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Would You Buy Honeywell’s Home Wind Turbine?


Yesterday I alluded to the shortcomings of small wind turbines, and today I read about a device being sold by Honeywell that only reinforces my belief.  I can’t really think of levitra overnight anyone who’d benefit from Honeywell’s Home Wind Turbine.

The device itself is a six foot wide turbine which generates 1,580 Kwh per year, according to Honeywell’s promotional video.  They went on to claim that it will provide you with 15% of your energy needs, and pay for itself in 12-36 months.  In some states.

Let’s examine this, shall we?  The 15% comes from the assumption that the average household uses roughly 10-11,000 Kwh of electricity per year, 1,580 Kwh being roughly 15% of that.  That’s fine, except I have no doubt that the average suburban household uses more than 10-11,000, and those are the only households that would be interested in purchasing this system anyway.

Especially because it costs $4,500.  I don’t understand how they calculate the payback to be so short – the EIA estimates that electricity will cost an average of 12 cents/Kwh in 2010.  1,580 Kwh times 12 cents/Kwh gives you… $189.60 worth of electricity every year, which means you will pay off your system in 23 years.  Even if electricity cost a whopping 30 cents/Kwh, it would still take 9 years.  Unless my math is wrong, in which case please – correct me.

Parallels are often made between the levitra buying online cleantech industry today and real viagra pharmacy prescription the computer industry of, say, the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Perhaps some believe that, just like we used to pay thousands of dollars for computers that are now completely obsolete, people will pay similar prices for wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars at this stage in the game.  I say – they won’t.  Computers were cool, and they made our lives better and easier.  A six foot wind turbine that only produces a trickle of electricity doesn’t affect my life very much, and isn’t all that cool.

Via Gas 2.0

Image Via EarthTronics

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Comments (31)Add Comment
Pretty nice, actually
written by martin, July 24, 2009
The key regarding the payback time is in the sentence "Combined with federal and state and utility rebates, this 4500 dollar turbine will pay for itself in 12-36 months in many states. Clearly, they anticipate the cost to be significantly reduced by the various rebates and incentives.

Also, my energy consumption is somewhere around 6 KWh/day, so this turbine would produce a whopping 72% of my household needs. Pretty amazing, really. How real are these figures? 1.5 MWh/annum in a 6ft turbine sounds too good to be true.

I can't immediately tell from the video, but it looks like it is generating power by dragging permanent magnets around a circular track -- presumably filled with coils? Genius! Why has it taken this long for someone to figure that out?
Bigger is better
written by Wolfgang, July 24, 2009
Economically and ecologically big windmills are better.
* on roofs of houses in urban areas often much less wind is available, there are turbulences caused by the buildings, trees, ...=> much less energy can be harvested
* with that: to build such mills it costs more energy than it can be harvested before they break
* additional costs: installation and viagra buying maintenance

See in the articles below, why small windmills seldom do deliver the promised energy.
written by Bob Wallace, July 24, 2009
A few points...

Whether a wind turbine works for you depends greatly on how windy your site is. I know people living within a few miles of order viagra without prescription me who get almost all their electricity from a small windmill. I don't live in as windy a spot, I can't.

I'm getting 80+% of my power from PV solar. I have to burn some gallons of gas in a generator during the order female viagra cloudy months of winter. When I look at the price of a generator, tower, and installation I can't make the numbers work with gasoline in the neighborhood of $3 per gallon. When gas goes back above $5 per gallon I'll redo the math.

Unless one had an excellent site and lived where grid prices are high I doubt that this a windmill would be a good expenditure of personal/tax payer money.

Next, this turbing with its ~6 foot diameter is almost twice as expensive as a Bergey or Whisper turbine of the same size. I'd sure want to see some field tests to see if the extra money is somehow returned. There are issues of reliability, frequency/cost of maintenance, performance in various wind speeds, and ability to withstand very high winds that need addressing.

If you'd like to get a basic understanding of what's on the market try this site...

and on the "Select a Product" drop-down pick "Windmills".

Also Home Power Magazine recently published a very thorough review of wind turbines.

There are products on the market which are pitched at "homeowners". Some are very over-hyped. I don't know if this is a similar product or not, so would advise careful study for dropping a few grand.
blogger is a twit, Low-rated comment [Show]
It'll be a good deal for somebody ...
written by BruceMcF, July 24, 2009
... the open question is for how many.

