Windmax home wind turbine kits are the most popular available now.
Although the company makes a number of models, we will be taking a closer look at the HY400, capable of producing approximately 400 Watts of power, in this review.
One of the biggest limitations for any wind generator is the speed at which it starts to produce energy, or the "cut-in" speed. Just because the blades will turn does not mean you are generating enough power to overcome line loss.
The Windmax HY400 has a cut-in speed of about 7 mph which is 2 mph less than most home wind turbine kits out there.
What does the Windmax kit cost?
To answer that question completely, you must consider both the short-term and long-term implications of owning any wind turbine:
1. Initial cost - this is the price to get in the game. Includes purchase of the wind turbine and installation costs. The HY400 is about $700 through Amazon and you need to budget approximately the same amount for setup and installation.
2. Ongoing costs - with a unit this size, you should budget about $200 to handle normal maintenance.
What components comes with the kit?
Wind turbine with 400 Watts of power output, a generator, blades, and controller.
Here are some of the features of the Windmax turbine that you need to know…
Controller - is both powered by solar and wind. The system is driven electromagnetically, which allows it to be slowed down prior to "furling". (Furling is when the wind turbine automatically shuts itself down to keep from overspeeding in high wind.)
Blades - high-tech construction and designed to be very light but aerodynamically strong. The blades are 4-1/2 feet in diameter.
Tower - the system will need to be mounted on a tower but that isn't included. The height of the tower depends on obstructions on your property.
Generator - the generator is brushless which gives it less resistance to initial start and thereby, a lower cut-in speed.
Maximum Speed and unit weight - 134 mph wind but the system will furl before that so as to protect it from destroying itself. The wind turbine and all components only weighs 60 pounds.
What is the bottom line?
The downside is the Windmax HY400 home wind turbine kit isn't going to "take you off the grid" but is a great way to get into the wind game. For a total investment of less than $1,000, you can be making electricity from the wind. Once you learn how this works, you can expand into larger and larger systems that produce more power.
The HY400 is small enough that you can move it around by yourself and its modular construction makes it easy to get going so you can start making power.
Roger G. Brown has been an energy engineer for 20 years. Check out Roger's tips on how to save money AND get a Wind Tax Credit