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Rooftop and Urban Wind

This category is primarily about how not to or where not to install wind turbines--of any size. There are legitimate urban wind installations. These are typically commercial-scale turbines sited to best advantage within urban agglomerations. However, there is an unfortunate proliferation of "rooftop urban wind" projects that are nothing more than architectural greenwashing.

TAM Energy Still Spinning WindTronics Hype--Will This Thing Ever Die?

January 9, 2017,   by Paul Gipe

Honeywell WindTronics may be dead but that doesn’t stop others from spinning the WindTronics hype. [more]

Category: Windtronics

WindTronics Took Millions from Ontario Then Unconvincingly Blames the Province

January 9, 2017,   by Paul Gipe

“The province gave the company $2.7 million to open in Windsor — under one condition. The company promised there would be 200 workers in the plant by the end of this year. That is now very unlikely,”...[more]

Category: Windtronics

Rooftop and Building Integrated Wind Turbines are a Failure Says NREL

September 30, 2016,   by Paul Gipe

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concludes in a new report that rooftop-mounted and building-integrated wind turbines are a failure, though readers would be hard pressed to find that...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Inventions & Questionable Wind Turbines, Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Cleanfield Energy: Another Story of VAWT Hubris & Hustle

September 29, 2016,   by Paul Gipe

Cleanfield made a big media splash in Ontario, Canada during the mid-2000s with its claim of producing a new wind turbine suited for mounting on buildings. [more]

Category: Cleanfield, Rooftop & Urban Wind

The Brock Environmental Center: A Pinnacle of Sustainability—and Resilience

June 17, 2016,  

This is the way to do small wind right. "When Hurricane Joaquin affected the East Coast the first week of October 2015, the two wind turbines, which were selected for their ability to withstand...

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Quiet Revolution VAWT Total Flop Says German Paper

June 8, 2016,   by Paul Gipe

That this turbine was doomed to fail—and would give small wind another—and unneeded—black eye was obvious from the beginning—for anyone who had the desire to know.[more]

Category: Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, Rooftop & Urban Wind

Small Vindication: Renewable Devices Swift Ducted Rooftop Turbine Gone

February 18, 2016,   by Paul Gipe

I am writing this now to close the book on this sad little turbine and the whole “let’s put them on the roof” phenomenon. Stumbling across an obscure NREL field test report from long ago (see Power...[more]

Category: Shrouded & Ducted Wind Turbines, Inventions & Questionable Wind Turbines, Rooftop & Urban Wind, Small Wind folder, Renewable Devices Swift

Curse of Honeywell Windtronics Keeps on Giving

December 14, 2015,   by Paul Gipe

Let this be a warning to you skeptics, critics, and debunkers of new-fangled wind turbine flim flam. It will come home to haunt you. Are you listening Mick Sagrillo?[more]

Category: Windtronics

A Tale of Two Turbines and Eiffel’s Tower

March 21, 2015,   by Paul Gipe

By now everyone has seen the fawning news accounts—several times, no doubt—that a US company has installed two wind turbines inside—yes, inside—the Eiffel Tower.[more]

Category: Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, Rooftop & Urban Wind

The Unknown Wind Turbine of San Francisco Bay or Angel Island State Park’s Enertech E44

February 3, 2015,   by Paul Gipe

Yes, there’s a wind turbine in San Francisco Bay. It’s probably one of only two commercial wind turbines in all of Marin County. Yes, it’s in a state park too. It’s been there for more than three...[more]

Category: News on Large Wind, Rooftop & Urban Wind

Bay Area Wind Turbines (No, the Other Bay)

February 2, 2015,   by Paul Gipe

Boston and the communities around Boston Harbor have more commercial wind turbines than the entire San Francisco Bay, including one 1.5 MW wind turbine within Boston's urban core. Yes, it's a real...[more]

Category: News on Large Wind, Rooftop & Urban Wind

Honeywell Windtronics--ACE Hardware’s Revenge

February 17, 2014,   by Paul Gipe

It was an odd call. An ACE hardware store deep in Michigan called with a request for parts to the infamous Honeywell Windtronics “wind turbine”. Naturally I was curious why an ACE hardware store was...[more]

