The potential of small-scale wind power is starting to be discussed more. Soon, like small-scale solar installations, wind turbines will be springing up in backyards and on rooftops. If you're thinking that you'd like to be one of the people with a turbine out back, you'll need to assess the wind speeds around your house. Luckily, as the commercials say, there's an app for that.
A new iPhone app by Mariah Power lets you measure wind speeds around you by simply holding your phone in the air. The program uses the microphone to pick up the noise of the wind and then calculates the speed based on decibel level. The program filters out ambient sound, but you need to avoid louder noises like lawn mowers for the app to read the breeze - or the gust if you're wanting to crank out some watts.
The company claims the measurements are accurate within 1.5 mph. Once you take your measurements, you can share them on a map to help them build a database of wind maps.
While this app is cool, it is also a blatant marketing tool for Mariah's Windspire residential wind turbine. The 1.2-kW turbine is 30 feet tall and works in areas with average wind speeds of 10 mph or greater. The company recommends calculating wind speeds over the course of a year before deeming your home turbine-suitable.
via Green Inc.