Honeywell Wind Turbine by EarthTronics

I think the Honeywell WT6000 wind turbine sold by EarthTronics  has the opportunity to "blow" open the residential and light commercial market. From the Earthtronics Honeywell WT600 wind turbine website:

The Honeywell Wind Turbine is a gearless, “free wheeling’’ turbine that generates power from the blade tips (where the speed lies) rather than through a complex slow center shaft. By practically eliminating mechanical resistance and drag, the Honeywell Wind Turbine creates significant power (2000 kWh/yr) operating in a greater range of wind speeds (2-45 mph) than traditional wind turbines. The highest output, lowest cost per kWh installed turbine ever made.

The highest output, lowest cost per kWh installed turbine ever made!  Those are some pretty awesome claims, and I hope they're true!

Some of the issues with current residential units are:

  • They require fairly high wind speeds just to kick in (7-12 mph)
  • They are expensive (around 20-30k)
  • They require large mounting pole and structure
  • They require a third party dealer/installer

The Honeywell innovation of having the blade tips generate the power solves most of these problems.  The EarthTronics/Honeywell turbine will be sold at Ace Hardware and will only cost $4,500, pocket change in the world of renewable energy.

The great thing is that this unit will qualify for the 30% Federal tax credit!  It should also qualify for a State tax credit if your State has one and you may also be able to receive a rebate from your utility!  If you need to brush up on incentives check out the Mapawatt post on de-mystifying incentives.

If you would like to seriously look at one of these devices, I would look at the Windgate Energy Generation data sheet they have in the website.  The only thing I will mention is that while EarthTronics markets the turbine kicking in at 2 MPH, it only produces about 6 Watts, which isn't even enough to power a single CFL.  The unit starts producing around 100 Watts once the wind speed makes it up to 10 MPH. The Power vs. Wind Speed curve of the wind turbine can be seen below.

Wind Speed vs. Power curve for Honeywell Turbine

Wind Speed vs. Power curve for Honeywell Turbine

As with all wind turbines, make sure you have adequate wind in your area to make this investment worthwhile.  Refer to this wind resource map by NREL to determine how well your area will perform.

Devices like this make me think we are approaching a tipping point in residential renewable energy.  That point where renewable energy becomes mainstream and buying clean energy is as easy as buying a hammer.