Category: Windtronics

Grand Jury Indictment of James Alan Rowan of Mag-Wind

November 29, 2013,  

Grand Jury for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Southern Division indictment of James Alan Rowan of Mag-Wind, Enviro-Energies.[more]

Category: Mag-Wind

FBI: Canadian Indicted for Securities and Wire Fraud Touting Mag-Wind

October 24, 2013,  

United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that on October 18, 2013, a federal grand jury in Raleigh, North Carolina returned a two-count indictment charging JAMES ALAN ROWAN with securities...[more]

Category: Mag-Wind, Inventions & Questionable Wind Turbines, Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Questionable Turbines and Siting Give Architects, LEED, Green Builders, and Wind Bad Name

September 9, 2013,   by Paul Gipe

Updated with a photo of the 18 Venger V2 Savonius turbines on the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[more]

Category: News on Small Wind, Inventions & Questionable Wind Turbines, Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, Rooftop & Urban Wind, LEED LEED

Urban Wind Another Example--Union City Indiana

June 29, 2013,   by Paul Gipe

I've written before about what is real "urban wind" and in that article I've sited several examples. There are so many examples of functioning, productive "urban wind" worldwide that I don't bother...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, News on Community Power

Honeywell Windtronics Kaputt--Finally an End to a Sad Saga of a “Revolutionary Roof Top Wind Turbine”

June 28, 2013,   by Paul Gipe

The true tragedy of this sad saga is that anyone with a modicum of technical expertise would easily have seen that the entire edifice was built upon a fundamentally flawed design with a business...[more]

Category: Windtronics

MiBiz: Tilting at Windmills? Beleaguered Muskegon wind turbine business closes doors

May 12, 2013,   by Elijah Brumback and Joe Boomgaard

Despite the promise of a revolutionary new technology for small-scale wind energy, one local company has found the industry’s headwinds too stiff to stay in business. . . Even after receiving...

Category: Windtronics

Photos of (Real) Urban Wind Turbines Posted

April 22, 2013,   by Paul Gipe

While many misconstrue "urban" wind turbines as those mounted atop or integrated into buildings, true urban wind turbines are commercial-scale turbines placed in or near cities, towns, and villages....

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Wind Energy & the Environment

Photos of Building Integrated and Rooftop Wind Turbines

April 19, 2013,   by Paul Gipe

Of the wind turbines shown here, only the turbines atop 12W in Portland, Oregon were probably in service. I doubt that the Windspire turbines on the side of the San Francisco Public Utility...

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Honeywell Windtronics WT6500: October 2012 Report from the Field--Not Operating

October 23, 2012,  

The following is an email from retired civil engineer Lynn Shafer on his experience with the Honeywell Windtronics turbine. Shafer lives in Sedalia, Missouri. If the company posts a response, I'll...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Windtronics

Reno Nevada Proves--Again--that "Small Urban Wind" Produces Poor Results

May 22, 2012,   by Paul Gipe

Reno, Nevada is vying for the world record for "Worst Turbine Install in History" through sheer scale, expense, and hubris. . . [more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Small Wind folder, Worst Turbine Install in History, Mariah Windspire

Pieces of Rooftop Wind Turbine Fall Onto Street from Top of Hess Tower Downtown

April 6, 2012,  

The incident helps explain why the whirling turbines, installed as a featured element at the top of the new 29-story tower last summer, have been silent since mid-December. . .

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Local tool shops say WindTronics owes them money

April 2, 2012,   by Dave Battagello, Windsor Star

A pair of local tool and mold shops are owed about $375,000 by a Michigan-based wind turbine company which has closed its production plant after only two years of operation in Windsor.

Category: Windtronics

Small Wind Turbines: Installing small wind turbine generators (WTGs) in the urban/built environment--What not to do

March 14, 2012,   by Kimberly King

cautionary tale about an "urban wind" project gone awry in 1982 . . .

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Presentation on 14 March 2012 by Paul Gipe 01 PGE Urban Wind-Fundamentals of Wind

March 14, 2012,   by Paul Gipe

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Presentation on 14 March 2012 by Paul Gipe 02 PGE Urban Wind-What is It and Small Wind

March 14, 2012,   by Paul Gipe

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Presentation on 14 March 2012 by Paul Gipe 04 PGE Urban Wind-Bay Area Wind

March 14, 2012,   by Paul Gipe

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Presentation on 14 March 2012 by Paul Gipe PGE Urban Wind-Crissy Field

March 14, 2012,   by Paul Gipe

Comments on Crissy Field wind turbine installation in San Francisco. . .

