Using Wind to Power Homes

by Green Jobs Ready on March 22, 2011

The SmartWind RidgeBlaster is a new wind power device that can generate power from rooftops.

According to SmartPlanet, the “wind power design can be cheaply and unobtrusively installed on buildings and houses.”  It works by gathering wind energy using a wide horizontally-shaped wind turbine that sits atop the peak ridge of a roof.  It is meant to blend into the structure so that it can be strategically placed to harness wind from all directions.  It can produce up to 1.8kW of electricity.  Creator Jim Post is said to be near completion in producing a testable prototype estimated to cost about 4,000 to purchase and install.

It was entered in GE’S ecomagination Challenge competition.  Five winners will be picked and awarded $100,000 and potentially a bigger investment or contract from GE to further develop the technology.

Here is a video demonstration on how the SmartWind RidgeBlaster works:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zC4dkYeSkjA

Wind energy is an alternative form of energy that is cheap, clean, and sustainable given the inexhaustible abundance of gusts.  However, wind energy only accounts for two percent of the world’s electricity production.

One reason the energy sector has been reluctant to invest more in wind energy is that wind harnessing devices usually take up a lot of space.  Installing them is problematic in densely populated areas.  Until recently, wind power is generally been produced using large wind turbines.  How do they work?  Simply put, instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity.

But as creative minds such as that of Jim Post have shown, smaller, practical and efficient wind devices can be produced.  Hopefully, this will bring us forward in developing more consumer friendly green technologies.

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