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Summary:

Plastic parts maker Cascade Engineering is bringing a small rooftop wind turbine called the SWIFT to North America. The company says the SWIFT is significantly quieter than traditional small wind turbines — less than 35 decibels, compared with 40 to 50 decibels for competing products. The […]

Plastic parts maker Cascade Engineering is bringing a small rooftop wind turbine called the SWIFT to North America. The company says the SWIFT is significantly quieter than traditional small wind turbines — less than 35 decibels, compared with 40 to 50 decibels for competing products. The tiny turbine is already available in the UK, Belgium, New Zealand and the Netherlands through its Scottish designer, Renewable Devices. Cascade has licensed the technology to bring it to the U.S.

Several cities, including San Francisco and New York, have called for more small wind systems to be installed on city buildings, so perhaps the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Cascade could be a hit with urban planners concerned about noise pollution from wind turbines. Renewable Devices says the SWIFT is “the quietest wind system currently available,” due to a ring that connects the outer edges of the blades, which causes air to move silently off the rotor.

In North America, Cascade is targeting both commercial and residential building owners, and the company will first offer the product in the Northeast and Great Lakes states. While the company is targeting home owners, it isn’t a DIY product — it requires a professional installer and costs $10,000 to $12,000. For that price, customers get a wind turbine that produces 1.5 kW, or up to 2000 kWh per year, and has a blade diameter of 7 feet.

In the U.S., the market for small-scale wind is still tiny, and most of the wind turbines that get installed are for large wind farms that will sell the power to utilities. But there are still a variety of startups looking to develop products, as the trend of small-scale distributed renewable energy has started to gain momentum. Some of the startups we’ve covered include Quiet Revolution, Mariah Power, Marquiss Wind Power, Helix Wind, and Southwest Wind Power (round up here).

By Katie Fehrenbacher

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  1. [...] Read more about this here. [...]

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  2. Interesting. I didn’t realize noise was such a big issue for wind power.

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  3. we produce and sell wind turbine : http://www.worldwindturbine.com

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  4. I have been waiting to hear that swift wind turbines will be coming to NY. It sounds like a perfect fit for me.

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  5. [...] in. Japan-based Nikko last week said it plans to make a small-wind turbine, and Michigan-based Cascade Engineering in October said it was bringing its wheel-shaped turbines to North [...]

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  6. I think there is a better designed system than this. The rooftop wind turbines at WindEnergy7 are more reflective of the proven designs of Utility Scale Wind Power. You see, there is decades of design, testing, and engineering behind the three bladed wind turbine designs that are used in large scale wind farms. This thing is different looking and may be a nice piece of visual I guess, but most people investing in home wind systems want performance not a sculpture.

    The rooftop wind system at WindEnergy7 follows proven technical knowledge of wind power. Besides, their turbines stainless steel parts will last far longer than this plastic design pictured here. Have a look at a real durable turbine here.. rooftop turbine

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  7. The average home uses about 10,500 kWh (kilowatt hours) each year. According to this article, the wind turbine systems designed for the home can cost nearly $12,000 (installed) and produce up to 2,000 kWh per year. I live in a 2000 sq. ft. home in Virginia. My average electric bill is $225 per month or $2700 per year. If my home is considered “average” and I reduce my bill by 2000 kWh annually (19%), I’d save about $513 each year. Using my rough numbers, it would take over 23 years to break even. Am I missing something? Perhaps I need to add an array of solar panels as well – for another $30,000. Now I see why France went Nuclear . . .

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    1. William A. Marley Thursday, October 22, 2009

      Oh yes ! When you sell the excess electricity to the utility company, they pay you 3/10th of a cent per KwH while they are charging you from $10.00 per KwH to $40.00 per KwH.
      Jimmy Carter was a genius when he instituted tax breaks for solar and wind back in the early 80′s. The idiot that screwed up California when he was Governor, recinded those tax breaks when he was President.
      If you are looking for state rebates, don’t expend too much energy, you won’t find any unless you live in California. Everyone gets the measley stipend of $4000.00 federal rebate.
      Until we get rid of the blood-sucking utility companies and the (pockets full of utility co. money) people who regulate them we are not going to get anything that will improve our lives electrically that is affordable.
      This greening of America is a conspiracy between Obama (Democtrats) and the utilities (Republicans) to screw you out of your hard earned money !
      Build your own wind turbine with an old worn out box fan really cheap, just use the internet, it’ll show you how !
      a

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  8. cost is prohibitive. if these companies want to really exsist then they have to bring it to the realm that makes financial sense. It seems that they are just using federal dollor grants for nothing

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  9. This is inspiring. First, MI needs all the jobs it can get, so I’m glad Cascade is in Grand Rapids. Second, small scale wind is still a developing industry. Remember when CD players cost $400? DVD players $900? Wait till communist China starts cranking these out for about $100 a piece, you’ll see Cascade and other companies adjusting accordingly. Also, look at it this way, we NEED electricity, we don’t need DVD players, yet we buy them anyway. We also NEED Furnaces, hot water heaters, and clothes washers, -though once upon a time we didn’t have those either, but are now standard in every household. At some point, it WILL be ‘code’ to have some sort of renewable energy (wind/solar) included in every new build. Older homes will have to upgrade. This is a ready product to help make that happen.

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