Thousands of years ago in Persia, wind catchers cooled the interior of buildings by sucking air out at the top (they would close upwind vents, creating a low pressure area on the downwind side) while sucking air in through underground qanats. Result: cool, moist air inside the heavy walls.
Mark Sheikhrezai was inspired by these windcatchers to develop Windation's 2Kw and 5Kw wind turbines. There is not much information on the Windation site, (in fact there is none) but Martin LaMonica of CNet writes that "There's a 8-by-8-foot frame around a 10-foot-high cylinder. Wind blows in the top and is directed to the bottom where the wind turns a turbine to make up to 5 kilowatts of electricity."
traditional Iranian windcatcher via Wikipedia
"Sheikhrezai said one of the biggest advantages of Windation's appliance is its shape and ease of installation. Since all moving parts are contained, there isn't potential danger to birds, bats, or people, he noted.
Financially, an investment in a 5-kilowatt appliance, which comes with its own inverter, recoups the installation cost of $45,000 to $50,000 in five to seven years, he said. Depending on the wind or sun resource, a wind machine could deliver a quicker payback than installing a solar array on commercial flat-top roof, he asserted." Windation via CNet
New Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Tested at Texas Grocery Store
Innovative Wind Turbine from Australia
Check Out the Windspire: Backyard Vertical Wind Turbine Video Clip