Green energy: Wind power rooftop unit generates electricity in moderate wind

Green Energy Technologies' WindCube, the first rooftop commercial-scale urban wind power system, can generate short payback with moderate wind. See photo gallery.

05/13/2009


Rooftop industrial power: Green Energy Technologies WindCube photo gallery


WindCube comes in a single (60 kW) or dual (120 kW) system, and in rooftop or tower-mounted designs.


Bernoulli Principle helps the WindCube capture and amplify the wind.


Windcube is said to produce the same amount of energy as a traditional (50 ft dia) turbine in a 22 x 22 x 12 ft framework.


WindCube generates electricity by running its motor backwards using an impeller (the opposite of a propeller), eliminating the need for a gearbox.


Building owners, managers, and developers will likely seek renewable energy credits from green building programs.

Akron, OH – Green Energy Technologies LLC launched its WindCube, a 60 kW rooftop wind turbine designed for on-site power generation by commercial and industrial power users in urban and suburban locations. The turbine, which captures and amplifies the wind, fills a previously unmet need for wind turbines that can be placed into service in a very small footprint and take advantage of the nation’s net metering laws. [In related news,

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) agreed to fund wind power initiatives

.]
“Building owners anywhere can consider being a part of the renewable energy picture,” said Mark L. Cironi, president and founder of Green Energy Technologies, with John W. Fedor, the technology’s inventor. “With WindCube, it’s not necessary to have the wind of Kansas or Nebraska to become a generator of wind power. In states with excellent renewable energy incentives, moderate wind and high electric rates, the payback can be as little as three years.”
60 or 120 kW designs
The turbine is available as a single (60 kW) or dual (120 kW) system, and in rooftop or tower-mounted designs. The product is modular to satisfy a customer’s electrical requirements, and produces the same amount of energy as a traditional (50 ft dia) turbine
in remote locations.

Bernoulli amplifies the wind

The WindCube features a patent-pending design that relies on the wind tunnel effect known in
physics as the Bernoulli Principle. While the rest of the wind industry generates energy through the use of freestream wind, the WindCube captures and amplifies the wind, which produces more kilowatt hours (kWh). As the wind comes into the WindCube shroud, it becomes concentrated, creating increased velocity and, in turn, more power, the company says. Because of the amplification effect, the WindCube can capture wind energy as low as 5 mph.
The WindCube generates electricity by running its motor backwards using an impeller (the opposite of a propeller), eliminating the need for a gearbox. This lowers the cost of ownership, because the gear box is the source of most of the maintenance problems and failures on conventional wind turbines.
In related news, Roth Bros. Inc. (Youngstown, OH), a national energy management, HVAC and roofing services company, will provide WindCube customers with 24/7 monitoring of energy usage using an online remote system designed for the WindCube. Roth also will install the WindCube turbines at each customer’s location, from initial site analysis to commissioning, and Roth can provide post-installation preventive maintenance and service on the units.
Building owners, managers, and developers will likely seek renewable energy credits from green building programs like LEED and Green Globes, said Cironi. With Net metering, Stimulus Bill tax credit can apply.
According to Cironi, Net metering is a simple, inexpensive, and easily-administered mechanism for encouraging the use of smallscale wind energy systems. When a customer produces more electricity than is needed in a building via an onsite generation system such as the WindCube, the existing electricity meter spins backward, yielding a credit to the electric bill. At an average wind speed of about 15 miles per hour, one WindCube will generate about 160,000 kWh per year of electricity.

Green Energy Technologies WindCube

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 federal stimulus law reportedly contains a provision that allows buyers of “small wind” systems (up to 100 kW) an uncapped investment tax credit of 30% of the total installed cost for systems placed in service between now and 2016. The American Wind Energy Association predicts the federal subsidy could help the small-turbine market grow by 40% to 50% annually, a boost that would parallel the growth of the U.S. solar photovoltaic industry after a similar 2005 initiative. Most states provide some form of applicable renewable energy incentive. Ohio, for example, offers a tax rebate of 40% (capped at $200,000) of the overall project cost on facilities served by the state’s investor-owned utilities.
See recent Control Engineering coverage of wind-generated electricity ., including "

Welcoming wind power to Chicago

," a Pillar to Post blog item on May 7.


- Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
Control Engineering News Desk, www.controleng.com
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