Gearless Turbine Gets Power From Light Winds

Windtronics has developed a new home wind turbine that could be a practical renewable energy option, even for folks living in areas with light or infrequent winds. The new product is called the Honeywell Wind Turbine and its manufacturer says it features technology capable of converting wind speeds as low as two mph into energy.

The Honeywell Wind Turbine weighs in at just under 185 pounds and measures about six feet in diameter. Windtronics claims it can produce up to 1500 kilowatt-hours annually depending on the wind speeds at a given location and the height at which the turbine is mounted.

image via Windtronics

Perhaps the turbine’s most unique design point is that it is totally gearless. Instead of gears, it uses a system of magnets and stators that line its outer ring to capture power at the blade tips where speed is greatest. According to Windtronics, this design practically eliminates mechanical resistance and drag thereby allowing the turbine to start turning in winds as low as 0.5 mph and generate energy at 2 mph.

Windtronics appears to have weighed versatility heavily in design considerations. The turbine can be roof or pole mounted and it comes with three different connection types that allows power to either be fed into a grid, routed to a building, or sent directly to a battery storage system.

As for power output, WIndtronics rates its turbine at 1,500 watts at 31 MPH wind and 2,200 watts at 38 MPH peak rating. Pricing starts at $5,795 (plus installation). Similar to installing an electric generator, the Honeywell Wind Turbine was designed, according to the company, to be installed by a licensed electrical contractor. Apparently this may not be a DIY project like other turbines we’ve written about in the past. It is also in sharp contrast to the cheaper home wind turbine for sale through Wal-Mart we recently mentioned.

Windtronics offers a few online resources intended to walk would-be wind turbine owners through a series of important pre-purchase considerations such as local wind speeds, incentives, rebate and grant programs, zoning and permitting requirements, homeowner’s association regulations and onsite placement for the turbine.

  • Rick

    Wow, that seems about 10X what it *should* cost. What a waste. A little plastic, a little metal and a microcontroller does not a 5K device make.

  • I agree Rick, it does seem a bit steep for what it is. Maybe they are hoping early adopters will pay anything?

  • Ignoring the cost issue for the moment, does anyone know how this performs in snow? (I mean the serious stuff like we have in New England, not the occasional dusting.) While it’s possible that the spinning keeps it from accumulating snow, I’d expect it to jam easily. Anyone want to reassure me?

    • Laura Rupiper

      It would definitely need some type of anti-icing similar to a turbine engine on an airplane.

    • Bkd

       This product was design for lake effect winds and high snows in northern Michigan, and also will withstand high winds ans sands of Iraq.

  • Doyle

    Rick & Jessica,n Have either of you priced a medium-high end bicycle recently, much less a 2000 watt grid-tie sine-wave inverter. Energy-spoiled infants that have no concept of manufacturing costs, including a real payroll, rather than just buying trash built by near-slave wage labor and shipped over here on fossil-fueled ships. How long would it take you to just assemble one of these, at what wage? Priced stereo speakers lately…the gearless rim-generation system uses about 10 times the amount of expensive high-strength magnets. Paid wages for any electrical engineers or R&D projects recently? Adjust your expectations to the real costs of energy before you learn it the hard way… riding shanks mare in the dark. And no, I am not associated with that company, I just get tired of spoiled whiners expecting to get the product of other hard working folk’s labor for peanuts.

    • Bkd

       This is a completely made in the U.S.A. product. Every one of the people that assemble it are from the US. and they get proper wages for it.

  • Anonymous

    u00a0 This, and all other current designs are biased, scewed, towards providing the kind of currents ‘American Dreamers’ require! In Canada, even thirty years ago, homes of Stack wood construction, Straw Bale construction with R 60+ exterior walls were commonly built. Even the Saskatchewan government had ‘Double Wall’ technologies yielding higher R values – now, consult current Off Grid folks, and their lifestyles – do they require these high current devices? Hell No! What do they need? They need constant trickle charging of batteries, even from slight breezes, at voltages that will charge but no more! Even the technology in this article can be further modified to take advantage of the smallest breezes to develop even a faint trickle charge for individual batteries. Wind Turbine technologies are trying to replace grid connections – bad! Wind Turbine technologies need to change gears, provide easy battery charging at lower voltages, yielding lower currents required by the new age of LED lighting, low power computers, even low power cell phones, low power repeaters for them! Even Microwave cooling used in our homes plugs into the 120 volt socket, not the 220 heavy ampere stuff! Question: can a D.C. Powered, super efficient microwave oven be devised for ‘Off Grid” folks? In the new world of sustainable living styles, Wind Turbine requirements, even Solar cell requirements will morph to the new circumstances, and super-insulation technologies will surface, even those hidden, buried in “Patent Hell’ even by big oil concerns, like the EV-1 electric car, will be outed, perhaps by ‘whistle-blowers’ or anonymously here on the net. Areo-Gel technologies will come to market and R60 and upward will become commonplace reducing dramatically energy required for comfortable heating/cooling. Now, go build that Wind Turbine, similar to this one, but dedicated to deriving the absolute max from the smallest to the largest wind movements/time to give me light, communications, and microwave heat for cooking!

  • Bkd

    Can not understand how all of you people with out knowing any thing about this technology
    make such statements. The Honeywell turbine is not like any other turbines. it starts to produce electricity at 2 miles and hour. Can be mounted on most all houses. Can be grid fed or battery backup. This wind turbine and the many ways it can be used is far over all of your heads. It is made in grand rapids Mi. go on line and look up the currant information. If we don’t start using these new technology’s we are going to run out of all the old ones.  If we keep shallow minds then we will never find a way to the future.

  • hugh stotts

    why not a smaller one.   SAY one to two ft. dia.  regards hugh BSME ISO test

  • photoglyph

    that’s a long time to make up the upfront cost…

  • doran

    The company is defunct.