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The Jellyfish, Plug-In Wind Power For Every Home
Sarah Kuck, 11 Feb 09
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Inventor Chad Maglaque doesn’t just want to bring change to the world of renewable energy -- he wants to mass produce it. The Seattleite has recently invented an affordable, accessible version of the micro-wind turbine, which he calls the Jellyfish.

At a mere 36 inches tall, the plug-in wind appliance can generate about 40 kilowatt hours each month, that's enough to light a home using high-efficiency bulbs, said Maglaque. And although micro-wind is nothing new, at $400 a pop, the Jellyfish's price and simplicity make it a fresh face in the market.

According to Maglaque’s website:

The Jellyfish Wind Appliance is a vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) with a solid-state controller and a variable-speed induction generator that plugs directly into an existing wall socket and automatically generates power whenever the wind blows. The Jellyfish can be mounted on rooftops, wind towers or even existing street light poles - which are already pre-wired to the grid and have the tower already in place!...Working in tandem with the existing power grid, the Jellyfish enables large-scale distributed-generation, delivering power exactly where its needed and reducing the demand for costly transmission infrastructure.

Maglaque said that he hopes the Jellyfish will do for the wind power industry what the personal computer did for the computer industry. Although the engineering community likes to think bigger is better, Maglaque said, we should remain open minded about using both big and small turbines to power the renewable energy revolution.

“We can do this at a small scale as well,” Maglaque said. “Just like there’s still a place for large mainframes and PCs.”

Maglaque hopes that the Jellyfish will soon be an item you can purchase at any local hardware store, just like a vacuum or blender. And with the combination of access, affordability and easy assembly, he hopes that eventually we will see his invention on every rooftop. While that level of ubiquity is, of course, the hope of any inventor, Maglaque also has a bigger vision: bring massive change to our relationship with energy creation. No longer would energy be something that we switch on mindlessly, and utility bills something that we begrudgingly pay monthly. Instead, personal wind power would allow us to generate energy, involving us in the process instead of just delivering uncontrollable results.

As with other personal renewable energy tools, this one could help us create energy, sell it back to the grid, watch as our energy bills drop and hopefully witness the creation of a better, more reliable grid system through our investment in the utility.

One vision that Maglaque shared was for the Jellyfish to help enable district wind energy co-ops. Imagining thousands of personal wind turbines all creating energy for the grid. He said neighbors could join together to work collectively with the power utilities.

“Say you’ve got 10,000 units in one city. If you connect those units on a server, and generate power together -- managing and regulating that power -- you are in a position to work with power utilities," Maglaque said. “This is good for customers because it provides a marginal return, and utilities like this as well because a: you have on demand power, and b: you free up funds to be allocated to the grid network that needs expansion and repair.”

Another hope of Maglaques's is for the Jellyfish to help people in developing countries leapfrog over dirty energy and jump more quickly into renewables.

To obtain more funding for certification and safety testing, Maglaque has entered the Jellyfish for the Google Project 10 to the 100th contest, in which Google will award $10 million to five innovative ideas that 'seek to change the world.’

Google has received more than 100,000 entries, submitted in 25 different languages. They are currently narrowing the choices down to 100. At more than 20,000 views, Maglaque’s YouTube video is one of the most watch among all of the projects:

Starting March 17, Google will ask for your help to narrow it down to 20. Get a reminder to vote here.

This piece originally appeared on our local site, Worldchanging Seattle.

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I'm confused. At $400 wouldn't the inverter and fees for net metering make the turbine the least expensive part of installing a "Jellyfish"? I'm not sure how you could justify the expense. I've been looking for a micro-turbine for a while but this one seems too small.

Posted by: Eniryt Manaen on 11 Feb 09

From the Jellyfish site: "it can be plugged directly into the existing power grid without special wiring or expensive inverters - you literally just plug it into the wall, anywhere there's power."

