Rooftop wind power won’t be limited to wind-filled areas once EarthTronics’ Honeywell Wind Turbine is released this fall at ACE Hardware. Earthtronics’ 2-kilowatt wind turbine can generate power with wind speeds as low as two miles per hour and as high as 45 miles per hour. That means the turbine could be placed on rooftops that have objects like trees and buildings blocking high-speed winds.
Unlike most turbines, which convert energy from spinning blades to electricity with help from a gearbox and generator, EarthTronics’ model captures the current produced from small magnets placed at the tip of the turbine’s fan blades. The low noise output that results–35 to 45 decibels–is quieter than normal conversation.
The six-foot, 95-pound Honeywell Wind Turbine could potentially generate 2,000 kilowatt hours of power each year, but it doesn’t come cheap. The turbine itself costs $4,500, with installation costs as high as $1,500. It could be worth it, though, for homes and businesses seeking alternative energy solutions in places where sunlight, and hence solar power, is scant. And according to Earthtronics, the turbine has a higher performance output and lower installed cost than any other unit available. The company expects to produce 50,000 turbines in its first year.