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Small Scale Wind

Windspire Vertical Axis Wind Turbine packaged in appliance form by Mariah Power

About a year ago we wrote about Mariah Power’s Windspire vertical axis turbine intended to be packaged as an appliance. An update is in order now that the Reno, Nevada company has secured $1.25M in funding and is scheduled to produce and ship their first 50 turbines this month.

The distinguishing characteristics about this approach is that the turbine is packaged as an appliance for consumer use and has a relatively low price point, $5,000 installed. The other compelling design feature is that the turbine is vertically oriented reducing noise, vibration, and avian complications. The device is expected to produce around 1,800 kwh per year and cuts in at 11 mph wind speed.

Mariah is seeking expansion capital of more than $5M to grow their business starting with fulfilling their 1,200 customer orders for the Windspire turbine.

HT: Pete Palmer

3 Comments so far

  1. Cleve D. LeClair April 11th, 2008 12:31 pm

    This type of VAWT and others of this style cost 4k, not installed. For me this is unexceptablely[?] high. Is the generator using “rare earth” magnets? Or the new type of ceramic magnet?

    Why so expensive?

    Cleve D. LeClair
    Eugene, Oregon 97404

  2. mike April 11th, 2008 1:35 pm

    Cleve, I don’t know the answer to your question on why the cost is $4k not installed. However, I would surmise that the material and labor cost is close to $2k and the rest is margin. One would hope that with volume and economy of scale the price will come down over time.

  3. Matt G April 14th, 2008 10:37 am

    Design features that likely influence cost:

    *30′ steel tube thick enough to handle high wind loads without deflection.
    *Shaped fins.
    *Bearings able to withstand high loads.

    Each of these could be expensive to manufacture. All except the steel tube will likely go down in price with high volume sales.