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Wind Turbines Big and Small at WINDPOWER 2008

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This is a guest post provided by Maria Surma Manka direct from WINDPOWER 2008.  Maria writes about renewable energy policy, innovation, and private sector leadership at Maria Energia.

Greetings from Houston, site of the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2008 conference. I am a guest of AWEA and have spent the last few days meeting several of the 12,000 attendees and visiting many of the nearly 800 exhibitors.  Below are some of the interesting small wind turbine designs I found.

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Nano Vent-Skin Demonstrated in Concept Tower

Nvs_building

I was pretty impressed by Agustin Otegui’s design for Nano Vent-Skin (NVS), rendered on the building above.  NVS is a building skin that uses organic photovoltaics to capture sun and micro-wind turbines to capture wind.  Otegui envisions nano-manufacturing with bioengineered organisms as the production method for NVS, and because it’s organic, the wall provides the additional benefit of capturing CO2 from the air. 

Obviously, the concept building above would be a new design built to reap the benefits of NVS, but Otegui also thinks the skin would be perfect for making existing buildings greener. 

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New "Green Machine" Waste Heat Generator Launches with Fast Payback, Cheap Electricity

50kw Green Machine 50kw Green Machine

At this very moment, ElectraTherm is releasing details of the successful installation of its new product, a commercial waste heat generator called the Green Machine.  ElectraTherm tested their first Green Machine at none other than my alma mater, Southern Methodist University, and the results exceeded initial expectations.  Stated simply, the Green Machine makes electricity from residual industrial heat that usually just goes to waste.  ElectraTherm’s new product employs minimal heat (200 degrees F liquid) to generate fuel-free, emissions-free electricity at $0.03 – $0.04 per kWh during a three-year payback period and at under $0.01 per kWh after that.  SMU’s test of the 50 kW Green Machine reached output well beyond the 50 kW rating. 

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