Mariah Power, a small wind turbine manufacturing company, has created a wind speed measuring app for the iPhone. The basic idea of course, is to let interested users measure wind speed, and see if it would suit their need for a small wind turbine.
The app uses the phones microphone to capture the sound of the wind, and then uses an algorithm to cancel out ambient noise and find out the wind decibel speed. While the speed calculated may not be entirely accurate, potential customers can get a fair idea of the usability of a wind turbine.
The Reno, Nev. based company builds slim 30-foot-tall vertical-axis turbines that can turn wind into electricity. These turbines cost $4000 plus another $1000 for installation and offer 1.2kW of power, or 2000 kWh of power annually and a claimed cost of ownership of 12.4 cents per kilowatt-hour over 20 years. The company says its turbine moves slower, thus generating less noise.
In any case, the app is a great way for people to check feasibility of installing a wind turbine, giving those interested, an efficient and easy to use tool.