Energy Insight Newsletter
Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter featuring renewable energy news, job postings, business profiles, conferences, and more. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Green Energy Technologies LLC, a privately held company founded in 2006, announces the launch of WindCube(R), a 60kW rooftop wind turbine designed for on-site power generation by commercial and industrial power users in urban and suburban locations. The turbine, which captures and amplifies the wind, fills a previously unmet need for wind turbines that can be placed into service in a very small footprint and take advantage of the nation’s net metering laws.
“Now building owners anywhere can consider being a part of the renewable energy picture,” said Mark L. Cironi, president and founder of Green Energy Technologies, and with John W. Fedor, the technology’s inventor. “With WindCube, it’s not necessary to have the wind of Kansas or Nebraska to become a generator of wind power. In states with excellent renewable energy incentives, moderate wind and high electric rates, the payback can be as little as three years.”
The turbine is available as a single (60kW) or dual (120kW) system and in rooftop or tower-mounted design. The product is modular to satisfy a customer’s electrical requirements, and produces the same amount of energy as a traditional turbine (50 foot in diameter) in a 22x22x12-foot framework. It is ideal for a wide range of users, from industrial companies and commercial office buildings to big-box retailers, college campuses and electric users in remote locations.
The WindCube features a groundbreaking patent-pending design that relies on the wind tunnel effect known in physics as the Bernoulli Principle. While the rest of the wind industry generates energy through the use of free- stream wind, the WindCube captures and amplifies the wind, which produces more kilowatt-hours (kWh). As the wind comes into the WindCube shroud, it becomes concentrated, creating increased velocity and in turn, more power. Because of the amplification effect, the WindCube is able to capture wind energy as low as 5 mph.
The WindCube generates electricity by running its motor backwards using an impeller (the opposite of a propel- ler), eliminating the need for a gearbox. This lowers the cost of ownership because the gear box is the source of most of the maintenance problems and failures on conventional wind turbines.
Roth Bros., Inc. (Youngstown, Ohio), a national energy management, HVAC and roofing services company, will provide WindCube customers with 24/7 monitoring of energy usage using an online remote system that it designed for the WindCube. Roth will also provide professional installation of the WindCube turbines at each customer’s location, from initial site analysis to commissioning, and Roth can provide post-installation preven- tive maintenance and service on the units. Roth currently provides energy management and HVAC and roofing services for more than 100,000 locations throughout the United States.
“Adding Roth Bros.’ construction and installation capability, contractor network, and energy management and services expertise gives us the infrastructure to truly launch the WindCube on a national basis,” said Mr. Cironi.
“In our business, we are working every day with the energy and facility managers looking for ways to reduce their energy bill and shrink their carbon footprint,” said Paul Belair, president of Roth Bros. “We believe there is a huge potential demand for a product like the WindCube from building owners and managers as well as devel- opers seeking renewable energy credits from green building programs like LEED and Green Globes.”
Net metering is a simple, inexpensive, and easily-administered mechanism for encouraging the use of small- scale wind energy systems. When a customer produces more electricity than is needed in a building via an on- site generation system such as the WindCube, the existing electricity meter spins backward, yielding a credit to the electric bill. At an average wind speed of about 15 miles per hour, one WindCube will generate about 160,000 kWh per year of electricity.
In addition, a highly favorable element in the timing of the WindCube launch is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 federal stimulus bill, which contains a provision that allows buyers of “small wind” systems (up to 100 kW) an uncapped investment tax credit of 30 percent of the total installed cost for systems placed in service between now and 2016.
The American Wind Energy Association predicts the federal subsidy could help the small-turbine market grow by 40 to 50 percent annually, a boost that would parallel the growth of the U.S. solar photovoltaic industry after a similar 2005 initiative. Moreover, in addition to the federal tax credit, most states provide some form of ap- plicable renewable energy incentive. Ohio, for example, offers a tax rebate of 40% (capped at $200,000) of the overall project cost on facilities served by the state’s investor-owned utilities.
Mr. Cironi has more than 30 years of experience in corporate management, sales management, and project management in the information technology field with IBM, Oracle and Digital Equipment. Mr. Fedor is the co- founder and former president of Cleveland-based Masco Machine, Inc. Green Energy Technologies’ chief engi- neering consultant on the project is David Spera, Ph.D., who served as Chief Engineer of NASA’s wind turbine projects and is the lead author and editor of the internationally recognized book Wind Turbine Technology. He also led the development of the ANSI-ASME Performance Test Code for Wind Turbines, which is an industry standard. Dr. Spera now works as an independent consultant for DASCON Engineering, which he founded in 1991.
Green Energy Technologies (www.getsmartenergy.com) is the manufacturer of the WindCube(R), a unique wind turbine designed specifically for commercial and industrial power users located in urban and suburban settings. As the premier provider of urban wind systems, we are committed to delivering innovative, reliable technology and providing best-in-class customer support. The WindCube’s groundbreaking design allows large power- users to integrate wind energy into a variety of standard urban roofs. If roof space is limited or incompatible, the WindCube may be tower-mounted. With the WindCube’s superior flexibility, a wide-range of users can now benefit from the power of the wind. It is ideal for everyone from industrial companies to developers with LEED- certified commercial office buildings to electric users in remote locations. WindCube is a registered trademark of Green Energy Technologies.
Read Wind Energy Systems: Control Engineering Design from Amazon.