One of the most important ways we can fight against rising costs for fossil fuels and conserve these resources is to source alternative energy solutions such as solar, hydro, or even wind. Most people are familiar with the look of a typical wind turbine -- very impressive up close (mostly due to sheer size of the blades) but from a distance they look just like any other windmill. But that was all before the inventors of San Diego based Helix Wind hit the scene!
With turbines for all manners of smaller scale installation, from residential to commercial, agricultural to industrial and everything in between, these folks really know their wind! Their vertical axis turbine system is proven to capture from 300W to 50kW of energy, and because they are mounted up to 35 feet high and make use of Savonius turbines (vertical) that take up a diameter of only 4 feet, they will generate electricity in winds as low as 10 miles per hour.
They offer so much information on their website as to the viability of a system like this for the everyday consumer that I could never begin to share it all! Suffice to say though this is a more viable option than most. Because there are no blades to spin, only scoops to turn, the profile of necessary space required is much smaller than an everyday style turbine. These are personal systems and generally speaking, one turbine would be sufficient for a home’s supplemental power. Plus with up to a 30% tax credit it is a smart investment for homeowners.
Pricing is not listed on the company website but one of the most innovative things I could find about the company is their desire to utilize already existing structures to provide the energy. For example, cell phone towers are littered all over the highways and on top of buildings. A Helix Wind turbine could easily be retro fit on top and help offset the energy required to run the tower itself. Cool! The first two will be tested in southern California in 2010.
So if you’re thinking about installing alternative energy but are limited on space, Helix Wind could be just the innovation you are looking for!