What about pricing and availability in my area?
Soon we will have pricing and availability on the website and, at your request, can also send this information to you. Over the past several years, while working on financing to production, our actual costs per turbine have gone down due to new materials and manufacturing processes. We are at the point of being competitive with coal and other carbon fuels per kWh in price. That has always been our main goal in development, along with solving the major problems inherent in current wind turbines on the market.
We plan on distributing worldwide and are making international contacts now to facilitate this.
We will also be happy to keep you updated with dates, pricing and availability by email- just make a request. And feel free to call us at any time for more information. We will also be happy to meet you on Skype.
Can I use windstrument to generate power in my backyard?
Windstrument was developed for both utility scale projects (WindOrchard) and for residential. Every situation is different, depending on the wind in your area. Also, because price scales slightly, depending on the number of turbines needed, we would like to see entire communities, neighborhoods or agricultural groups come together on a project basis to generate their own local power.
Although the Windstrument can generate energy in areas where other small wind turbines are unsuitable, we would never recommend use of any wind turbine in very low wind areas.
How is the power stored?
We have developed a unique wind power storage method we call WindVine. It is a hydraulic system that stores excess energy from high wind periods for use in low or no wind periods.
Can I sell the excess power back to the utility company?
Yes, as long as your utility company facilitates this.
Is the Windstrument pole or rooftop mounted?
Both. For rooftops the Windstrument is almost vibration free, naturally. And our rooftop mounting system buffers what little vibration might occur. The Windstrument can also be erected on a new pole or retrofit an already existing pole.
How big is the Windstrument?
We have 3 sizes, 2, 4 and 6ft diameter. The standard is 4ft., at approximately 13lbs per turbine. We have development plans for a small utility, approximately 2ft model for everything from outdoor lighting, battery charging and even learning systems (toys) for kids.
We are also working on some rather massive turbines, using the same principles but of slightly different materials. We are very excited about those.
What about the problem of turbulent or 'rough' wind?
The Windstrument solves turbulence in two ways:
1. The Windstrument has a 45 degree cone of wind tolerance and is fully self directing - turning rapidly to face into the wind.
2. To explain it very simplistically, the blade design takes advantage of natural flow dynamics, a 'mattress' of air develops over the blade that incoming air 'rides' on. These dynamics allow for power generation at lower heights and in structurally busy areas. This function was one of the main things (besides power generation) that we focused on in wind tunnel testing.
Does the Windstrument only generate electrical energy?
The Windstrument can generate both electrical and mechanical energy. It can also be used to pump fluids or generate pressure.
What about the use of plastics in the manufacture, isn't this polluting?
Very little plastic goes into the manufacture- about 3lbs per blade. We can use partially recyclable plastic and we hope to be using 100% recyclable plastics as development in that technology advances. We have determined that the pollution mitigated over the lifetime of the Windstrument is much more than the small amount generated by it's manufacture. Also, because the pole attachment fittings can be adjusted on a per-pole basis we can retrofit unused utility poles or existing wind turbine poles rather than manufacture new ones.
What if a blade is damaged?
Besides deliberate destruction tests in the wind tunnel we haven't lost any blades to damage. But if anything does happen, they are much easier to replace than a bicycle wheel. You can even keep an extra blade or two on hand for quick and easy replacement.
Do you think the aesthetics and low profile of the Windstrument will help ease NIMBY group concerns?
We expect the only possible argument will be "what color do we want?".
What about shadow flicker or hum?
Because the turbine blade area covers over 90% free space there is no shadow flicker and because of the blade design itself, there is no hum.
Do you have other remarkable renewable energy technologies you are currently working on?
Are you out to change the world with these technologies?
This design is so unique, have you had any detractors?
Over the past couple of years we have only had positive responses, especially from engineers, scientists and wind energy professionals. We have had only one, actual detractor, an individual who attacks all small wind power innovation. Basically, he attacks all innovative, new wind-power technologies that do not belong to a certain large, utility scale company. In a way we find it a complement, as this individual has also attacked MIT's small wind technology as well as Googles recent small wind tech buy. I guess you could say we are keeping good company.
Otherwise, as the President of the African Wind Energy Association said, ours is the most promising small wind technology to come on the market over the past several years.
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