How Not to Site Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (Mariah Windspire) #1

By Paul Gipe

Stewart Russell captured these photos of a Mariah Windspire installed at the College School in St. Louis. Stewart is an experienced wind hand and noted that the Windspire, which is an unguyed, cantilevered VAWT, was swaying in the wind. A flyer was posted on the turbine saying that this swaying was normal.

Stewart also noted that this installation is a classic case of mis-siting a wind turbine. The turbine is too close to a two storey building, there is a tree in the background, and the tower is too short.

This installation may be a toy for a science class but it is not an installation that will generate a significant amount of electricity. Worse, it sets a bad example for the students of the school as well as any passersby who happen to see this installation.



Note: If you can’t tell why these are world-class examples of poor siting, please see some of the many books on wind energy. Note that the “wind” turbines are surrounded by trees, buildings, and other obstructions to the wind.

NREL Mariah Power (Windspire) Tests–The Windspire is a 1.2-kW vertical-axis small wind turbine. The turbine tower is 9.1 meters tall, and its rotor area is 1.2 x 6.1 meters. The turbine has a permanent-magnet generator with a single-phase output at 120 volts AC. . .