced the availability of the popular Skystream 3.7 wind turbine at select Home Depot stores. The move puts small wind within reach of more customers as the industry expands every year. Southwest will start the installation program in Texas, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and California with additional states in the near future.
The U.S. market for small wind turbines — those rated 100 kilowatts or less — grew 15% in 2009 with the installation of about 10,000 new units, according to the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study in 2010. In the same report, AWEA found that the largest manufacturer of these turbines in terms of kilowatts sold is Arizona-based Southwest Windpower. I had the opportunity to email with the company’s marketing director, Miriam Robbins, and she was kind enough to share what’s new with Southwest Windpower.
Southwest Windpower, maker of the Skystream 3.7, unveiled a new version of the popular turbine at CES 2011 called Skystream 600. The turbine features an improved design with larger blades, enhanced software, and an improved integrated inverter. And, according to a press release, Skystream 600 will be the “first fully smart grid-enabled wind turbine” on the market when available in April 2011.