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Boston Museum of Science Wind Turbine Lab: Two-Year Report on Rooftop Wind Turbines

February 29, 2012,   by Marian Tomusiak

The most sophisticated and comprehensive study of small rooftop wind turbines in the Americas concludes rooftop wind turbines are "Not cost-effective at this site". . .

Category: Small Turbine Testing, Rooftop & Urban Wind

Honeywell Windtronics Photos--What It Looks Like

December 13, 2011,   by Paul Gipe

These are photos of the Honeywell Windtronics turbine on display at a vendors booth at the CanSIA exhibition in Toronto, December 5, 2011.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Windtronics

Windsor Star: Frustrated turbine firm scales back Windsor production

November 5, 2011,  

Windtronics Inc. has scaled back production of small residential and commercial wind turbines at its Windsor plant because incentives for such projects have not yet been included in the province's...

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Windtronics

Consumer Reports Tackles Honneywell Windtronic

October 1, 2011,  

So far, a new wind turbine delivers little . . . Generous federal and local rebates and credits have helped put wind power on a growing list of options that use the forces of nature to trim your...

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Consumer Reports: a new wind turbine delivers little

October 1, 2011,  

But so far, we've seen only a fraction of the total power that WindTronics says we should for our area, even after several visits from a company-authorized installer. At that rate, the Honeywell...

Category: Windtronics, Inventions & Questionable Wind Turbines

DyoCore and Why the Rating of Small Turbines Remains a Black Art

September 23, 2011,   by Paul Gipe

Despite my best efforts, I've been dragged into the DyoCore flap here in California. I successfully ignored Mick Sagrillo's plea to write something. I successfully ignored DyoCore's request to get...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Small Turbine Product Reviews

Windtronics Turbine Removed from French Test Site

August 3, 2011,   by Paul Gipe

A Windtronics wind turbine under test at SEPEN in southern France was removed within the first month of operation, according to Jay Hudnall, an expert in the French small wind turbine industry.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Windtronics

Honeywell Windtronics Wind Tunnel Comments

July 21, 2011,   by Paul Gipe

Because of my early postings (December 30, 2008) about the Honeywell Windtronics turbine, other observers have been sending me their comments on the product.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Honeywell Windtronics Update on Recommendation for 12 mph Sites

July 19, 2011,   by Paul Gipe

After posting my article Honeywell Windtronics WT6500 Report from the Field, the president of the company contacted me to note that their web site clearly says that they recommend using the turbine...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Windtronics

Honeywell Windtronics WT6500: Report from the Field

July 6, 2011,   by Paul Gipe

Retired civil engineer Lynn Shafer wants to do the right thing and leave the world a better place for future generations. In 2010 he installed 5 kW of solar PV on his house near Sedalia, Missouri....[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Windtronics

Putting Wind Turbines on City Rooftops-Cleanfield Energy Gaining International Attention

December 16, 2010,  

Press release claiming that Cleanfield was installing its VAWTs on rooftops "around the world." The press release implies Cleanfield's association with McMaster University and Ontario's Centres of...[more]

Category: Cleanfield, Rooftop & Urban Wind

MORE ‘Green Gone Wrong’: Greenway Self-Park WTG installation, Chicago, IL, USA

September 20, 2010,   by Kimberly King

Based on what I have been able to locate, I think this structure is another example of ‘Green Gone Wrong.’ I reiterate, I think we need to be mindful about NOT over-hyping some green(er)...

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Boston Museum of Science holds conference on small wind turbine project

May 19, 2010,  

Back in December I stopped by the Boston Museum of science and checked out the public display of data from their small wind turbine experiment, and I posted some of the publicly available data here...

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Urban Wind Energy--A Review

April 15, 2010,   by Paul Gipe

I feared the worst when I saw the title. As an outspoken critic of so-called "Urban" wind and especially the British variety, I thought the book would be destined for the dust bin after the first...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, book Reviews

More thoughts on the Portland, OR, USA 12W Bldg wind turbine array

April 12, 2010,   by Kimberly King

As I am learning, most designers tend to quietly dismiss a project's failings, and don't repeat installations like this. And so, as with folks in the USA not paying attention to the results of the...

