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Published on September 22nd, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


iPhone Wind Energy App from Vestas

September 22nd, 2010 by  

wind turbine

Ever wonder how much electricity you could produce from a wind turbine in your backyard, in your company parking lot, or somewhere else? I know I have.

A new iPhone app from Danish wind energy giant Vestas can tell you just that.

The Vestas Weather app knows where your iPhone is, of course, and based on that info it calculates how much energy one of its V112 3MW turbines (yes, one of its newest products) would generate, as well as the amount of carbon dioxide it would keep out of the atmosphere.

The app is only for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at the moment but is supposed to be coming to Android and Windows phones soon.

Details on the way Vestas’ wind app works:

Vestas’ own meteorology department, in Plant Siting and Forecasting, constantly monitors and analyzes the weather globally using public databases and sensors in more than 40,000 turbines around the world.

Vestas is now also utilizing this to offer the public detailed weather forecasts based on the specific GPS coordinates of their mobile phone. To begin with, the application, or app, is only for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The Vestas forecast is among the world’s best with a resolution as low as 3 km. The forecast is calculated on the supercomputer at Vestas Technology R&Ds headquarters in Denmark. The forecast models are run, maintained, and verified internally by meteorologists at Plant Siting and Forecasting.

The app is free. The main focus, of course, is getting people and businesses to buy wind turbines (Vestas’ V112 3MW turbines, in particular).

Nonetheless, the truth is that this could be really helpful, or at least interesting, to many people.

“It’s pretty simple. We have so much knowledge that we can share with the broader public in a way that supports our product and our brand. This app gives extremely useful information for the end-user and at the same time we can promote wind,” says Lars Chr. Christensen, Vice President of Plant Siting and Forecasting at Vestas Technology R&D.

Good-looking app, and free. If I had an iPhone I’d be getting it right now.

Related Stories:
1. (Free) Green iPhone Apps Reviewed. Part 1: Free Apps
2. Green iPhone Apps Reviewed. Part 2: Paid Apps
3. iPhone App for Telling a Climate Skeptic They’re Wrong
4. New iPhone App Measures Your Car’s Environmental Impact

Photo Credit: Wind turbine in Toronto by flickr user swisscan

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About the Author

Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don’t jump to conclusions.

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  • Frank Hanlan

    Since most people live in cities what city (town, etc.) in the world would allow anyone to install one of these in their back yard even if they had enough space??? The blade diameter is 112 meters (336+ feet), the hub height is either 85+ meters or 119 meters and the sound produced ranges from 101 decibels to 106.5 decibels with wind speeds from 7 meters per second to 10 meters per second.

    • Russel

      @Frank: Come on, it’s just a fun gimmick showing “what if…” to illustrate how much CO2 could be saved by using a wind turbine.

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  • The information the app gives about how much electricity a V112 would produce at my location is confusing. It gives the output in kWh and the CO2 savings in tons per day. Does that mean that many kWh per day, per year? And how does it know how much CO2 is used to generate electricity used at my location? In any event it doesn’t look like my current location is too good for this unit.

    • good questions, Doc. i don’t have the app (as you can see in my article above), .. i emailed your questions to Vestas to find out… we’ll see.

    • Energy production is in KWh produced in one hour, i.e. how much energy the V112 would produce if the current wind speed was kept steady for one hour. We have chosen to use the unit KWh because this is something that people can relate to. In fact you could just remove the ‘h’ and you would have the actual output of the unit with the current wind.

      The CO2 savings is tons pr day and is calculated using the same extrapolation as described above. If the wind blows with the current strength for 24h, then we would save this much CO2. The app does not know how much CO2 is used to produce electricity at your exact location, it is an average. Remember, this is not exact science, it is just to give you all an impression of the scale of capabilities of the V112.

      Whether or not our location is good for the unit or not can not be concluded just by looking at current production, not even if you sit for days checking out the production. When Vestas assess potential wind turbine sites we usually demand at least one year of on site data to get an overview of high and low wind seasons. Furthermore we compare this year to 10 years of meteorological data to determine if the measured year was a high, medium or low wind year. If the site is complex, we perform CFD. And so on – we dig quite deep into pre-construction production estimates, because once they are up and running, it is really costly to boost the production if you got your wind resources wrong in the first place.

      Hope this answers your questions.

      Morten Tim Thorsen
      Vestas Wind and Site Competence Center

      • Thank you for the excellent and detailed answers, Morten.

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