A recent Australian invention could get wind energy closer to our homes by making it cheaper and more accessible. Graeme Attey designed a wind turbine prototype that, complemented by solar energy, could meet the needs of a typical house and even inject their energetic excess into the public grid.
Whenever we talk about wind turbines, we have in mind the large (huge, actually) blades that rotate to collect the wind and transform later its energy into electricity. Currently, people have discovered that we could use smaller turbines, with less capacity, obviously but with the possibility to benefit urban, rural and residential areas.
It is estimated by the Wind Energy Association that the capacity of these turbines, installed worldwide, will increase from 100 MW (in 2011) to 700 MW (in 2020) and the cumulative installed capacity would reach 4 GW by 2020.
Currently, there are several companies that provide this type of technology. It is expected that the market for these small turbines will become significantly larger in the next few years.
The Windpod G1 wind turbine
The newborn wind turbine from Australia is small enough to be placed on the roof of your green home. Its rotary blades are half covered – so it cannot be considered a windmill as you see in the picture. Because it does not have large blades, you could cover your roof in wind turbines and still not disturb the surrounding community.
The turbine is named Windpod G1, it has an horizontal axis and a capacity to generate 1 kW of power at wind speeds of about 12.5 m/s. The disk has a 46 cm diameter; it is 253 cm long and 67 cm high. The total weight of this type of module is 35 kg. So you certainly are not going to wake up one night with a wind turbine in your living room.
Pros of the Windpod G1
The main advantage of the Windpod is obviously the energy savings provided. Altough it may not be enough to supply the entire house, it works really well as a support system, saving money on our energy bill. This is an important step toward energetic self-sufficiency as the installation costs are reduced and they can be amortized in a short time.
Moreover, it goes without saying that this is a totally clean energy solution as the wind energy is a renewable, non-polluting resource. Unlike other energy systems, there is no need for combustion therefore it doesn’t have any gas emissions.
It should also be mentioned that the turbines are small enough to be installed on almost any roof from small houses to buildings with numerous levels. In addition, installation and maintenance are very simple and do not require great care.
In this way, we will be sure that we save money but we also contribute to the development of sustainable, eco-communities and avoid exhaustion of the planet resources.