(Note – this post is from March 2008 – things have changed. Please see the bottom of this article for links to more recent wind power posts )
Don’t look now but it appears residential renewable energy systems and wind power technology are getting cheaper. California based Freetricity’s E2D Windmaster is a roof-mounted small residential wind turbine that comes with an affordable price tag. Though it sports a small propeller that could prove hazardous to hummingbirds and the like (though its size and roof mounting will reduce bird and animal interactions) and it doesn’t look like it could withstand hurricane-force winds, the price and benefits may make it worth exploring. (some comments below indicate otherwise)
From their press release (via: newswire)
“Freetricity introduces the all-new WindMaster, a roof mounted micro wind turbine that can generate enough energy to turn your electric meter backwards. Reasonably priced the WindMaster is small enough to be used in urban areas yet powerful enough to lower electric bills 25%-50%, or more.
WindMaster is available in four different power packages. The Grid Connects unique design is the most convenient system and supplies the most kilowatt-hours of power of all the packages. Simply mount the wind turbine to your roof, wire it to the grid connect inverter, and wire the inverter into the supply panel. The power generated by the WindMaster is supplied to your homes supply panel first; however, if it generates more power than you are currently using it will spin your meter backwards. Your electric company will then give you credit or cash for the power you generate.
The 12-Volt, 24 and 48-Volt packages are battery-based systems. They charge the battery first then supply the users home with the stored voltage and current through a DC to AC inverter. The 12-Volt Basic package is the starter system and because it is easy to regulate the output of the WindMaster, it can be upgraded to any other E2D system. This upgrade ability applies to all system packages and is unique to the renewable industry.
The WindMaster is weather-resistant and constructed of high-impact, powder-coated steel and comes with a five-year warranty. This unique system can also be used as a stand-alone backup system for electrical blackout and /or brownouts.”
The larger 48volt model produces 300 to 400 kwh per month with 6 hours of 12mph wind a day. Models range in price from $1,399 (12v) to $2,299 (48V) @ freetricity.com
Note: There have been some questions by readers regarding this company’s business practices – see comments.
Related: altcon posts on wind power