The main technological point is that this "edge generator" design can generate electricity from lower speed wind than many conventional design wind turbines can do, so there will be SOME locations that are not economic (even including rebates) with conventional designs, which will be economic with this design.

The open question is how many areas are in that situation. And, realistically, early adopters of the design are in part the best price levitra online guinea pigs who will help answer that question.

However, give that the target is a rooftop or similar installation, it seems like it ought to be possible to design some kind of inexpensive wind speed meter that can give an on-site estimate of its viability for a given site.
written by russ, July 24, 2009
Look at the documents available from Honeywell - they point out all sorts of errors.

The thing is an expensive toy that will never pay for itself.

2000 kW is maybe 200 bucks - they are depending on incentives and subsidies - your tax dollars down the drain

Commercial turbines use a capacity factor of 30 to 35% - these guys are using 100%

They give some fancy way to determine output but simply take your average wind speed (say 10 mph) provides an output of 100 watts * hours (8760) * capacity factor (35%) / 1000 = 300 watts per year. Hell of a deal! Maybe 30 dollars per year return!

If you have 4500 dollars plus another 1500 to 2000 for installation why not just give it to Honeywell and save yourself a big headache - forget the turbine
what about federal subsidies for home users?
written by looselycoupled, July 24, 2009
Would you be able to write off the cost on your income taxes? What about renewable energy subsidies from the DOE/EPA ?
written by Bob Wallace, July 24, 2009
it seems like it ought to be possible to design some kind of inexpensive wind speed meter that can give an on-site estimate of its viability for a given site.

Got 'em....

One could use a
It's not the Benjamins
written by Gary M, July 24, 2009
Why is everyone so caught up in the almighty dollar, anyway? If you have the money, freakin' spend it, and spend it on the right thing for a change. As a culture, we're way too caught up on being about the money, except where keeping up with the generic everyday cialis Jones's is concerned. So be the damn Jones's and maybe others will follow suit. If not, you're still smarter than they are.
boss, Low-rated comment [Show]
@ Gary
written by bbm, July 25, 2009
It is about the Benjamins... at least how you spend them. You are MUCH MUCH MUCH better off spending that money on a solar array, or up insulation on your house, or on a hybrid car, or on high efficiency appliances etc.

The fact that even Honeywell claims that a handful of CFLs deliver a similar energy value *should* tell you something.

And Bruce... wind power varies with the cube of wind speed. So even if the rotor turns in 3mph winds, it's not going to generate much. Try cranking a 100 watt generator by hand sometime. It's a LOT of work.
written by Bob Wallace, July 25, 2009
on-site estimate


Did I use up my daily word allotment?

Anyway, one can use a
written by Bob Wallace, July 25, 2009
Davis/Other sub-$100 weather stations. $300-400 gets one that records data that can be downloaded to computer.

Looks like I've been word-limited...
Small wind...
written by Chris, July 26, 2009
Just a brief note... some of use nowhere near 10,000-11,000 kWh of electricity per year. I live in a well-designed 220 square metre suburban house. Granted there are only 2 of us, but we use less than 5kWh per day, which translates to 1,825kWh per year.

A combination of a smallish PV system (1.5kW) and a decent small wind device (average wind speed in my location is excellent) would easily see me selling energy back to the grid.

Thus, these sort of small scale devices (I haven't looked at the technical details of this particular machine, though) are useful in some situations.
written by Fred, July 27, 2009
As long as it saves
Seems too expensive.
written by Bob, July 27, 2009
I believe that there are home brewed options that go for about 25% the cost of this machine. Its still pretty early in the game, and I think that big name machines will have to come down in cost in order to compete.
VP Business Development & Marketing
written by Brian Levine, July 30, 2009
Good day,

I'm happy to chime in.

As VP of Business Development and Marketing at WindTronics, I believe these comments assume same old same old, but there is nothing traditional about this technology. As per our web site, "the Honeywell Wind Turbine's (HWT)Blade Tip Power System (BTPS) replaces the traditional gear box, shaft and generator of typical wind turbine technology. The Honeywell Wind Turbine’s gearless Blade Tip System creates a “free wheeling’’ turbine, generating energy from the blade tips (where the speed lies) rather than through a mechanical center gear".

I'd be pleased to share footage from a wind tunnel demonstration of how the system operates at 8mp when traditional turbines are just kicking in...the velocity of the HWT is off the charts.

