When we built our off-the-grid house in 2000, our power system consisted primarily of 8 photovoltaic solar panels. Since then, we have been keen on adding a wind turbine to complement the solar, but just haven’t made that step yet. My father-in-law recently pointed out a small ad in the newspaper about a new Canadian-made wind turbine, so I checked out their website and was very excited by what I saw.
The Windterra ECO1200 is a 1000-watt wind turbine which, as you can see in the photo below, spins on a vertical axis rather than the traditional horizontal axis which you would be used to seeing. The advantage of the vertical axis system is that the turbine is omni-directional, meaning it will work no matter what direction the wind is coming from. The traditional wind turbines need to face into the wind in order to work. Other advantages of the Windterra turbine include: 1) it works better in turbulent air, 2) it is more effective at lower wind speeds (operates as low as 11 km/h), increasing its efficiency and output, 3) it can be mounted on the roof, eliminating the need for a costly tower, and making it easier to install and service.
Windterra’s online price of $6050.00 includes the turbine, controller/inverter, and mounting system – pretty well everything you need to get started.
Unfortunately for us, the Windterra ECO1200 is designed for grid-tied systems, and will not work with our inverter. I am truly disappointed about this, because it seems like such a great product. However, for those of you who are on the utility grid and have been considering the possibility of making some of your own power, this product may be your answer. Meanwhile, I’ll keep looking for the right turbine for us.
NOTE: New information: As of May 15, 2010 Windterra has closed down all operations.