What could be greener in The Windy City?
Added to the Smart Home in 2009, the wind turbine in the southeast corner of the home's landscape was the first downwind rotor turbine installed in the Chicago metropolitan area.
A wind turbine works in tandem with the local electric utility to power a home. When the wind isn’t blowing, the utility—or other alternative energy sources in the home—will supply the electricity. But when it’s windy out, the turbine provides clean, quiet electricity. And if you live in a windy city like Chicago, your turbine may generate more electricity than needed. In this case, the home’s electric meter may spin backwards, which means the homeowner is essentially selling electricity back to the utility company.
This Skystream 3.7 wind generator has a 45-foot-high tower with a 12-foot-diameter rotor, and can generate up to 2.4 kilowatts. It begins producing power in an 8 mph wind, and reaches full output in 29 mph winds. It produces approximately 400 kilowatt-hours per month in a 12 mph wind.
Southwest Windpower’s Skystream 3.7 is the first small wind generator designed specifically for utility-connected residential and commercial use. Together with the Smart Home's solar panels, the wind turbine is expected to help make the home 100% renewable-powered under certain climate conditions.
- Happening Now
Explore nine decades of The Walt Disney Company's history and artifacts.
Seventy years ago, a historic landing changed the world.
- Coming Soon
Travel the length of a continent with a cast of millions: monarch butterflies in migration.
Exhibit Resource Guide
- Download the 2012 Smart Home resource guide to see the eco-friendly products, "green" ideas and resources found in the exhibit.
- Exhibit Resource Guide (PDF)