Swift is different from other available rooftop mount wind turbines because of how quietly it performs. Traditional wind turbines generate some noise as the wind travels the length of the blade as well as transmitting unwanted vibration to the building or structure where it is mounted. Swift has been designed with an outer ring, which acts as a diffuser; as wind travels down the blades, it is dispersed along the outer ring, eliminating the noise and keeping the turbine quiet. While there is some noise, it is measured at less than 35 decibels (dB) for all wind speeds. In comparison, a whisper is between 15-25dB, normal home or background noises are measured at 40-60dB, and normal speech is measured at 65-70dB.
The Swift is relatively small, with a ring/blade diameter of only 7-feet. Installation requires a clearance of only 2-feet from the roofline, keeping the unit low profile. The size, along with the quietness of energy production, enables the turbine to be used effectively in both urban and suburban settings. Another factor, which may encourage use of a wind turbine for community or business use in the U.S., is a 30% federal tax credit – the credit is 30 percent off the total project including installation costs, whether it is for one turbine or ten.
Swift is grid connected, with utilization of the electricity generated by the turbine before supplementation from the traditional electric supply. Electric power produced is 240VAC, with 60Hz output voltage. The rated power output is 1.5W @ 14 m/s. The annual power supplied by one Swift is up to 2000 kWh with at least 12 mph wind supply. The manufacturer does provide a “wind estimator” on their website where potential users can determine if the wind turbine will work effectively at their location. Use of an anemometer or securing a detailed wind energy study will give more specific data for the proposed site.
TFOT has recently covered several other wind turbines including the StatoilHydro Hywind, and the deep water offshore wind turbines developed by Blue H Technologies. TFOT has also covered numerous stories related to alternative energy, including the story on the technology of the capturing solar energy using a flexible-nanoantenna.