Sonkyo Energy produces the Windspot turbine and is a Spanish company that completed its first installation in 2009 and sold its first commercial units in mid-2010. The private corporation released three small wind turbine models—all three-blade, pitch-controlled, upwind, passive-yaw turbines. The company has more than 25 distributors, with offices and warehouses in Spain, Taiwan, and the United States. Turbine certifications are held for the United States, U.K., Japan, France, and Denmark. The company has installed about 1,000 wind turbines.
Sales manager Javier Vidal says, “Our products demonstrate simple efficiency and reliability at an affordable price. The greatest innovation in our wind turbines is a new, patented, variable pitch system. This straightforward design and the use of high-quality materials, such as stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and bronze, result in a smooth working mechanism even in the gustiest of situations.”
Ventera Wind was founded by the late Elliot Bayly, a legend in the small wind world who designed turbines under the Whirlwind and Whisper brands. Bayly’s Ventera technology was purchased by North Coast Wind & Power, a privately held Ohio-based company, and Ventera Wind was formed in September 2011. Unlike most acquisitions in this industry, Ventera Wind has chosen to honor all previous warranties of Ventera Energy.
Ventera’s original 10 kW wind turbine went into service in 2007. The new company modified the original version on several occasions to improve performance and durability, and to reduce noise. More than 200 turbines were in service as of December 2013.
Ventera Wind touts their turbines as being environmentally friendly due to their lighter weight and use of recycled metal. President Joseph Woods says, “All of the unneeded weight is designed out of the turbine; the main frame is made with 100% recycled aluminum; and there is some recycled material in the blades. Ventera Wind has done significant upgrades to the wind turbine. Every warranty claim is reviewed, with our asking, ‘What can we do so this never happens again?’ This has led us to our current model, which we predict to have a life expectancy of up to 30 years.”
The turbines in the table are sorted by size. The information in the table was supplied by the manufacturers, and we encourage buyers to confirm claims with information from impartial users and others who have direct, real-world experience.
Name & website are listed so you can explore their published information, and we encourage you to do so.
Rotor swept area in square feet lets you compare turbine collector sizes. This is the disk described by the spinning rotor—the area that intercepts the wind and collects energy. While there is wide variation in rotor effectiveness and efficiency and the gear behind them, the swept area is a great place to start when considering wind turbines. It’s a reasonable comparative measure between turbines.
Rotor diameter is also handy for describing turbine size, though it’s not as intuitive for comparison’s sake. Dividing diameter in half to get the radius, the basic formula of pi × radius2 calculates swept area from rotor diameter.
Tower-top weight may indicate the robustness of the turbine, and also is necessary information for installation equipment and infrastructure. Heavier turbines are typically more durable.