Category Archives: Mini Wind Turbines

Get Some German Engineering (Not Just for Your Driveway)

A revolutionary design, patented blades and an extremely high output ratio — these are the main features of a micro wind turbine truly “Made in Germany” but without the associated cost of most of the VW models people put in their driveways these days.

The BreezeBreaker 500 is under 5 ft (1.5 m) in diameter and costs under $1500. Developed by a 19-year old inventor from Hannover, Germany, this turbine has the lowest weight-to-output ratio in the world and undercuts Japan’s Zephyr Airdolphin Z1000-25 and Airdolphin GTO™ “next generation” models by roughly one third.

It did not take very long for the “next generation” to start looking like a rather old one: BreezeBreaker 500 by 19 years old Fritz Unger does not only sport a sensational weight-to-output ratio (just 11.875 grams per Watt of rated power) but also makes clever use of rotor physics: 2-blade designs are generally far superior to more blades as 2-blade rotors reduce blade turbulence and suffer significantly less wind energy loss.

Interested? Leave a reply below or e-mail mwt@miniwindsystems.com, and we will get back to you with full manufacturer details.

You Need to “Fly” a Mini Wind Turbine

Fancy a mini wind turbine? Like to save a bundle on energy cost or even make money by “selling” back — that is, export or feed-out electricity– to the grid? Sounds good?

Well it is — unless you get tricked into buying one of those attrative, cheap, and too-good-to-be-true junk turbines or dream up the impossible. Both are going to not work and will only cost you money. They will also give mini wind turbines or Home Power in general a bad name. Educate yourself before you buy! Be aware of the physical constaints and don’t ever assume that it might be possible to spin some little wheel from China up on your roof for a few hundred bucks or so. Never ever assume to even make lots of money from a junk turbine either.

It is just not that easy.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, this applies as much to Home Power generation as to any other area this phrase has been coined for. Do not believe any adverts touting cheap or apparently “affordable” products that will cover all your electricity needs or even promise you to effortlessly cash in big on “excess energy” exported to the grid. If it sounds “too good to be true”, it usually is. If it promises spectacular percentage returns, slash a few zeros. Don’t overestimate the potential of Home Power. Don’t expect to get rich quick, get rid of all your worries or make a lot of money with your mini wind turbine.

This does not mean it can’t be done — you need to know what you’re doing though, and you just won’t get it for “cheap”.

First of all, you need to live in a suitable location or at least have a chance to set up a proper tower for your mini wind project. Not all kinds of “wind” are suitable just because you can feel it in your face. The energy that can be harvested from the wind is better in “clean” wind situations. Buildings, trees and terrain shape may slow down the wind or cause turbulence. Slow wind, obviously, decreases potential energy output and may “cost” you some of your return. Turbulences do the same but also cause additional stress on the turbine, decrease its lifetime and, that way, may cost you even more. Overly simplified and as a rule of thumb, a mini wind turbine needs to sit about 30 feet above any obstacle within a 300 feet range. To get good results, a 40 foot tower would be needed in most areas. Unless for very special tubine designs or in a particularly suitable spot, roof-top deployment is not suitable.

This is why people say “flying” a mini wind turbine.

Flying is expensive — this also applies to flying your mini wind turbine. A suitable tower may very well cost as much as the turbine itself. Still, this is a good investment as it would be a waste of money to use a tower that is too low: if feeding-out electricity to the grid is your objective, this would be uneconomical and unnecessarily prolong the payback period of your equipment or make your mini wind project inefficient by design.

The bottom line is: never buy any garbage turbine from China or your average sweat-shop economy across the ocean, over alibaba.com, or eBay or you’ll lose money. Never use a tower that is too low or you’ll lose a good part of your profits (or the chance to make any profits at all). You don’t find suitable turbines in a local garden center either. Educate yourself before you spend any serious money, read a few books and know what you are doing before you buy your equipment. If you do it right, you may be able to make some money or even come up with very decent returns percentagewise. The key is doing your homework and knowing your numbers (which includes doing a proper wind survey). Then, Mini Wind may indeed turn out to be what you always were looking for.

Door Now Open for Feed-In Tariffs in the U. S.

The U. S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that U. S. states are free to enact their own feed-in tariff policies. This effectively clears the way for Feed-In Tariffs in the U. S. at state level similar to the ones in Germany or in the Province of Ontario. This decision by the chief regulatory body is expected to provide a further boost to Home Power and Renewable Energy as a whole on top of the already positive sentiment among U. S. consumers.

