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article imageTiny wind turbines coming soon to a roof near you

By Chris V. Thangham     Sep 3, 2008 in Environment
A British company has created tiny turbines that generate enough electricity to power two homes or a small office of 20 persons. The tiny turbines can be easily installed on roofs, and are ready for distribution through German energy giant, RWE.
Despite the fact they are tiny, these tiny turbines pack a lot of powerful punch. Measuring meters (16 feet) tall, the blades measure about three meters (9.6 feet) in diameter.
RWE has plans to install thousands of these turbines across Germany, elsewhere in Europe and maybe in the U.S.
Compared to their giant cousins installed outdoors, these tiny turbines are virtually silent; they don’t require any high winds to get them started; they do not need long blades to catch the wind; and they work no matter what direction the wind is blowing. Also, the turbines can easily be installed outside homes, in city parks and in office buildings.
The rotors are built by a British company Quiet Revolution, a company that has won design and technical awards for the rotor model “QR5.” It is currently in operation in a number of places in England such as Kings College School in Wimbledon, in high-rise buildings and others.
After seeing the innovative turbine design of QR5, RWE has invested in the Quiet Revolution company.
Fritz Vahrenholt, Director of RWE told German newspaper Der Spiegel:
"When I saw Quite Revolution...it was immediately clear to me that with this wind turbine, the dream of many people to have their own, decentralized power supply could be fulfilled -- even in places where the sun doesn't shine and where there is no power grid."
He said the product is innovative, but the costs are still high for now. Vahrenholt said mass production and improved materials should bring the current cost of €30,000 ($43,275) per turbine, down quite a bit. The turbines also need a professional installer, making them expensive.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to have these turbines put in his city. He wants to install them in the many high-rise buildings across Manthattan. He told Der Spiegel:
"If rooftop wind can make it anywhere, this is a great city...We have a lot of tall buildings."
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