Philippe Starck's Scheme for Home Wind Power

Forget about toasters and other energy-sucking devices. French designer Philippe Starck, who has made a name for himself in stylized household goods for a plethora of retailers including Target and Microsoft, has now set his sights on small, wind turbines for residential use.

Starck is teaming up with Italian energy parts maker Pramac to create "Revolutionair" vertical axis turbines that can be used in yards, gardens or on rooftops to generate power.

The mini-turbines come in two styles: one is rectangular (and reminds us a little of Dyson's Air Multiplier bladeless fan) and the other is reminiscent of an egg beater. They range in power from 400 watts to 1 kilowatt-hour of energy and with a starting cost of about $3,500 each, they're not cheap. But maker Pramac is optimistic of their street value.

"Unlike larger turbines, RevolutionAir turbines are independent from the wind direction and can take advantage of turbulence, besides being extremely quiet," the company stated.

Still, getting a turbine won't be enough to power your entire home. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an average household consumes about 11,000 kW per year, at an estimated annual cost of $900.

But Starck clearly wants to be part of the solution. "We have to help people to produce energy, to be part of the fight...Energy should not be a punishment, we should crate a desire [among people to produce it]," he recently said at a Milan news conference.

To be sure, the designer has developed somewhat of a cult following for his sleek interiors, furniture and home products, like the Juicy Salif fruit juicer. Collectors of the House de Starck will likely be on board. But they'll have to wait just a little longer. Details of where to purchase the turbines have not yet been released.
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