Kevin talked about one of the biggest concerns for those interested in turbines: “What if I don’t have a lot of wind?” Most wind turbines of this capacity require 7 to 8 mph winds to overcome the resistance of the gears. A conventional turbine uses the wind to move blades that turn gears to power a generator, whereas the Honeywell Turbine eliminates the separate generator and the gearing.
Instead of spinning gears, the Honeywell Turbine uses a patent pending magnetic technology to generate energy. Each blade has a magnet at the tip, so as they spin, they pass by coiled copper. Essentially, the entire turbine becomes the generator, and it only needs winds of 2 mph to get it spinning. Kevin even had it running with just the air blown from a tiny desktop fan. The wheel is also mounted so it turns freely with a use of side fins. This means that it can rotate easily so it will always be in the direction of the wind path. This video gives a quick look at how it works.
It is also worth mentioning that the turbine is quiet — it only emits 35db, which is about the same level of ambient noise found in a library. When I was standing next to it talking to Kevin, you could not hear it at all amongst the noise of the trade show goers.