We're eager to set up a wind turbine here on the windswept prairie of the U.S., but don't want to bother the neighbors with all that whooshing noise. The Windspire vertical wind turbine design might be just what we're looking for. Mariah Power says this 1.2KW $5000 turbine, now on sale for the first time, is quiet, and it doesn't look too bad, either — it may be attractive enough to get by even the finickiest homeowners' association.
The shape of this 29.5-foot-tall vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) has been around for a while, dating back to ancient Egyptians, but Mariah Power is making it more practical. They're saying this model can provide 25-30% of the power needed in a typical house. There's even a Wi-Fi transmitter on board so you can monitor its output on your PC.
The company says it's working on a wider 3KW version that's the same height, and it could supply all the power you need. There's no word on pricing of the larger turbine, but combined with a 30% government rebate, the prospect of seeing our electric meter spinning backwards is an irresistible incentive. Take a look at a video of the Windspire in action: