New wind power technology offers savings at home

Honeywell Wind Turbine by WindtronicsMention wind power and you immediately think of giant wind farms, both on shore and off. But thanks to a new wind turbine design released at this month's National Hardware Show, getting wind power at home may become just as common as rooftop solar panels, and perhaps even easier to install.

Windtronics introduced the Honeywell Wind Turbine, a compact, wind-powered electrical generation system that promise to deliver up to 25% of the electrical needs for the average house. Introduced by Windtronics, this system features a revolutionary wind power technology design that makes it affordable and efficient for residential use. Here's why:

Most wind generators consist of an electrical generator surrounded by large blades, which spin to turn the generator and make power. An inherent detriment of this design, however, is that blades have to be big enough to overcome the resistance needed to turn the generator. As a result, most wind generators are huge, with residential models requiring at least a very un-neighborly looking sturdy metal tower as a base.

The Honeywell Wind Turbine is quite different. The design starts with the wind turbine itself, which resembles six-foot-diameter bicycle wheel, and features a Blade Tip Power System (BTPS) that moves the mechanics to the perimeter of the turbine. By doing so, engineers were able to ingeniously replace the traditional gear box, shaft and central generator that add resistance and drag in other wind power technologies. Without these, the free-wheeling turbine generates energy from the blade tips to create significant power and operate easily in a greater range of wind speeds. As a result, the wind turbine gets going in 1 mph winds and starts generating power at just 2 mph. At the other extreme, if you're experiencing high winds (above 40 mph) in your neighborhood, this turbine's computerized Smart Box interacts with the motor to reposition the turbine for safe wind capture.

Weighing in at around 170 pounds, the system is easily installed with either a platform or pole mount, and only needs two feet of roof clearance. From there, it can power your electrical panel directly, or be tied to the utility grid to "sell" excess power back to your local utility provider, using a soon to be available transfer switch.

Honeywell Wind Turbine on RoofWindtronics also overcame another common complaint of wind generators being dangerous for birds, who can fly right into the often transparent spinning blades. By incorporating an enclosed border system and color scheme into the design, birds "see" the turbine as a structure to avoid, rather than one which they may unknowingly come in contact with.

Costs, Installation and Rebates
The Honeywell Wind Turbine makes generating wind power at home an affordable endeavor. The product retails at $6,495, plus installation, but qualifies for federal and state energy tax rebates, that can cover anywhere from 30% to 80% of the cost of your new turbine.

With major energy events like the oil spill disaster in the Gulf and President Obama's recent approval of the nation's first wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, the arrival of an affordable, earth-friendly, wind power solution couldn't be better timed. The Honeywell Wind Turbine will initially launch at local ACE Hardware stores starting in August. Learn more at OwnYourWind.com.

Tom Kraeutler delivers home remodeling tips and ideas each week as host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. He is also AOL's Home Improvement Editor and author of "My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure."

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