Graeme Attey, already a little bit famous as the inventor of a two-wheeled, wind-powered "dirt surfer," has just taken his inventing skills to a new (and more useful) level. This roof-top wind turbine is small, cheap, quiet and sits at the peak of the roof-line in order to capture wind at it’s maximum speed.
Mr. Attey has been awarded a AU$34,000 grant from the government of Australia to develop the technology and make it suitable for use across windy Western Australia. Another $28,000 was awarded to a scientist to determine the ideal placements for such small-scale residential turbines.
At only AU$700 a piece, these turbines are definitely the cheapest option we’ve seen in small wind. And though they don’t have an enormous generating capacity, they are designed to be used in series. So, an average household could install as many as six of these turbines on their roof, while selling all of their excess electricity back to the electric company.
The only issue, of course, is whether home-owners will be willing to add these clunky barrel turbines to their roof. But if Western Australia really wants to reduce it’s greenhouse emissions by 60% in 40 years, they’re going to have to make compromises. Besides its somewhat cumbersome appearance, these turbines look to me like a very promising advancement in suburban energy generation.