The first time you see a Nemoi wind turbine, you may not realize it is a wind turbine. Nemoi, a silver and white metal structure the size of a garden bush, has three vertical blades that spin like a carousel around a central axis. The rotation is smooth, but completely quiet, and doesn’t feel fast enough to generate much power.
According to its creator, Semtive Energy managing director Ignacio Juárez, a Nemoi turbine can provide power to a four-person household at wind speeds of just 16 to 20 kilometers per hour.
Plus, it’s made from 95% recyclable aluminum, can be quickly assembled by one person, and can be made locally.
Smaller, closer, simpler.
We started wondering why there wasn’t a wind turbine on every roof, and we started thinking about how to solve the problems of the existing wind turbines.
He explains that conventional turbines require high wind speeds, in addition to being large, heavy and difficult to install and maintain.
Large Wind Turbines cannot be placed in the center of a town or city.
This is why we see wind farms sprawling over vast fields in the middle of nowhere. And although these huge horizontal axis turbines are very efficient, the energy they generate must be transported to end users.
Up to 40% of this energy is lost from its point of production to its point of use, as it must be transported, stored and converted. The solution is to produce the energy where you will consume it.
And that’s what Nemoi turbines do. Once installed and plugged in, they start feeding the network immediately and can also work without a network connection. The goal is for each turbine to produce the same amount of energy that its owner uses, or even more.
It’s the idea that homes are getting smarter, that people are generating what they need in their homes.
Advantages of verticality.
The turbines we are used to seeing have horizontal shafts; like windmills, their blades rotate between parallel and perpendicular to the ground.
These turbines have become huge, because bigger means better in terms of efficiency. Despite the energy lost during transport and conversion, large wind turbines are still worth it.
But there is a limit to the size of horizontal axis turbines, and once that is reached, we will need a different solution.
Many experts bet on vertical axis turbines, because they experience a constant gravitational force, always in the same direction. Without the stress of holding 80mm blades at one end, vertical axis turbines can potentially be much larger.
Since their rotation does not take up as much space as horizontal axis turbines, vertical turbines can be placed closer to each other in a wind farm, which means more electricity can be produced over a given area. .
If you add more turbines per square foot and less wind to spin them, you get cheaper electricity. With Nemoi, Semtive has taken this concept and made it available for smaller scale operations.
Juárez and García Enciso are Argentinian and, according to their local mentality, Nemoi’s first big client was the government of Buenos Aires. The city has installed solar and wind-powered charging stations in subway stations, public parks and other municipal areas, and installed panels and turbines on streetlights.
Since then, Semtive has expanded its customer base to include resellers, utilities and end users.
End customers use wind energy in addition to solar energy or as an alternative to the installation of solar panels.
The turbines have a retail price of $3,600. That’s no small sum for most homeowners, but government grants and incentive programs are becoming more prevalent as states and cities encourage their residents to be more sustainable.
Juarez estimates that Nemoi owners recoup their investment in two years, if they received a rebate and live in a high-wind area, or up to seven years, if there is no rebate and they live in areas with low winds. He estimates that the cost of installing solar panels for equivalent electricity production is around $20,000.
Given our growing energy needs, the benefits of vertical axis turbine technology, and the cost- and environment-driven movement for renewable energy, Semtive has a lot of work ahead of it.
Despite five years and countless iterations to achieve the Nemoi design, Juárez and García Enciso are aware that their growing pains are not yet resolved. Government regulations and energy policies currently pose significant constraints.
The change in cost-benefit structures that distributed energy will bring about, enabled by technologies like Semtive’s, will be difficult for utilities, governments and entrepreneurs to manage. In the end, it’s hard to go wrong with cheap, green energy sources.
Governments are aware that they must start developing renewable energies. So their policies are starting to change.
More information: semtive.com