Latest polls show that up to 91% of consumers are in favor of Home Power generation and would be interested to set up their own systems sooner rather than later. The U. S. small wind energy sector has already experienced a 15% annual growth over the last years and is expected to accelerate even further. Equally bright are the prospects for Solar Power with improved technologies in solar thermal and CSP (concentrated solar power) as well as PV (photovoltaic or solar electric) generation.

Using Home Power for Hedging Yourself in Two Ways

The beauty of a Play in Residential-Scale Green Energy is its capability of hedging you against both a general economic downturn and an increase in electricity prices at one go. Both are likely to happen rather soon (and yes, even though it may sound contradictory from a conventional economic point of view to have both a severe recession or even deflation and an increase in energy prices at roughly the same time, this is still a very likely scenario). The supporting fundamentals for both are in place, it’s just a matter of time for them to materialize.

Click here to read more…

Can Airdolphin Power My Home?

Some of the most frequently-asked questions we receive is how much power to expect from mini wind turbines and if they can supplement in a meaningful way or even fully power an average home.

A very brief overview on what to expect in a real-life setting from a small wind turbine and how to expand energy output in a domestic setting.

This PDF leaflet is part of the downloadable information we provide free to registered website users.

Mini Wind + Solar = Perfect Home Power Mix

For both small and larger applications, miniwind and solar go nicely together in hybrid systems and help building the perfect Home Power mix of Clean and Green Energy. What matters is that it’s Renewable and Low Impact — both visually and overall-environmentally!

Residential-Scale Mini Wind Systems Increasingly Popular

The Mini Wind sector is reportedly growing at an annual rate of 15% in the U. S. despite the overall economic situation that might have you expect otherwise. One explanation is that the smart money (those people that stopped ‘flipping properties’ in 2006 or are gradually pulling their money out of the stock market since July ’07) seem to be heavily moving into having their own Green Power systems and also take advantage of that 30% federal income tax break everybody is talking about. Another explanation is the move toward safe-haven investments (gold, selected real estate, commodities or other tangibles). One of these may be having a residential-scale power system, particularly if it is properly configured to provide backup during blackouts.

Airdolphin Z1000-24 pricey quality small wind turbine available from miniwindshop Hamburg and online from http://www.miniwindsystems.com/

While we do not believe too much in those ‘suburbistan’ scenarios where the security benefit of backup power would be the most eminent, a certain degree of power independence is always a good thing — particularly if it comes with little extra effort while making your move from CO2-heavy centralized grid power to environmentally-friendly residential-scale Renewables!

Ready-Made Solutions and Turn-Key Packages

Striving to make Green Energy more accessible to everyone, we have developed and will soon launch a grid-tie pre-engineered mini wind system that comes complete with permit-ready documentation and an installation manual in plain English.

Pre-register here and be part of our client base to receive updates and upcoming release information right when they become available.

According to our customers, the lack of ready-made solutions and turn-key packages is the missing link in mini wind turbine technology. We’ll deliver just that!

LE-2000 Merlin, 2.5 KW Mini Wind Turbine

A compact yet powerful and rugged mini wind turbine. Can be run alone or in a wind-solar hybrid system or combined in a multiple turbine setting. Capable of powering a house, small farm or business, LE-2000 Merlin is an allround solution fitting a large number of local situations.

  • rotor diameter 3.5 m
  • capacity 2.5 KW @11 m/s
  • 3.0 KWp
  • rated very conservatively by manufacturer @8 m/s as 1.1 KW
  • proprietary 3-phase axial Neodymium Iron Boron Permanent Magnet
    Alternator
  • generator voltage 240 V AC
  • native AC generation for smaller cable dimensions than DC, lower
    cost of cables and longer maximum distance allowable between generator
    and connect point
  • utility-grade 230 V power and/or grid-interconnection for feeding-outof Clean Energy with suitable inverters
  • cut-in wind speed only 3 m/s
  • excellent performance at truly low wind speeds
  • high versatility, generator can run continuously in extreme wind
    situations with no cut-out required for generator (but possibly for
    protection of peripheral equipment)
  • low visual impact design
  • no rudder needed due to downwind design
  • direct drive, no need for gearboxes, oil or any
    maintenance-intensive parts
  • rugged, heavy-duty construction
  • incentives available:
    • U. S.: qualifies for a 30% U. S. federal income tax break
    • net-metering laws in place in many U. S. states
    • Feed-in tariff in VT (20¢/KWh)
    • U. K.: eligible in Britain for mini-wind Feed-in tariff at 26.7p/KWh
      for electricity generated (29.7p for exported surplus o the grid

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FAQs about Merlin 2.5 KW MWT as PDF