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ckmapawatt's picture
Where do YOU live? That is insanely high. Hawaii?
It's always most efficient to use energy w/o conversion. First, identify your, major uses: area heat/cooling(HVAC), water heating, lighting, appliances, electronics, etc. My largest expense is electricity used primarily for computers & lighting. The first priority in most areas is insulation and drafts sealing--this is the fastest payback. If building new, or you have a very tight structure, look into heat recovery ventilation system (mandatory in Canada) these help ensured indoor air quality & help remove excess moisture. This should include making certain that windows don't allow large amounts of heat flow. Hot water heating via solar is cost-effective nearly everywhere--and as a pre-heat system it's even more widely useful. Payback on such systems can be under 3 years. At one time, 90%+ of hat water in LA was solar--until the gas companies gave away 'free' hot water heaters. System costs are competitive with efficient gas/electric equipment but lose the variable fuel costs. Solar area heating in new buildings can be a large percentage just through proper siting and window/roof overhang design. Ordinary windows on the ESW sides of buildings in most of NA will provide net heat gain--made even greater by proper use of heat-reflective glass and night insulation. Under-floor radiant hot water heat with zone control is optimal for new construction (ventilation must be handled separately,) underfloor systems can cool as well as heat. Efficient appliances are often hard to find or expensive (esp in the US) because few Americans are taught to look at life-cycle costs of purchases. The most efficient freezers and refrigerators are chest type. Either can be found commercially as drawer units, but are expensive. Deicing units cost nearly twice as much to run as manual defrosts. A small mid-range chest freezer can be easily converted to a refrigerator--often simply by adjusting the thermostat. Because freezers have more insulation, such conversions are very efficient (I fill the bottom with water jugs for emergency drinking water, to lift the refrigerated area to a more accessible height and to act as a thermal buffer (keeping a fridge full makes it more efficient, a thermal buffer helps deal with any power outages.) In any refrigerated or heated area, adding thermal storage mass will help make things more efficient by evening out temperature variations--always fill empty spaces in refrigerated areas with water jugs. Thermal mass of any sort inside the insulated shell of the building will help even out your heating & cooling costs--avoiding major temperature changes. Stone/concrete/brick/tile flooring and internal walls can add thermal mass and appearance. Thicker sheetrock also adds mostly invisible mass. Design or arrange to use as much natural light as possible. Reflecting light across the ceiling is a good way to get the light further in to the building, and helps keep the illumination levels even. Using as much solar in the form it arrives (heat & light) is most efficient--PV systems are 15-21% efficient and getting better--but heat or light use is 100% efficient. ventilation can be driven via a solar stack vent attached to the outflow of a heat exchanger--this pulls air through the building at no cost, and is controlled by adjusting airflow. Wind power is mechanical energy--as such it's most efficiently used to do things like pump water or move air. Conversion to electricity is less efficient, and the cost-effectiveness varies widely by location--adjacent lots may have very different pay-backs. Solar is similarly variable. But I've sen substantial heat recovery from very simple South wall air heat collectors at 41 degrees N Lat. You might want to give thought to your geography before investing. Coastal areas are already at increased risk of flood and storm surge, and the risk that low-lying coastal areas will be inundated by seawater within the next 15 years is substantial (the widely published 'estimates' of sea level change are extremely optimistic--note that every year new data comes out and the headlines read "Scientists were surprised by how much faster than expected _____ is happening." Areas at high risk include Florida, the Gulf Coast, the California Central Valley and coastal areas under 30' in elevation. 500/100 year flood zones should be avoided too. I recommend concrete & urethane foam structures for most areas, as they are very tight, very low-maintenance and very efficient. check out for more information. These structures are fire-proof, tornado-proof, and can be constructed partially or fully underground for more weather-resistant. They are FEMA-rated as 'hurricane-resistant,' FEMA's highest rating. And they can be constructed to be earthquake-proof. They may be built in any shape you can conceive, though avoiding external flat walls is a large factor in wind-resistance. I have no ties to Monolithic, I merely like extremely elegant and efficient design.
"tipping point in residential renewable energy"...I wish you would buy and try before making statements like this. If you believe this thing will produce even 100 kwhrs/month mounted on the roof of a house I have a bridge to sell you. Take the $ 3,000 out of pocket and put it into your local utility stock and use the dividend to pay on your electric bill.
What is the actual output of this unit!? Thier site states they're feeding two 12VDC batteries....what with 6 watts at 12 Vdc in a 2mph wind. Then going though an inverter to increase it to 110 VAC.....what are the losses there. I would like to see a chart of the voltage output with and without a load, along with amperage. I've seen it running in low wind(no Load)but what happens when a load is placed on it? You can do a lot of "slight of hand" when stating performance without all the facts. Something tells me they are misleading us a bit with the "calculated" watts vs wind speed measurements.
I live in Western NC just North of Asheville. How can I find my wind stats?
Karen, Here's some data for Asheville that pulls information from local weatherstations courtesy of Weather Underground:
Everything I have seen on this product leads to doubt in the true performance. The only thing that make me wonder is how 2 companies (Honeywell and Ace) cans support the product with doing extensive back ground studies. Both of Ace and HW are well known companies that have a name to protect so I am surprised they let themselves get the wool pulled over on them...or did they? It seems they may have picked the wrong wind turbine to try to mass distribute. On the other hand it is good to see a national retailer trying carrier this type of equipment.
Zee, I feel the same way until I can see some actual data from real world operating conditions.
After reading up on this device, it does appear that to be effective, you need a strong wind. If wind is below 20MPH, you are powering ten 65W light bulbs, forget the toaster or hairdryer. What am I missing here? I live in a fairly windy area in Colorado, and I can't see how this would be much use. We don't get many days where the wind is above 35MPH. Even with a 30% tax credit, that brings the cost down to $3,000. Redriven and Skystream, while much more expensive, produce more energy. I'm starting to doubt the ROI on getting one of these things. What am I missing?
@Rick, WRT no. 1, Read the full spec on the turbine. It includes a direction finding base. As several other people have pointed out, you need to factor in stimulus incentives and tax breaks. Whether or not it is "an expensive lawn ornament" depends entirely on where you are. If you're in an area that has little wind resources then yes, it's a lawn ornament. If, OTOH, you're in an area that has lots of wind resources available then it should work, and work well, if installed correctly. You are entirely correct in saying it should NOT be mounted on a roof! @Chris, I don't know how you'd calculate shaft losses or gear losses on this thing, since it doesn't have any.


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