WindTronics was created to make Wind Energy Generation affordable and efficient. This required a complete redesign. That's what we've done and enter site buying levitra yes we come to the cusp of maximum efficiency which was our plan.

In regards to payback, DOE states as average power consumption is 11,000kWh. At 2000 kWh in Class 4 wind, this represents 18%. No doubt Federal, State and Utlity rebates play a significant role in the payback equation, but thankfully we have these rebates and incentives to help us make a difference.

Think about magnets at the blade tips, no gears or shafts, startup at 1mph and the physics of weights on the blades tips.

We undertsand that small wind has disappointed to date. We didn't set out dressup exisiting technology, we literally turned existing technology inside out.

Brian Levine
written by payatz, August 04, 2009
This turbine only makes sense if it can quickly offset emissions caused by making it. Without that data, it is irrelevant to know how much money one can save by using it.
You're Forgetting Something
written by Sam Streubel, August 06, 2009
1. Honeywell claims in their literature that "Class 4 winds represent the majority of North America." A quick look at this wind resource map will tell you differently:

2. The wind speed readings on this, and most other wind speed charts, were taken at an altitude of 50 meters which is relevant only if you live in a tree house.

3. At 15-18 feet (the height of a typical one story house) you would be hard pressed to encounter mean, average, or any other measurable wind speeds greater than 12 mph.

4. At 12 mph, a 5.7 foot prop (the diameter of the Honeywell) would generate approximately 67 kWh of electricity per month.

5. This would translate to an estimated annual savings of $96 at $0.12/kWh.

6. Payback: $4,500 - $1,350 (30% tax credit) = $3,150.
$3,150/$96 = 32 years.

On the plus side: Over the 20 year useful life of this turbine, the cost per kWh would average out to around $0.20 which isn't bad in the world of alternative energy systems.

This amount would further be reduced by an additional 20-25% depending on your state's energy rebate policy and, of course, the payback period would be reduced by the same percentage.

Assuming an additional $1,000 for installation, I estimate the viagra professional 100mg cost per watt for the Honeywell system to be slightly under $7(before rebates) which is a buck less than the average $8(before rebates) per watt cost for solar. Once again, not bad.

Finally, I really like the idea of prepackaged electronics (inverter, etc.) sized to match the system. This concept is much like the "boiler room in a box" system used for hydronic heating and will really keep a lid on installation costs.

Source: http://www.alternative-heating...ntial.html

written by Tom Stacy, September 27, 2009
The comparison between computer technology and wind technology is interesting. One major difference - the only way to make wind turbines BETTER is to make them BIGGER. The opposite scaling evolved in the computer chip.

