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Brian Westenhaus

Brian Westenhaus

Brian is the editor of the popular energy technology site New Energy and Fuel. The site’s mission is to inform, stimulate, amuse and abuse the…

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New Wind Turbine Design Could be the Turning Point for Wind Power

The Honeywell Wind Turbine needs only 33 feet of above ground clearance and just a claimed one half mile per hour wind to start up.  If that proves out in the real world Canada’s WindTronics, Inc. would have a sure hit on its hands.

The company says its turbine has “higher performance output and lower installed cost per kilowatt than any other unit on the market today in class and size.”  The Honeywell Wind Turbine is a gearless wind turbine that measures just 6 feet in diameter, weighs 185 lbs (84kgs) and is able to produce 2752 kWh/yr in Class 4 winds.   The power magnets that flow the electrons are at the outer tips of the blade wheel and inside the shroud around the blade set.

Wind Turbine Comparison
Honeywell's Turbine Comparison.

The Honeywell Wind Turbine’s multi-stage blades allow the system to react quickly to changes in wind speed, ensuring that the maximum wind energy is captured, without the typical noise and vibration associated with traditional wind turbines. It is designed to be installed where power is consumed, allowing home and business owners to harness wind energy in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Class 4 wind is a very large part of North American making a quite large geographical sales area.  The potential is for a volume sales number that coud\ld well drive down the production costs for even more affordability.  And 2700+ kWh a year is worth some effort.

WindTronics decided in 2009 to manufacture the machines in Windsor, Ontario, which has been battered by the auto crisis and recession and suffered from huge unemployment. In that context it was a good-news story because the Michigan-based parent company, EarthTronics, said the facility it was taking over was a former Magna International auto parts plant where 200 new jobs would be created.

The company web site says that the turbine’s installed cost is about half the cost of a traditional small wind turbine. It sells as part of a package that includes a computerized smart box, the inverter and an interconnect switch for wiring the system into a household panel. The MRSP is $6,495US, what Canadian pricing is – isn’t announced. Also not certain is what the installed cost would be, which is important if you want to compare it to, say, putting solar panels on your roof.

From an economics point of view small wind is very hard to justify.  2,700 kWh at say $0.10 isn’t going to get you very far – $270 against perhaps as much as $10,000 up front.  But for sites with need, or little solar potential, expensive grid access and situations where the net meter rate is very good the numbers can change for the better.  That and having one puts surety in service, way out at the end of a rural phase line, weather makes power matter of some concern.

For the money though, and with essentially no volume to start pricing or drive to lower production costs, the Honeywell is a powerful contender.
The other point that many reviewers overlook is the generation parts out in the shroud aren’t moving, nor is the mass moving, nor is the whole airfoil set heavily built to support it all.

That one half mile per hour start speed could have impressive returns as wind class locations of better speeds and more total annual wind time get installations.  At Class 6 and running twice as long the Honeywell is b\going to look much different economically.

If you’re thinking of getting a small wind turbine the Honeywell is a must consider item.

If the WindTronics designs can last as long as the old Aeromotor windmills of old – decades on end, then the Honeywell is a small wind turbine turning point.

By. Brian Westenhaus

Source: The Wind Turbine for Everyone


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