Keith Lamb
Dodgy wind? Why "innovative" turbines are often anything but
How many times is somebody going to claim to have reinvented the wind turbine before they stop getting press?
What a load of rubbish. 1,500 kilowatt-hours of energy [per year] is half the average household...
This "might" hold true if you are including Africa and other undeveloped countries.
With a 3 bedroom house, all LED or CFL lighting, and very thoughtful heater and AC timing, we use between 800 KWH and 1300 KWH per month. The average in the US is right around 11,000 KWH per year, and this includes high density but highly efficient apartments and condos who wouldn't have the ability to install one of these if they wanted to.
Not saying this isn't an encouraging design especially for very rural properties, but the quoted statistics aren't even remotely indicative of normal modern households.
Joris van den Heuvel
@Jestep: not complete rubbish. You're talking about a US household. An NL household uses considerably less electric energy. 3,000 kWh is a normal energy consumption for an energy-conscious Dutch household. Few of us have aircons, and most of us heat their homes with natural gas.
Just for reference, 5m/s is slightly above the average annual wind speed for Chicago. So 1500 kWh is about the best you can expect. Most likely you'd get a fair amount less. Unless this was for a cabin somewhere, it doesn't make a lot of sense. You'd need about 10 to comfortably run a home, which would put you back $50K+
The Dutch historically know a thing or two about windmills :-)
According to their marketing collateral this thing has been independently tested:
This is obviously not a design for large installation, but if cheap and silent enough this thing could make sense in cities.
Ryan Akers
@Jestep: I wouldn't be so quick to slam the figures. I know my household only uses 3.5kWh per day. This is through smart use of power, we turn lights off in rooms we're not in, we don't use the heater unless we have to (just put more clothes on if you're cold), and we don't use aircon. This is in Melbourne Australia, so granted, we don't get as cold winters as in some parts of the US, but it's still an achievable figure IMO.
@Keith I missed that article the first time around but it was pretty good. One of the points he hits on are efficiency claims. He says "The gold standard is Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), in which all of the costs associated with raw material, manufacturing, transportation, construction, operations and maintenance are factored into a cost per kWh based on expected output over the life of the device."
In relation to that, you have to get fairly high off the ground to harvest faster wind speeds. You can't put something like this on fence posts. This leads me to question the sense of building ~$10,00 poles to get these ~100 feet off the ground just to install a turbine that is only 5' in diameter. It seems like if you are already going to invest in a structure that tall you might as well go with a larger turbine.
I would say there could be some need for a more compact design for some applications like the tops of buildings in cloudy areas but with so many people making bogus efficiency claims it's impossible to sort through them all without proper independent testing.
"The company states that it has tested the Liam "over 50 times"" as opposed to seeking out independent studies verifying their claims is a huge red flag. Certainly if their claims were actually true they would see value in independent testing instead of expecting people to take them on their word.
It's like all the nut jobs saying they created perpetual motion machines. If they aren't willing to fund an independent study confirming the claims they are making I can only assume even they don't believe them.
Erwin Lapschies
Got to tell you...Spend the money on energy conservation and you will save even more money than this thing will ever produce. Hate to be a "Downer" but this is a "no brainer"...Stay away from it.
Mark A
let's assume the statement "half the average household" is correct. My wife and I spend $60/month on our electric bill (all electric house - no gas, fireplace etc.) We live in San Diego. If we cut the bill in half we will save $30/month. It will take 15 years to recover the cost. Assumptions electric costs remain the same and consumption does not change.
I champion alternative energy but the expense needs to be inline with the benefit. Subsidizing this from my pocket is not going to happen here.
Brad McNutt
Looking at my electric bill, I paid $110 for 773 KWH this past month. If this thing can generate 1500 KWH in a year, at the rate I'm paying, I'd save about $225 dollars/year. So it would take me about 25 years to recoup my investment. I don't see how buying one of these would make any financial sense.