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.
The twin-blade WT400W (above left) is rated at 400 W and is expected to cost about 2,500 euros ($3,505*). The triple-blade WT1kW (above right) is rated at 1 kW and is expected to cost about 3,500 euros ($4,905*).
Starck went with the vertical axis design to capture certain benefits. The turbines can be nearly noiseless and small, as well as capture wind from most any direction.
At the Milan news conference, according to Reuters, Starck said, “We have to help people to produce energy, to be part of the fight … energy should not be a punishment, we should create a desire (among people to produce it).”
*Using today’s Euro to U.S. dollar exchange rate of 0.7133.