A team-up of engineers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Makeyev State Rocket Center in Miass, Russia has developed a new model of wind turbine for home use.
The turbine, which will be produced by company Wind Sail, is a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) to be used as generator for off-the-grid and distributed-grid systems.
A vertical axis wind turbine looks nothing like the traditional 100-foot windmill-style turbines common in the USA and Europe . The first prototype has vertical, fiberglass blades that rotate around a mast like an eggbeater. It is about 30 feet high with blades 12-feet tall with a diameter of about 10 feet. But the design can be scaled up or down, for
large-scale farms or home use.
VAWT systems have several advantages over more traditional horizontal axis wind turbines. They are usually quieter, and have a much lower rate of bird kills — predatory birds can even rest on the top of a VAWT without trouble.