In honor of its 10th birthday, Google has announced a competition which calls on people to submit proposals for innovative projects in the areas of energy, education and health. As in other contests, the entries are to be submitted as Youtube videos, and the finalists are voted in by viewers like you.
One entry which is becoming increasingly popular belongs to a Seattlite named Chad Maglaque, an â€œinventor since childhoodâ€ according to the Seattle Times. Mr. Maglaqueâ€™s proposal is essentially to manufacture a small scale wind turbine that can be distributed in large retail stores (think Costco, Wal-Mart, etc.). That way, an average Joe like you or me could simply pick one off the shelf, bring it home and hook it up.
In order to facilitate said hook-up, Maglaqueâ€™s turbine does not require a converter, although it is not clear whether thatâ€™s because the turbine comes with a converter inside or because the electricity generated is already AC (which would make sense considering the motion of a turbine). The turbine also contains a sensor which allows it to kick on when it senses a sufficient amount of wind. All told, it should generated about 40 kwh per month.
So how much will it cost? About $400-500.
Oooh, Chad; thereâ€™s the kicker. See, small scale wind has a few things going for it, but economics has always been its Achillesâ€™ heel. As pointed out in one of the comments to the article, it would take more than 10 years to recoup those $500 in electricity savings, and even after that the turbine would only contribute a relatively small faction of the houseâ€™s energy needs.
Of course, there are other reasons one might want to buy such a device. There is a certain amount of satisfaction one could gain from harnessing even that little bit of wind power, and $500 is hardly at the high end of what people spend on things that they like. Maybe it could earn one some bragging rights amongst the neighbors â€“ no one is questioning the value of green peer pressure. But is this worthy of the Google prize?
You be the judge.
Via Seattle Times
written by JK, January 26, 2009
written by Saad Ali Abbasi, January 27, 2009
written by leroy, January 27, 2009
written by Leroy Jenkins, January 27, 2009
written by Chad Maglaque, January 28, 2009
written by Windy Deriair, January 28, 2009
written by Chad, February 02, 2009
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