Measure your wind energy potential
If you're thinking of installing a wind turbine at your home, school, business or farm, we believe there's no substitute for measuring your wind speed first, to work out how much energy you could generate before you make the investment. Measure your wind speed with an anemometer

Questions
We're here for friendly advice on 020 7738 5800 or drop us an email with your question. If you're wondering how independent we are, or whether we'll just flog you anything, you can read more here.

The Swift Rooftop Wind Energy System 
This is an independent review we have compiled for your reference. Feel free to add your comments or experiences at the bottom of the page.

Swift turbines, developed by Edinburgh-based Renewable Devices Ltd, made the headlines back in 2004 when they attracted a 9.2m investment from mega-energy company Scottish & Southern with an order for 2,000 turbines for their customers. Swift say their turbine is "the world's first silent, building-mountable wind turbine" and the ring encircling the blades is the secret to its quiet operation. They also state that the design means it is more efficient in turbulent air flows, which is an important consideration on roofs.

swift power output curve

The graph below shows the typical power produced (in Watts) for the Swift at different wind speeds. The power output curve as published by Swift is shown below.


Compare power curve with other turbines

wind turbine blade diameterBlade diameter is an important thing to look at when comparing turbines, since it affects how much power can be captured from the wind. This turbine has a blade diameter of 2.10 metres.

wind turbine anemometerHow windy? If you are thinking of buying a Swift, we'd advise measuring your wind resource first. Not just because we sell anemometers but it means you will have a much better idea of how much power you might generate.

cost

Around 5,300 for the system, plus installation which would probably cost about 1,750, plus VAT at 5% for domestic properties, 0% for new build or 17.5% for commercial/industrial applications. You must use an accredited installer (you cannot DIY).

our view

An exciting proposition, especially as the claims say there is virtually no noise. It's an elegant design, but when we saw one at an exhibition, it seemed like a fairly large thing to be strapping to the side of your house, and there are of course well-documented problems with roof-mounted machines (as mentioned elsewhere on this site and others). Some technical problems arose with the Mark 1 version, which were withdrawn for a while adjustments are made to the setup. An improved Mark 2 version has now been released.

UK grants available?

Swift have government accreditation so the turbines are eligible for up to 30% grant funding depending on where you live in the UK.

warranty

Unclear, but expected lifespan of 20 years

manufacturer

Renewable Devices / Swift

http://www.renewabledevices.com

more information

0131 535 3301

compare small wind turbines
Compare this turbine with similar sized machines listed in our independent index of small wind turbines.

comments (16)add comment

Energy guru said:

Good concept but expensive for what it is and what it can deliver. Swift really need to release a smaller micro version at say 300 to 500W peak power for more domestic situations and to drive down the cost.

For thos who say that it will never for itself (and therefore is useless.) your correct in that fianancially getting a payback period less than 10 years can be toughtbut there are other considerations like independance from future energy supply uncertainties, Reducing carbon footprint and generally contributing positively to being more energy concious. Generally speaking a renewable device cannot use more carbon that it saves as the embedded energy of these devices is relatively low.
January 26, 2009

Sam Streubel said:

When I vacationed on Cape Cod this summer, I made it a point to visit Christy's Market in West Yarmouth to see, and hear for myself what the Swift turbine was all about.

When I arrived, the three turbines mounted on top the gas pump canopy were spinning like crazy but were virtually silent. If you didn't know they were there, you wouldn't know they were there.

According to Christy Mihos, the owner of Christy's Markets, he expects the turbines to produce about 30% of the store's electricity. Unfortunately, the turbines haven't been up and running long enough for anyone in his office to give me a good indication of actual energy performance.

This comes as no surprise. The rooftop wind turbine concept is so new there are few performance statistics available for first time buyers.

However, all wind turbine systems, both large and small, must meet three basic requirements to make sense.

1. Minimum wind speeds of 10-12 mph at your site.

2. Your cost for electricity should be $0.10 per kWh or higher.

3. Compliance with local zoning laws.

If you're interested in learning more about the 3 basic requirements for an economical rooftop wind turbine, please visit the Wind Power section of Alternative-Heating-Info.com

September 14, 2008

Andy B said:

Swift quoted me approx 4500 for a swift fitting to my house, I still think that is too high for a 1.5 kW turbine.
September 06, 2008

Augustinus Huisamen said:

Sir,
This is what rural south africa needs. Could sent a price list and technical
specifications.
My company and I is interested to market your product. kindly consider.

