Love the idea of wind power, but can’t imagine that a wind turbine on your property could ever be quiet or unobtrusive? Personal wind turbines are the next big thing in wind power technology, and the Swift Wind Turbine is sure to make a splash with its quiet and unobtrusive design. Coming to rooftops in July 2008, this unique design uses an outer ring to diffuse air flow from five blades, minimizing noise to a minute 35 decibels – less noise than generated by whisper conversation. With the capability to generate up to 2,000 kWh annually, Swift is making small scale wind power more aesthetically and acoustically appealing.

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The specs on the Swift are impressive: blade/ring diameter is 7 feet; rated power output is 1.5kW @ 14 m/s (31.3 mph); annual average power supplied is up to 2000 kWh. But it’s the noise levels that have captured our attention. The developers claim the Swift is the first turbine of its kind to be quiet at any wind speed, meaning less than 35 decibels (dB). For comparison, a pin dropping from 1 cm is 15 dB if you’re 1 meter away, whispering is 40 dB, a normal conversation is 60 dB, and a 100 watt car stereo is 110 dB. As the website explains, traditional turbines generate noise as the air flows along the length of the blade. On the Swift, the outer ring acts as a diffuser as the air flows along the blades and out to the ring, nearly eliminating noise.

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Not only is Swift a quiet turbine, but its design is easy on the eyes and will blend in well on almost any rooftop. The turbine needs just a few feet of mount, at least 2 feet from the top of the roof, and preferably at the highest point. A patented roof mounting system is also designed to minimize noise and vibrations while in operation.

Additionally, the developers and manufacturers say that the Swift Wind Turbine is environmentally sustainable. The turbine, over the course of its life, will produce far more energy than is embodied in the manufacturing or “harm neutral.” In good wind areas, with good incentives and tax credits, this turbine would be a great way to go, especially if you don’t have an acre of land to install a 40 foot wind tower.

The new Swift Wind Turbine is meant for rooftop residential or commercial applications and will be available in July of 2008. Renewable Devices in Scotland developed the turbine and Cascade Engineering, in Grand Rapids, MI will manufacture the new wind turbine in the United States. Swift will sell for $10,000 – $12,000.

Via Jetson Green