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Wind Turbines at the Boston Museum of Science: Production Data

October 29, 2009,  

First, here’s a view of the installation from the north bank of the Charles river,

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Quick Grab a Stake--Mag-Wind Rises from the Grave

October 20, 2009,   by Paul Gipe

Mag-Wind is back. Grab your children. Bar the door. The dead walk. . . Worse Ed Begley and Jay Leno, those omnipresent endorsers of all things "green", have leapt to the aid of the undead. Their...[more]

Category: Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, Inventions & Questionable Wind Turbines, Rooftop & Urban Wind, Mag-Wind

Earthtronic's Honeywell Windtronics WT 6500--A Review

October 16, 2009,   by Paul Gipe

I've reviewed the series of preproduction wind turbine designs from Earthtronics twice before. See below.[more]

Category: Small Turbine Product Reviews, Windtronics

Britain's Energy Savings Trust Finds Small Wind Turbines Perform Poorly in Tests

September 9, 2009,   by Paul Gipe

Confirms That Rooftop Mounting Doesn't Deliver[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Warwick Wind Trials Gives Failing Grade to Rooftop Wind

July 17, 2009,   by Paul Gipe

If further proof is needed that mounting wind turbines on rooftops is a bad idea, the final report on the Warwick Wind Trials is it.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Wind turbines at Boston's Museum of Science

June 12, 2009,   by Ben Polito

It was interesting to compare the behavior of the various turbines.

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

New US Rooftop Wind Turbine Lab

June 1, 2009,  

The Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Science, is installing a rooftop Wind Turbine Lab in the summer of 2009.

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Earthtronics (Honeywell Windtronics) WT 6000

May 22, 2009,   by Paul Gipe

Conclusion? Again, it's unlikely that this wind turbine will produce the reported generation anywhere in Michigan by a large margin.[more]

Category: Windtronics

Small-scale wind turbines in cities and suburbs

May 2, 2009,  

Presentation at the CanWEA conference i 2007 by S. Tullis at McMaster University.[more]

Category: Cleanfield, Rooftop & Urban Wind

The Folly of Building-Integrated Wind by Alex Wilson, BuildingGreen.com

April 29, 2009,   by Alex Wilson

A thorough analysis of the concept by an experienced renewable energy journalist.

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Renewable Devices Swift Mk II AEO

December 30, 2008,   by Paul Gipe

Britain's Renewable Devices introduced its "Swift" micro turbine several years ago to criticism that its estimates of annual production were inflated. See Roof Top Over the Top in Britain. Since then...[more]

Category: Small Turbine Product Reviews, News on Small Wind, Windtronics, Renewable Devices Swift

Windtronics 760 Estimated Generation

December 30, 2008,   by Paul Gipe

It's unlikely that this wind turbine will produce the reported generation anywhere in Michigan.[more]

Category: Windtronics

Aerovironment's AVX 1000 Rooftop Turbines at Logan Airport

September 26, 2008,   by Paul Gipe

AeroVironment has installed 20 units of its AVX 1000 rooftop turbines on a building at Boston's Logan International Airport. The 20 kW installation, part of what AeroViron[ment calls its...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Small Turbine Product Reviews, LEED LEED

Small-scale wind energy Technical Report by Britain's Carbon Trust

August 1, 2008,  

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Building Integrated Wind

February 25, 2008,   by Paul Gipe

Related to the interest in rooftop mounting of small wind turbines is that of integrating wind turbines into the building structure itself.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Urban Wind Field Trials in Great Britain

December 17, 2007,   by Paul Gipe

The following documents were made available to the public in Great Britain. They refer to the field trials of several dozen micro and mini wind turbines installed on buildings in urban and rural...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Wind Turbines for use in Cities and Suburbs: Basic Wind Physics

December 7, 2007,   by Stephen Tullis

Presentation by Stephen Tullis, McMaster University.[more]

Category: Cleanfield, Rooftop & Urban Wind

Small-scale wind turbines in cities and suburbs: Current practice

December 7, 2007,   by Stephen Tullis

In this presentation, Stephen Tullis of McMaster University calls attempts to use Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines in urban environments "promising," but notes they are too new to conclude much.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Cleanfield

