Windspire: 1 kW Wind Turbine for Your Backyard

Migrated Image

With its sleek, bladeless design and capacity to produce nearly 2000 kilowatt hours per year, the Windspire might just inspire some YIMBYism -- that's Yes, In My BackYard -- about wind power. At 30 feet tall and 2 feet wide, the propeller-less design is bird-safe, relatively quiet -- it produces about 25 decibels of noise at five feet, roughly equivalent to the average noise of a residential neighborhood at night -- and doesn't take much breeze to get it spinning; it fires up at 8 mph, and is rated to survive 100 mph gusts. It comes with a wireless modem that connects to your computer, so you can sit back and watch the energy in action at any time.

At about $4,000, it ain't exactly cheap -- at 10 cents a kilowatt, it'll take about 20 years to get any return on your investment -- but it sure is cool and sure beats getting your energy from coal-fired power plants, which pretty much suck.