Augustinus Huisamen
82 332 0846
P.O Box 33960
Glenstantia 0010
Pretoria
South Africa

Secondly,
I have found a site the other day about a Scotish government agency
that do feasibilty studies to advise which renewable system, work best
at a given site. Kndly advise website
February 17, 2008

Iainb said:

I forgot to mention the mean windspeed at my place is 6.7 m/s
Try this to see what you are likely to get from your turbine:
www.reuk.co.uk/Calculate-kWh-Generated-by-Wind-Turbine.htm
January 13, 2008

Iainb said:

At 6000 outlay and 300 produced per year it will NEVER pay for itself in money and almost certainly use more carbon than it saves.
The futurenergy 1kW looks much more promising, approx 1270 outlay and 250 per year produced - approx 7 year payback in real terms .( money promised to me next year is worth only 0.9 of money in my hand now. Consider the effect of CO2 put into the atmosphere now vs saved later)
January 13, 2008

steve said:

Ask swift, what happened to their machine that was on test at the Narec test facility in blyth. northumberland??????????????
October 26, 2007

Steve Taylor (Aust) said:

Hi Guys, Yes great looking turbine, looks a lot like a bicycle wheel turbine we play with here in OZ. google "peter pedals".
Anyway i have a question, Are you using Batteries to store the power?
If so what about the cost of these? and you would need an inverter, correct?
Another thing, why would anybody who is connected to the grid need a wind turbine anyway.
Surely it would cost more than you would get back in electricity.
And what about the electricity/power it took to make the turbine.
Im no expert, these are just questions im sure people may ask.
BTW, i am on solar and wind power here in country Victoria Australia, cost to connect to the grid is AU$30,000 if power connection was available at a lower cost i would connect real fast....but then again...I love not getting power bills. "Pre Paid Power"..cheers:)

June 18, 2007

Insider said:

Waste of money and effort, to get one installed for*under 6000 you'd be lucky, then theres the safety of it, the control system..... Tim knows the score, lets see if it gets a relaunch!
Good lookin device though and a few were silent sometimes ;)
March 26, 2007

Andrew Harmsworth said:

According to the information graph from RD, the power rating at 5 m/s looks to be around 180W, not insubstantial, but not 1.5 kW. I guess the proof will be in the eating - once they are available, people will either be delighted after 2-3 years, or very cross. In 2-3 years, we will see.
March 24, 2007

Philip Goatly said:

Since the Swift turbine produces 1.5kw at 12.5 m/s and the power from the wind is proportionate to the cube of the speed of the wind then at 5 m/s the turbine should produce about 96 watts - just about enough to power 1 concvntional light bulb or 4-5 energy saving bulbs. That is a very expensive use of energy i.e the cost of the turbine.
February 02, 2007

Tim Rogers said:

I work in the industry and have installed a few Swifts and a number of Provens. In reality the Swift costs at least 6,000. Swfit have had recent problems with the control box which meant the turbines would not generate anything. In the recent gales in Scotland the arms on one turbine fell off. Turbine have be removed at the majority of sites. I believe they are adressing the issue. I have had bad experiences of Swift themselves. The product has good potential but be wary of the mounting pole. It is quite substantial to install on your house.

The turbines are however very quiet.
January 05, 2007

Cliff Cook said:

I am interested in purchasing one of your rooftop turbines. Do you sell them in the USA.
December 12, 2006

MK said:

In addittion to my last message, anyone wishing to query the status of the Swift can contact Irene Black at irene.black@scottish-southern.co.uk
December 05, 2006

MK said:

I have recently spoken to Irene Black at Scottish Power who is a key figure in the department marketing the Swift.

She said that the would be taking orders in the Spring of 2007, and that it is likely the cost of the Swift would be reduced to around 15-1800 excluding installation.
December 04, 2006

guest said:

Does anyone know if Swift / Scottish and Southern are taking orders again yet? We're waiting to hear from them
November 14, 2006

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