The bloggers at Engadget picked up on the Selsam small wind turbines, which look a lot like one of those amateur ham radio antennas we used to see on houses. This small-scale wind solution is basically a single elongated shaft made of strong carbon fiber. The carbon shaft holds rotors that range in size from 14-18 inches in diameter. Apparently, the more rotors you have on a rod, the better output you get. Invented by Doug Selsam, this 13-rotor small wind turbine can produce roughly 200 watts in 20 mph winds (or more in higher wind speeds). It’s currently being tested and developed in California, so who knows, we may just start seeing stuff like this on top of houses and buildings?
This is big news for the green building revolution, because a solar farm like this could power roughly 190k homes in California. Referred to as the Topaz Solar Farm, this $1 billion, 550-megawatt plant would cover roughly 9.5 square miles, and if constructed, would be the world’s largest photovoltaic solar farm. Hayward-based OptiSolar is developing plans for the project as we speak. According to their current time line, OptiSolar will apply for a conditional use permit in May 2008 and begin construction in 2010. Topaz Solar Farm would then be completed over three years.