Bluenergy Giving Me the Blues

By Paul Gipe

What’s up with Canada? I’ve gotten two enquiries from the Great White North about Bluenergy Solarwind, a US company claiming to have developed another vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT).

It appears that Bluenergy is making the rounds of the Prairie Provinces pitching its wind turbine. Why they’re pitching their product in Canada and not the USA is a mystery.

I am not familiar with either Bluenergy or Solarwind. I just left the Small Wind Conference in Minneapolis. No one there mentioned them. Of course, new VAWTs are a frequent occurrence and few at this conference pay them much mind. These revolutionary new products come and go so fast there’s no reason to make note of one more.

There’s not much on Bluenergy’s web site either. The company says it’s located in Santa Fe, New Mexico and that they’ve been developing their device since 2006. From the images on the web site, the device is your garden-variety helical Savonius rotor. That’s certainly not earth-shaking. It’s blue. Ok, that’s novel. Presumably they’ve integrated solar cells into the device. Why they would want to do that is questionable. As one Canadian who queried me said, “I don’t see the value proposition in that.” And he happens to know a thing or two about developing real renewable energy having built wind and possibly some solar projects as well.

Bluenergy claims the integration of the unique solar cells into the fabric has been proven by 18 years of testing by a German institution called TUEV. They could mean TÜV, pronounced Tuff, but there’s no information on the web site about what this organization has tested and the results from such testing.

The remaining description of the Bluenergy device on their web site is meaningless gobbledygook that leads into a traditional sales pitch of why this product is so great. There’s nothing here you can take to the bank. There are no specs, no dimensions, no performance curves, nothing.

No, I am not going to debunk this device. There’s nothing to debunk. There’s no there, there.

As I’ve said many times before, no one should pay any wind device the slightest attention until that device has been tested by a internationally recognized testing laboratory and the results published for the world to see.

No one in North America should buy or install this turbine until it has received certification from the Small Wind Certification Council. Moreover, until this device is certified, it does not qualify for the solar tax credit in the USA.

Just because it’s blue is not good enough.