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EarthTronics: Wind-In-A-Box

We’ve got the “in-a-box” versions of nuclear power, data centers and biofuels. Why not wind power? Courtesy of Muskegon, Michigan-based company EarthTronics, sometime next year customers will be able to buy wind-in-a-box, in the form of a $2,000 wind turbine called WindTronics (via Muskegon Chronicle and Thoughts On Global Warming).

EarthTronics tells the paper that its wind turbine will have a 36-inch diameter, will be able to generate power at 3 mph wind speeds, and can supply 200-watts of power. The turbine is also intended to supply 10 to 20 percent of a home’s electricity. The company is working with the Grand Valley State University, the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, and technology development company E-Net.

According to the Muskegon Chronicle EarthTronic could start producing the turbine by the first quarter of 2009. One note, it’s still not plug-in-play, the turbine will have to be installed by an electrician, the company says. So the full cost of the turbine would have to account for the installation fees.

10 Responses to “EarthTronics: Wind-In-A-Box”

  1. Laurence Danning

    I forgot to mention that they also sell great CFL bulbs to save money.
    Here is what FOX News had to say about these

    The bigger problem with CFLs is their mercury content.

    Along with the phosphor, which can be one or many of several chemical compounds, mercury helps shift the invisible UV light into the visible part of the spectrum.

    The National Electrical Manufacturers Association, or NEMA, which sets voluntary industry standards, suggests that CFLs of 25 watts or less — the equivalent of a 100-watt incandescent bulb — contain no more than 5 milligrams of mercury, the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen.

    Both CFL manufacturers and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend recycling CFL bulbs, since breaking or incinerating them releases mercury into the air. The poisonous metal can then find its way into soil, water, fish and fish-eating humans.

    Sites such as, and offer information about where CFLs can be recycled, and certain retailers such as IKEA accept used CFLs for recycling.

    Should you break out the hazmat suit if you break a CFL at home? The EPA offers a checklist at that suggests you leave the room for 15 minutes, then return to sweep up and double-bag the mess — and not to vacuum unless absolutely necessary.

    So handle with care, lest you end up like Brandy Bridges of Prospect, Maine, who broke a CFL bulb in her daughter’s room in March and was told that professional environmental cleaning would cost about $2,000.

    These guys are great. Talk about being GREEN!

  2. Laurence Danning

    I completely agree with Mr. Kelley.
    There is to much lying and deceit going on in this country under the disguise of Energy Saving.
    What do you expect from a company that has a track record of lying to everyone it does buisness with. Oops that is the parent company Ameriform. At least they changed the name so that it does not tarnish the name of this great country any more.

  3. Larry Kelley

    I agree with Dan.
    Here are basically the same type of comments I left on another site about Wintronics.

    The unit described (the 36″ diameter ‘WindTronics” wind turbine) will generate an ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM of 35 watts in a 10mph wind. That is only enough power to light up a couple of efficient CF light bulbs. It would be nice if the wind blew at a constant 10mph where all these “average homes” are. These idiots (scam artists) state that this 35 watts is equal to 20% of an the average homes use of electricity. If the wind blew at a constant 10mph for 24 hrs/day for 30 days/month, that would produce the following power. 35watts x 24hrs x 30days/month = 25,200watthours/month. Divide by 1,000 to get kilo watthours (that’s the unit of power we pay the electric companies for) and we get 25.2Kw-hrs/month. The average charge per Kw-hr is 10¢ or about $2.52 for our 25.2kw-hrs. Wow, what a deal! Spend $2,000 and who knows how much more money for installation and inverters to change dc into ac (or re-wire your home to use dc) (These generators put out direct current(dc) just like a battery.) Most people want to run devices that utilize alternating current (ac), so a device called an ‘inverter’ is used to change dc into ac.
    In other words, spend $2,000 + $500? to save $2.52/month or $30.24/year. What a deal! 1.2% return on your money. You’d probably be better off buying beer with the money and turning in the cans for scrap! The guys promoting this are scam artists of the worst kind! They hide under the wing of a university and prey on a city desperate for industrial growth.

  4. I did find one article with some details.

    This sort of garbage comes along all the time and I don’t mind calling a spade a spade when I see it. Lots of details are missing but two things stand out in my mind. Its 36″ in diameter (that’s the main thing). It’s to be roof mounted!

    They claim it’s unique because its ‘gearless’ – I should challenge anybody to show me a modern small wind turbine that is not ‘gearless’! That’s not unique. I don’t see much unique about the machine other than it’s strange appearance and the tail being a bit too short.

    First problem – small swept area (36″ diameter). They claim it will produce energy in a 3mph wind. If you do the math and work out the energy available in a 3mph wind for a machine of that diameter you find that – if it’s a perfect wind turbine, about 1 Watt is available! In a 20mph wind, if its ‘perfect’ (no wind turbine is) about 150 Watts. Reality is going to be closer to half that.

    Another problem… the roof of a house (especially in an urban or suburban environment) is a bad place for a wind turbine, it tends to be turbulent, wind speeds tend to be low. To be cost effective – wind turbines need to be well above buildings, trees, etc.

    I think there are two possibilities here – either the folks behind this turbine don’t know what they’re talking about, or they’re scam artists (that is my opinion) – these sorts of ‘new inventions’ come along all the time in wind power and it’s frustrating – it’s misleading to the public because they get so much press, and it gives small wind a bad name.

    We are at a point in history when it’s more important than ever to be using our resources wisely. When it comes to energy, we need to get the best bang for our buck. With wind power, that involves putting machines on windy sites, on tall towers. Wind energy makes good sense for urban/suburban places – it’s accomplished by puttting large, utility scale machines on the very best sites and bringing that energy to the end user with the power grid! It does not involve lots of tiny roof mounted wind turbines. This stuff has been tried many times and it’s well proven not to be cost effective or even close.

    Here is a page of interest: