Posted 12 September 2011, by Mahashweta Patra, EcoFriend (Instamedia), ecofriend.com
Wind energy generators have been around for centuries in various shapes and sizes. But as the eco-friendliness becomes a constant topic for concern, the wind energy generator or windmills are moving up in the preferred list of those concerned about energy and environment. Wind is one of the natural and renewable sources for thermal power generation. Scientifically, it is defined as conversion of kinetic energy (the motion energy) into mechanical power. However, large sized wind turbines are mainly suitable for the sea side or hill top areas. Therefore, many micro wind turbines (about 5+ meter of height) have been designed and have become very popular for generating sufficient electric power. Micro turbines are mainly suitable for off-grid places, where national grid electricity can not be accessible. The entire process comprises of the storage of generated electricity first in battery banks and then the circulation of the energy via inverters in the form of 240 A.C electricity.
When it was realized that micro turbines were not apt for urban areas, basically because of its noisy generator and poor functionality in low average wind speed, micro wind turbines became very popular. The micro wind turbines also provide an additional support to national grid electricity for specific areas. The micro wind turbine can be fitted on the roof tops conveniently and is capable of producing enough power for basic household consumption. These micro wind turbines are quieter with minimal vibration than the conventional turbines. There are several domestic micro wind turbines such as Windsave 1000 and D400 StealthGen, which are available in cost effective rates and are eco-friendly as well.
Here is the list of various types of micro wind turbines:
1.Skystream 3.7– The Original Skystream Personal Wind Turbine
Skystream 3.7 wind turbine is well suited for homes and business areas. The most exciting feature of this energy generating machine is that, it functions even in low wind environment. It is a user friendly machine and can be easily controlled with the help of Skyview monitoring software installed in your computer system. This Skystream 3.7 comes in a sleek and modish design and there are monopole towers of varied lengths. Good efficiency even in low wind speed (due to presence of special blades which are swept shaped) and excellent durability with easy to operate are some of the highlights of this micro wind turbine. It also comes with a warranty of 5 years. The entire set up is capable of producing 400 Kilowatt hours of electric power per month and is highly recommended for schools and government buildings.
Bergey Excel was introduced first in the year of 1983. This wind turbine is installed at around 1,800 sites across the world till date. Recently, this specific turbine has been upgraded with powerful alternator and larger blades to enhance its efficiency and performance by 25 percent. This machine basically designed with around 7-meter diameter is estimated to produce approx 10,000 W power. Bergey Excel wind turbine is available in two configurations: grid-connected and battery charging form. It is highly reliable turbine and requires very low maintenance and functions in the adverse weather conditions as well. Also available with varied height towers (18m to 43m) and bending versions, these micro wind turbines are also offered as per your location. It is highly recommended for locations like Eco- tourism resorts, larger tele-communication sites, big rural areas, remote villages and places with lesser facilities. The price ranges varies from 25,770$ to 31,770$ due to upgradation with a voltage regulator or a grid synchronous inverter
The Whisper 500 turbine is specifically designed to encounter the harsh and high speed wind conditions. The attention has been paid to its extraordinary design, which includes two blades with fiberglass reinforced design. The component named angle governor helps in protection of the turbine by turning the blades and alternator out of the wind. As a result, there is less exposure of turbine in high speed environment conditions. The side-furling angle governor basically helps in carrying out smooth functioning of the turbine resulting into the high yield of energy by this machine. It produces around 500 Kilowatt Hours of power every month with the wind speed of 12 mph. The only drawback of this machine is that it is not suitable for the installation in marine areas.
4. AeroVironment Architectural Wind
This particular kind of turbine is quite different from the conventional wind turbines, specifically in terms of design. The AeroVironment Architectural Wind design is such that it can contribute in easy production of thermal energy. It is mainly designed for commercial buildings and can also add up to the architectural beauty of the building. This micro turbine is to be placed at specific positions of the building to take the complete advantage of accelerated wind that eventually results into 50 percent maximum production of thermal energy than the power generated by the systems located outside the acceleration zone. This clean culture of power generation is very popular and adapted by most of the commercial offices.
5.Southwest Windpower AIR X marine
Southwest Windpower AIR X marine is considered as the latest evolution in the history of micro wind turbines. The AIR-X turbine is the world’s largest selling turbine so far. The special features associated with this machine make it more advanced and popular in contemporary time. The additional features include a micro-processor to regulate the speed that helps in enhancing the performance, advanced body charging capability and reduction in loud noise generated by the device. The controller attached to the main machine helps in keeping a track of the wind by controlling the function of the alternator. The main function of the cubic curve alternator is to generate the energy to be delivered to the battery. The smart controller of the turbine helps in proper movement of the blades and reduces the possibilities of flutter noise.
Recently, a new range of carbon reinforced blades with optimum angle direction has been introduced. These are very useful in increasing power production. The noise system is basically controlled by the efficient electronic circuit system of this micro wind turbine type. For example the electronic circuit system slows down the blades in case of heavy winds. Apart from this, special battery set up has also been introduced which mainly focuses on high battery durability and no overcharging. Any battery size bank between 25 amp-25,000 amp hours or higher can easily be associated with this kind of turbine. Also there is a special auto brake feature to slow down the AIR-X turbine to silent spin when the battery is fully charged and indirectly also helps in reducing noise. The highlight of this turbine system is that a manual switch on-off control option is attached to it. This wind turbine design is highly resistant to any critical situation of wind, sun and water and does not require any additional support of a tower.