Wind can go so far - maybe 5 to 7% of our mix. Then it becomes the dominant factor (over demand fluctuation) in voltage/frequency regulation = negating much of the purported emissions reduction it advertises. Has anyone seen Michael Goggin?.
honeywell wind turbine
written by tracey whyman, October 29, 2009
The cost for this and other wind turbines including solar panels are way to high. When Sony can sell a 30" HDTV for $300 which is way more technical to build, than a 6' diameter bicycle wheel with fan blades attached with magnets on the ends for the rotor and a stator on the the outside. What I'd like to know what it actually costs Honeywell to build one, I'd bet it's less than $1,000. Most of these solar and usefull link cialis online order wind companys have been trying to sell there products for 40 years and only a few buyers have ever purchased them, remember the late 70's? Now everyone one is on a green kick again and no manufacturer will sell these products any cheaper than they did before, because they are trying to capitalize on a fad and the people that just have to have the fad first. Once someone finally sells the cialis delivered overnight product at a lower price but in large volumes will the green revolution really start, and the have resonable payback periods. By then the goverment will just tax the hell out of anyone who has solar or wind, to make up from the lost taxes the power company once provided to them. Right now the only way I see that I can put in alternitive energy is to build it myself, which can be a disaster in itself. I do like Honeywells idea, they just need to lower the price to the real world.
Honeywell Wind turbine
written by Paul Hunter, November 09, 2009
Having just read the it's cool generic cialis cheap honeywell review in PM I must say it sounds like a really cool design. Being an engineer I just love it when somebody thinks outside of the box. So good to read the blogs on this subject, it's's not always about the $$$, the long term good it can do OUR environment (I breath the same air, even in Africa when I'm here!)must not be forgotten and yes I do think that it costs to much....I'm sure the Chinese will oblige with a cheaper copy but I would be far happier if it was made in the USA...for many reasons. Congratulations Honeywell on such an innovative design.
Honeywell turbine
written by Dan Sitarz, November 18, 2009
A few quick comments: This turbine was designed at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center at Grand Valley State University in Muskegon MI and the designer, Imad Mahawili, had originally hoped that the units would retail for under $2,000. However, with the licensing of the technology to Honeywell, the price has more than doubled, driven more by advertising and marketing costs than by manufacturing costs, an unfortunate reality in today's corporate world. Additionally, the output claimed is for Class 3 and 4 wind areas (approx. 2000 kWh for Class 3 and around 2,560 for Class 4). This amounts to about 38 kWh per week output or about 5.4 kWh/day, certainly doable in the midwestern states that fall within the Class 3 and 4 wind areas. Finally, even at $4500 plus $1500 for installation = $6000, less 30% federal tax credit for small wind installation ($1800), you're now at $4,200. There are many state incentives that will effectively cut that amount in half and you are back to about $2,000 or $1/kWh which is quite competitive with most other small wind systems. Despite naysayers, of course the price should include the savings attributed to state and federal incentives (if the oil, gas, and coal industries did not have such incentives for the past 3 generations, those industries would not exist as we know them--certainly a good idea, but no reason to downplay the value of incentives to level the good choice buy now online levitra playing field for new energy technologies.
The Bigger Picture
written by Sean Crotty, November 27, 2009
I must say Yoni, and this is said with all do respect - you must look at the bigger picture. As a pilot, first in the USAF, and now flying commercially for the past seven years - I have literally spent my entire adult life flying our young men and women into conflicts in the Middle East where I see first hand as the caissons roll off the trucks and into my lower cargo hold - of the "true cost" of my energy use.
I think your math is faulty, as many in this thread have already mentioned - with incentives etc - we are now down to about $1 per KW for wind and this Honeywell comes in around that price - The thing I like most about it - is it is easy to set up - not complicated with a lot of moving parts - and the "idea" is revolutionary - One of the big efficiency issues with wind - and I see thousands of them popping up here in Germany when I'm flying over here - is that they all have gears etc - which brings up their cost and lowers overall efficiency. The Honeywell ingeniously IMHO - has figured that issue out by placing the magnets that will generate the electricity on the blades themselves and enclosing the blades in a "housing" that acts as the coils housing in a generator - very cool. Next time you fly on a jet take a look at the high by-pass fan jet engines - they are built almost exactly the same way - When engineers moved to these engines from the "old style" engines - we saved about 70% of our fuel by - by-passing about 80% of the air through that housing but not through the combustion chamber. When I saw the recommended site indian generic cialis Honeywell for the first time I kicked myself for not thinking of it myself having been flying jets for over 25 years now. Bottom line for me is not that we can make our own energy as cheaply today as we can from oil or gas or god forbid coal - but that when we factor in all the social, as well as financial costs - let alone the costs to those troops I keep carrying over to the sands of the Middle East - There is simply no option for me. I'm in the process of building a new home on a south facing ridge line in upstate NY - yes I love the view from the property - but the real reason I'm there - is the last time I sat on the tarmac in Iraq watching them load those caissons - I promised myself I'd do something - if only for my own home and own family - to show what was possible - maybe not practical yet - but possible - Only then - can those of us with - progressive minds - Hope to change the minds and canadian healthcare viagra actions of others. I thank you for starting this thread but humbly disagree with your final analysis.
written by David Jashi, December 16, 2009
I wonder, why everyone thinks only about installing this thing to save some money on electric bills, forgetting about places, where you can only dream of them, even in double price?

This thing would be excellent for powering remote repeater sites or cell towers in places, where there is not much sun to install solar batteries and power consumption is decent. Anyway this thing IS cheaper, than solar one, isn't it?
Wind Works
written by Kevin, January 21, 2010
As a solar / RE Installer, I like the unit. Anyone who wants can download design software (free) and run the where can i buy viagra numbers on this themselves. A small sclable wind solution is needed. I like that this is enclosed blades, and quiet..needed for residential applications. I would like to, when i have time, look at this on a scaled installation also.
has anyone purchased these turbines?
written by J. Quincy Sammy, March 16, 2010
inevitably, consumers have the last word. has anyone bought or know of anyone that has purchased this model and their feedback?

