Monday, April 28, 2008

Bringing Wind Power Down To Earth

There’s been a lot of energy behind wind power these days, with talk of larger and more dramatic installations every week. But this may leave you wondering, what does it have to do with me? Would I ever want one of these giant towers in my backyard or on my business? Noble though the idea is, for many, this is not an appealing or feasible option, due to space limitations or code restrictions. But then you may wonder, would a micro turbine make a notable dent in my energy needs?

Last week while at the Green California Summit, I saw a beautiful and practical solution to this: Helix Wind. With its elegant, rippled white shape, and the ability to work with any wind greater then 4.5 mph, requiring only 14 feet in height, these turbines bring it all home, literally.

How much power do they bring? 1KW for personal, 2KW for businesses, enough to meet as much as half your energy needs. There’s no need to have a battery to store the power generated as in solar panels, as “net metering,” or power metering that accounts for energy put back into the grid as well as what’s used, can be used as credit towards your energy costs.

There are many micro turbines out there, but none has the unique undulating helix form of this. So? Beyond being aesthetically interesting, this enables it to catch air from any direction, more efficiently, with less needed. The unique shape apparently is also, they claim, completely safe for birds - one of the stumbling blocks to greater implementation of such devices. Silencing other critics is the fact that it’s, well, silent in operation.

In action....(2:30)

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