Wind Power Production in the Urban Environment

November 23, 2007,  

Technical paper by S. Tullis and his students at McMaster University examining the wind flow around and over buildings. The work was funded by the Ontario's Centres of Excellence.[more]

Category: Cleanfield, Rooftop & Urban Wind

Rooftop Wind Turbines at Montreal's Biosphere

November 4, 2007,   by Paul Gipe

The building houses exhibition on water and now on energy. There are two wind turbines installed on the roof as shown in the photos below.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Cleveland's Urban Wind Turbine

September 5, 2007,   by Paul Gipe

Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center installed a 225 kW Vestas V27 wind turbine in 2006 on the city's harbor front between the Cleveland Brown's football stadium and the science museum. The V27 is...[more]

Category: News on Large Wind, News on Wind Energy, Rooftop & Urban Wind

Mag-Wind Pyramidal Power

July 13, 2007,   by Paul Gipe

The pyramids have always been thought to contain some magical power. Maybe they do. Maybe Mag-Wind has found a way to tap into this magical power, because they certainly are not going to get much...[more]

Category: Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, Inventions & Questionable Wind Turbines, Rooftop & Urban Wind, Mag-Wind

Roof Top Over the Top in Britain

May 4, 2007,   by Paul Gipe

Has something happened to the water in Britain since they privatized the water companies? Someone should check because the British government has gone berserk.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Renewable Devices Swift

Wind Speed Measurement over a roof top in Edinburgh, Scotland by Hugh Piggott

January 6, 2007,   by Hugh Piggott

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Unsubstantiated Claims of Rooftop Wind Turbines

January 5, 2007,   by Hugh Piggott

The following is an open letter by Hugh Piggot to BWEA calling for action on the unsubstantiated claims by promoters of rooftop wind turbines in Britain. Hugh Piggott is one of the world's most...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Renewable Devices Swift

Roof Top Windsave in Scotland

October 27, 2006,   by Paul Gipe

Stewart C. Russell sent these photos of a Windsave installation in Scotland. The turbine is near his parents house and is installed on an expensive home. Note the sheltering effect from both the...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Robert Dreeszen's Roof Mounted Wind Turbines

October 25, 2006,   by Robert Dreeszen

I am a retired IBM engineer living in a very remote area of Alaska who is hooked on renewable energy. I am not soliciting advice just merely passing along some photos and very limited experiences you...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Roof Top Wind in Inaction

July 10, 2006,   by Paul Gipe

With the flap in early July about roof top wind hype in Great Britain, I was surprised to find the controversy dogging my steps into the Sierra Nevada.[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Response by Paul Gipe to Dr. David Anderson Renewable Devices Swift Turbines

July 3, 2006,   by Paul Gipe

Your claims cannot be substantiated by the data made available to the public and it is likely they cannot be verified in the field. [more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, Inventions & Questionable Wind Turbines, Shrouded & Ducted Wind Turbines, Renewable Devices Swift

Urban Turbines: What Are They and What Makes Sense

May 1, 2006,   by Paul Gipe

Urban wind turbines. The image is immediately appealing. Most people live in cities. Most people want to use wind and solar energy. Thus, there must be ways for those living in cities--urbanites--to...[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

The case (or not) for Roof Mounted Wind Turbines by Nick Martin

January 1, 2006,   by Nick Martin

Are you one of the many people who have read or heard that the next generation of roof mounted wind turbines will provide all the electricity needs of the average semi in the UK?

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind

Rooftop Turbines: Rooftop Mounting and Building Integration of Wind Turbines

December 12, 2005,   by Paul Gipe

Why You Shouldn't Do It[more]

Category: Rooftop & Urban Wind, News on Large Wind

Swift Turbine Specs Look Dubious by Stewart Russell

May 9, 2005,   by Stewart Russell

Category: Small Turbine Product Reviews, Rooftop & Urban Wind

Stewart Russell's commentary on Windsave

May 9, 2004,   by Stewart Russell

Stewart knows what he's talking about. He's a pro.

Category: Small Turbine Product Reviews, Rooftop & Urban Wind

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