Recently, I wrote about the low-profile Aerotecture wind turbines, which are designed to be installed on the rooftops of city buildings. Now I’ve heard of another rooftop wind turbine under development. It’s called the Helyx Wind Generator, and it’s composed of two twisted wings of fiberglass that rotate around a vertical axis. The turbine is also colored bright green, which I find quite appealing for some reason. It was invented by Toby Kinkaid in Portland, Oregon, and Kinkaid says the turbine is especially designed to take advantage of low wind speeds. You can see the turbine in action in these videos:
The 40-inch tall turbines will soon be tested on the rooftops of several buildings at Portland State University, with the help of faculty and students. The aim of the project is to see if the turbines will adequately harvest energy in an urban environment.
These test turbines will power 40-watt generators and send out data over a wireless computer network telling researchers how efficient the devices are and whether they have a place in Portland State’s active sustainable energy program. Students and faculty members will measure the output of the generators at various places on the roofs, finding just the perfect windy spots for them.
Kinkaid estimates the devices can be mass produced for $1.50 per watt, meaning a 40-watt machine would cost $60, excluding installation. He said the prototypes cost about $200 each because they’re made one at a time, by hand.
Toby Kinkaid’s company is Oregon Wind.
Found via: Earth Times