Image via: Wind Simplicity
Backyard wind turbines are becoming more aesthetically pleasing and still completely functional, and one of the latest on the market is the Wind Dancer - a copper-colored, 8-bladed fancy-schmancy residential wind turbine. Created by father and daughter duo, Sharolyn Vettese and Alfred Matheiu, the WInd Dancer offers residential applications and a "pretty" option, particularly in areas with low wind speeds, reports the Globe and Mail.The Wind Dancer is designed to be durable enough for variable speeds, yet able to fully-function under small wind speeds. Compared with other small-scale wind turbines, it is virtually silent and performs better in areas with low wind, for example, due to nearby trees and buildings. This is partly due to the moon-sliver shaped blades. "Wind is a force of nature, and to harness its energy, [Vettese] wanted a design that would reflect nature," reports the Globe and Mail. The design is less industrial-looking than most turbines today and is more reminiscent of an old-fashioned windmill than modern, industrial wind turbine. The Wind Dancer also doesn't need a tall tower, unlike many rival wind turbines. The systems range in size from 3 Kw to 23 Kw, depending on your needs, which is perfect for a residential system and have also been used on smaller condo units in Canada.
Image via: Wind Simplicity
If you're not in need of a fancy wind turbine, or if you're looking to save a few bucks, they also offer the Wind Terra, a 1.2-Kw wind turbine that mounts directly onto your roof, saving you the price of a tower. The turbine only needs 4-5 mph wind speeds and is guaranteed steadier wind speeds since the tower is mounted higher than the Wind Dancer. The blades also spin horizontally, which helps it to take maximize energy produced from lower wind speeds.
But wait, there's more. A third option, for the green energy enthusiast is the Skystream 3.7, which is a 1.8-Kw wind turbine that is pole mounted but has the inverter mounted directly on the turbine itself, thus reducing efficiency losses as the power travels through the wires. (This may or may not be negligible depending on how far the electricity has to travel, for example if your turbine is in your backyard not far from your house then you're not really losing much anyways). The Skystream connects directly to the grid, making this system an on-grid system, unless you add a battery bank (additional cost) to give it the off-grid option in the event of a power outage. But, at 1.8 Kw, this system will only give you a small break in your utility bill (unless you are hypermiling your electricity use), so you will more than likely need several turbines in order to completely eliminate your electricity bills.
The Wind Dancer is sold by parent company Wind Simplicity and can be purchased online now at Wind Simplicity. The systems do come with a large price, ranging from $27,000 - $69,000 for the turbine. This is economical if you're in an area with decent wind and can zero out your electric bill, otherwise it will take awhile to earn your money back. The Skystream costs between $13,000 - $15,000 installed and the Wind Terra costs an estimated $11,000 installed. :The Globe and Mail:Wind Simplicity
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