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05/09/13

Photos of Gaia Wind Turbines by Paul Gipe

Gaia is an unusual product in the household-size wind turbine market. While most machines use a three-blade upwind rotor, Gaia has turned everything around. Their two-blade rotor is downwind of the tower.

Gaia’s design is also unique in that—again—in contrast to most other small wind products, they under-rate their turbine’s generator size. The 13 meter rotor drives a 11 kW generator. Other manufacturers would couple such a large rotor to a generator two or three times larger and sell their turbine to unsophisticated buyers on the much great size of their generator.

In contrast, Gaia delivers energy not inflated power ratings. The 133 square meter rotor can produce significant amounts of electricity at the modest wind sites that are typical of the household-size turbine market.

Various iterations of the design have been in use for two decades now. I first came across the turbine in 1998 in Denmark, where the company was located for many years.

Gaia moved its shop to Glasgow shortly after Great Britain introduced its Feed-in Tariff program and the small turbine market took off.

The turbine uses a typical drive train and, like other Danish designs of the period, uses pitchable blade tips to control rotor overspeed. The tips must be manually reset.


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