Electricity usage over baseline costs much more
written by Rhinus Maximus, June 30, 2010
The author's math doesn't take into account the much higher electricity rates paid by larger electricity consumers. If you exceed your "baseline quantity" the last Kwh of electricity on your bill can cost 4x more than the first.

Look at your electricity bill. PG&E charges 12 cents/ Kwh for your baseline usage. 14 cents for 101%-130% of baseline. 29 cents for 131%-200%. 42 cents for 201%-300% and 50 cents for over 300%.

In May, we used 61 Kwh over 300% of baseline. At 50 cents per Kwh the cost was $30.50. We used 378 Kwh at 201%-300% at 42 cents per Kwh at a cost of $159. So we have a total 439 Kwh at rates about 4x higher than the baseline price discussed in the article.

If the turbine produces 130 Kwh per month (+/- 1,580/yr) our savings would be:

61 Kwh @ 49 cents per = $30.50 plus
69 Kwh @ 42 cents per = $29.00 fot a total savings of about $60 a month. On top of that we pay a bit over 5% for "taxes and other" bringing the savings to $63/ month.

So that's about $750/yr. savings. We'd save $4,500 in 6 years; $5,250 in 7 years; $6,000 in 8 years.

The next part of the calculation is to compare the savings to the opportunity cost of the $4,500 initial cost(also known as Net Present Value). Say you parked $4,500 somewhere with a 3% annual return. in 6 years you'd have $5,534. In 7 years $5,700. In 8 years you'd have $5,871.

So after 8 years, you'd save as much money for investing $4,500 into the turbine as if you invested the $4,500 into a 3% bond.

In year 9, the savings start to mount. The $750 annual electricity savings compare to about $150 in interest on the bond to produce a roughly $600/year advantage for the turbine. This advantage gets eaten into by 3%/yr compounded.

This presumes that electricity rates don't rise. Probably not a safe presumption. It also presumes that you spend $0 on maintaining your turbine, another unsafe presumption. It also presumes that your bond doesn't default. You tell me if that's a safe presumption these days.

Bottom line: If you pay a premium for electricity usage substantially over your baseline quantity, the break even point on your $4,500 investment is 6-8 years. Cut that time in half and I think I still have a hard time convincing my wife to put a 6 foot fan on the roof of our house in order to save $750 a year.

written by Bill Wright, August 03, 2010
To clarify a previous poster's mis-conceptions on Big Turbine "Capacity Factor": it is the anticipated turbine output (based on location) divided by the turbines label plate rating ... in other words, if they say "1500 kw-hr annual based on 10 mph winds" then they have already factored the CF in. If they just stated the max rating, then you would have to come up with a CF (typically 20-30%) based on the annual average wind speed.
Supplemental Power Supply
written by Ted, November 23, 2012
I live in southwestern CT (wind zone 2...damn it!) where Hurricane Sandy just did a number on us, as everyone knows. Trees downed everywhere and whole towns without power for weeks.

Well before Sandy's arrival, I've been doing due diligence on a solar/wind/geothermal triple-play. I'm fortunate and $ is not my gating issue. I don't expect the solar/wind combo to alleviate my electric bill in any significant way, as I've got a lot of square footage to account for. I just want to have the independence to generate power apart from the grid to run essential systems like heating, refrigeration and lighting to whatever degree possible with a sizable and we recommend order cialis fully charged battery storage capacity, when needed.

I dig the environmentally clean aspects of each of these 3 techs and would rather put the financial investment here, rather than into a diesel generator, as power outages are far too common in this area, even without major storms.

I came to this thread hoping to find a few testimonials from current owners of the Honeywell unit, as this is the unit I'm focused in on. I'm liking it's magnet tech, it's size, It's light weight, it's 2 MPH start-up speed, it's quiet operation, the fact it's backed by an established brand/company like Honeywell for warranty purposes and it's sensible and compact control panel.

Any current owners out there willing to share? Would appreciate the feedback.
RV Wind Turbines
written by Peter, May 01, 2014
Have you seen people with RV wind turbines? They wait until they reach their destination, then they set up a wind turbine on top of their RV to recharge their battery bank. The problem with this is that you have to WAIT for the recharge. My idea is to attach a turbine to the front of the vehicle, smack dab onto the grill of the vehicle and as you drive, the turbine turns and recharges the battery bank so when you arrive at your destination, your battery bank is charged and ready for you. Better yet, figure out a way to use the radiator fan as a turbine so that when it turns to cool the radiator, it also charges the battery bank.

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