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Silent Wind Turbine For The Home
 
By James Donahue

We’ve all seen them – those large wind powered generators mounted on tall poles. They are popping up on open fields, atop hills, and even in the seas along our coastlines. They are turning when the wind blows and sending power to nearby towns, farms and plants that use the power they produce to supplement their energy needs.

The problem with wind generators has been their need to be mounted high, and built with long blades to catch the wind. Most of them make whirling noises when they are working. They are usually working in unison with a number of other wind generators to produce enough power to be effective. People say they don’t like to live near them because they are noisy and considered unsightly.

Compared to coal burning power plants, many of us think of them as a major improvement. But even this may be changing soon.
 
The Archimedes, a Holland company, has developed a small, high efficiency and silent rooftop wind energy generator that can generate up to 1,500 kilowatts of power at wind speeds of about 11 miles per hour. That is just over a faint breeze on a fair summer day.

The wind generating system, called the Liam 1, uses blades shaped like a Nautilus shell. The design captures about 80 percent of the theoretical maximum energy that can be harvested from the wind, thus producing enough juice to cover about half of an average home’s energy needs.

Inventor of the turbine Marinus Mieremet says the blades are designed to catch the wind and begin spinning even when the wind is blowing at a 60 degree angle. The conical shape then causes the turbine to yaw automatically into the optical wind direction just like an old fashioned weather vane. Because the turbine encounters minimal resistance, it runs silent, Mieremet said.

Company CEO Richard Ruijtenbeek said that when one of these units is used in combination with rooftop solar panels, the house, for all practical purposes, can run completely off the grid.

The Liam 1 comes in a variety of colors so the units can blend in with any neighborhood or home color scheme. Because they can be mounted directly on the roof, and because they run silent, they will not be a nuisance in residential neighborhoods.

The only problem will be conforming to local zoning and building codes.

The great news: as restrictions tighten around the burning of fossil fuels for energy production, great strides are being made in the invention and manufacture of more and more green energy options.