I first wrote about these wind micro-wind turbines for TreeHugger in March. Since then the microturbines have become available for sale through the Motorwave website (here’s a direct link to the store). Right now, shipping costs from Hong Kong are about $300, but Lucien Gambarota, the inventor says he hopes to offer the turbines for sale in the U.S. soon. He explains the latest developments in this recent interview (mp3 file). More background information on the turbines can be found after the link…
The small turbines are ideal for crowded cities such as Hong Kong because they can be installed on rooftops and balconies. Unlike traditional small wind turbines with rotor blades, the micro-wind turbines are equipped with specially designed plastic gearwheels, with diameter of just 26 centimeters.
By linking the gearwheels together, the micro-wind turbine can generate more electricity. Users can choose the numbers of gearwheels they want and determine the size of their wind turbines according to their energy needs and the space they have on their balconies or rooftops.
These unique features of the micro-wind turbine technology enable people living and working in urban environment, for the first time, to use wind energy to drive their electrical appliances.
This page by Sterling D. Allan has a lot of information on the turbines: PESWiki.
Here’s a short video of the microturbines in action (realvideo format).
Here’s a funny interview with Chinese reporter.