When it comes to relying on wind power, for most of us that means at best buying “green electrons” from our local utility, or if we happen to live in San Francisco, perhaps getting part of our electricity from the new 150 MW Rio Vista wind farm, built by PPM, which had its inauguration this week. See details in article on it at Inside Greentech.
But a few companies do actually make small “mini” or “micro” wind turbines for residential and remote markets (not that many of our local building codes and zoning restrictions would let us put one up).
Southwest Windpower makes the Skystream 3.7, which was recently awarded “2006 Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science in the Home category”, according to the company. They claim to have more than 90,000 turbines in field, and you can get one by calling up one of the dealers.
And a new company, Mariah Power, is looking to move on the scene, with a vertical axis “Savonius” style turbine they call the “cyclo”, a design for which they claim they have solved the efficiency challenges. While not on the market yet, you can pre-order if you’d like. Just in case you missed the allusion, it’s named after the Broadway song from Paint Your Wagon, “They Call the Wind Maria[h]”, also done by the Kingston Trio, lyrics here in case you are interested.
Other mini wind turbine providers include a Finnish company, Windside, which builds your turbines just 400 km south of the Arctic circle, and Windsave, and Renewable Devices with their “Swfit” turbine, both in the U.K.
Not yet setting the world on fire like rooftop PV solar products, but I’d certainly like one on my roof.