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Today I visited Southwest Windpower in Flagstaff, Arizona. They are the original makers of the Air 403, a 400W small wind turbine you could almost carry in your pocket. (13 lbs or < 6 kilos.) Last year they bought the company making the Whisper windmills. Their models are the H40 rated at 900W, the H80 at 1kW, and the larger 175 at 3kW. Small and portable windmills are ideal for survival groups that may need to move about. The H40 and H80s weighs about 30-32 kilos or 65-70 lbs, and retail for USD 1,500 to 2,790. The 175 needs to men carrying it, at about 70 kilos or 155 lbs, and it retails at USD 4,990. On their web site, they had only up to 45' towers last time I checked. They are however coming out with new towers on 70' and 84', retailing at USD 1,260 to 1,480, excluding the poles. 60'' anchors run at USD 270 for a set of four.

As to current, the Whispers can only operate when charging a battery bank. For AC use, they do deliver a US inverter (110V, 60Hz). No European model as of yet. Interestingly enough, they have had requirements for a direct AC off-grid system without batteries, and are working on such a design. Personally, having left this idea behind, I believe using batteries will be the best way. I think Rolls is the leading battery maker. Their largest model is an incredible 2,000! Ah, but it is not really portable at 315 lbs or 145 kilos. Their 450 AH model may be a better choice, being somewhat more portable at approx. 75 lbs or 35 kilos (if memory serves me right).

Offered by Jan.

Rolls make good batteries but there as expensive as hell. Try deep cycle golf cart batteries. You can find golf cart batteries anywhere in the world. They are cheap and a well known technology. Look in you phone book or ask at a golf course. You can also desulfate/recondition used batteries with the new chargers and some simple chemicals and that makes salvaging golf cart style batteries a good proposition post-pole shift.

Offered by Ray.