Noise is one of the major barriers for homeowners considering rooftop turbines. But SWIFT’s rooftop turbine, released today in the US and Canada, claims to be “silent enough to perch on a home, yet robust enough to secure a skyscraper.” The uniquely designed turbine has five blades measuring seven feet in diameter as well as two fins to direct the turbine towards the wind. The blades are surrounded by a ring that cuts the noise level to 35 decibels while reducing vibrations.
According to SWIFT, the turbine can generate 1.5 KW with 14 mile per hour winds and approximately 2,000 KWh each year. That means the SWIFT could potentially provide a quarter or more of the average American household’s energy.
The SWIFT is only available right now in the Northeast US, Great Lakes States, and Western Canada. Depending on the cost of installation, conventional electricity costs, wind speeds, and incentives, the SWIFT could pay for itself in as little as three years. And at $10,000 a pop, the turbine costs less than the average per-watt cost of solar panels.
So as long as your neighbors don’t mind a turbine on your roof, SWIFT’s product might be worth looking into.
Ariel Schwartz was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a contributor at Fast Company, Inhabitat, Triple Pundit, SF Weekly, and NBC Bay Area Online. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.