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Jump, Fight and Win!
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I'm looking for input on a modified version of a wind turbine. The item is a TurboMill made by WindStream Technologies. WindStream has general data and information on their webpage http://www.windstream-inc.com/ but the product is still kind of new with what appears to be a limited (but growing) base of customers. Their retail plan centers on distribution to big box stores after February 2013 at a cost of around $600 per unit.

I'm curious if anyone has firsthand knowledge of this product, its capabilities and limitations. Also, is it a good deal, or is it too good to be true?

For others that have experience with wind turbines, what are your thoughts of the product based on the spec sheet http://www.windstream-inc.com/pdfs/TurboMill Technical Specifications.pdf

I've seen these units around near their headquarters in North Vernon, IN while I participating in a national level disaster response exercise at Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. I meant to stop in everyday but never seemed to find the time.
 

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Pleasantly demented woman
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That is very cool. I so hope your dope is correct!
 

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I have seen a very similar product that offered a large output. I will see if i can track it down as it also gave a lot more of the technical aspect of the hows and what is required to get the kind of wind to generate the power. I initially had concerns with the bearings that hold the vertical windmill up as this would be a source of friction and constant wear
 

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Windstream has been in the game for awhile, they are fairly popular units and preferred by many installers (guessing mostly because of discounts)

This particular item, the Turbomill, isn't exactly getting me too excited. Vertical wind turbines have their place but in my opinion should ONLY be used where they are required, meaning very low-wind areas, or only very turbulent wind.

Based on the spec sheet, the capabilities of this turbine are pretty dismal. It reads:

Up to 230KWh per year (based on 5m/s average wind speed)
143 W @ 11 m/s
500 W @ 17 m/s

Note the wind speeds are in meters per second not miles per hour. Tons of manufacturers are doing this to make their numbers look better.

230 KWH per year means you can potentially save $23 per year on your electric bill, based on national average of 10 cents per KWH. So if it costs $600 that's a 30-year payback time. YIKES

143 watts @ 11 m/s is extremely low compared to most other conventional turbines as well. 11m/s = 24mph. Only 143 watts in a 24mph wind!
 

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King of Nido
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I have seen plans for mills like that here and there, seems like an easy enough thing to build yourself. A few magentes, a "turntable", some copper wire, and a few split 5 gallon buckets.
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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Vertical axis turbines do not pull as much energy from wind as horizontal axis turbines do.

Generally, they are mounted closer to the ground where it's more likely you'll have wind shadow and turbulence.

The real dope is in the amount of electricity produced, and at what wind speed. The spec sheet notes that the setup can produce 230 KWH of electricity at 5 meters/second wind speed.

That's about 11 miles per hour, but the interesting thing is that where I am in Wisconsin, we pay about 13 cents per KWH. That 230 KWH per year at 11 mps is valued at retail at (lessee: .13 times 230 equals...$29.90 worth of electricity per year.)

That means your payoff on a $600 system is about...20 years, excluding other elements like batteries, inverter, whatever.

Vertical axis turbines can make sense in certain applications, one being where it's hard to put up a tower, another where you want some sort of backup power production to supplement solar PV.

But in general, there's a reason you don't see these things all over the place.
 
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