So, as far as I can tell, you don't need an inverter. I'm not sure how to answer your net metering question, but the benefit of the Jellyfish looks to be its small size. It's not going to power your house, but it will help cut your energy bill a bit. If you're looking for one that's in between, perhaps check out the ED2 WindMaster:

Also, if those of use with the funds to purchase micro-wind turbines, such as these, invest in them, the prices will slowly drop -- making them more affordable for more people.


Posted by: Sarah on 11 Feb 09

What is the cut-in/cut out speed of the unit? It looks good in concept but over what wind speed range will it operate and what will its power output be? Bottom line is cents/kWh cost and to understand this some design details are needed.

Posted by: P Smith on 12 Feb 09

Cut-in can cut-out speeds are 5 mph and 30 mph. If you have more in depth question, feel free to email Chad at


Posted by: Sarah on 13 Feb 09

Börse im Jahre 2009 Minus

von Raivo Pommer

Sorgen über die Auswirkungen der Finanzmarktkrise haben den deutschen Aktienmarkt am Mittwoch den dritten Tag in Folge belastet. Nach zeitweise kräftigen Verluste im Tagesverlauf erholte sich der Leitindex Dax jedoch weitgehend und schloss mit minus 0,28 Prozent bei 4205 Zählern. Die Erholung wurde durch die amerikanischen Börsen ausgelöst, die zum europäischen Handelsschluss in Plus gedreht hatten. Der MDax gab um 1,12 Prozent auf 4952 Zähler nach, der TecDax büßte 0,5 Prozent auf 480 Punkte ein.

„Die Finanzmarktkrise belastet die Märkte nach wie vor“, sagte Fondsmanager Gerold Kühne von LLB Asset Management in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. „Erst wenn die Konjunkturdaten in den Vereinigten Staaten eine Bodenbildung anzeigen, könnte das vom Markt als ein positives Signal verstanden werden.“

Am Tropf von Wall Street

Für die späte Erholung im Dax verwies ein Händler aus Frankfurt vor allem auf die Vereinigten Staaten: „Wir hängen wieder ganz am Tropf der amerikanischen Börsen. Geht es dort runter, haut es auch den Dax nach unten. Geht es dort hoch, hilft das auch der Börse hier.“

Posted by: in vaduz on 18 Feb 09

Or even better, the Swift Wind Turbine which was recently featured in the New York Times is a rooftop mount.

Posted by: Christina on 20 Feb 09

Posted by: Christina on 20 Feb 09

Appreciating the concept and the lower price I wonder how much power can actually be generated, will it compensate a power account by much? or would we need a "forest' of them to really make a financial / ecological difference? And then I ask , would it really make a difference? as power/energy was used to produce it, we need to compare the overall earth cost versus the return.
Interested in comments on this.

Posted by: chookie on 20 Feb 09

aren't sockets in the walls a one way circuit? how would that work?

Posted by: k on 3 Mar 09

I wrote an article that raises the question: "Why don't we do more research on the possibilities of placing wind turbines on top of our tallest buildings . . . where wind speeds are higher, and transmission only needs to go to the building?"

Couldn't your idea be incorporated into any windmill design? I have often wondered if automobile wheels(the axle assembly arm) couldn't be used to hold props since they are so abundant in our junk yards and wouldn't require building a new rotor.

Would gearing up to achieve higher rpm's help increase efficiency at all?

I do love your idea and what it represents in the way of at least a partial solution that could be utilized by the masses. Great job!!

Posted by: Ken Carman on 4 Mar 09

I really feel uncomfortable about wind turbines on roofs, there will always be turbulence around the roof which will affect the ability of the turbine to work well.
It's hard to beat PV for city rooftop energy production, might not look as exciting as a whirlygig on a rooftop but will give consistent energy over the year.
Of course, it's also great fun to build your own wind turbine and not as hard as it sounds.

Posted by: Miriam on 5 Mar 09

What about using them in tandem. Say 3 or 4 of them could possible really cut your electrical bill. Thats only 1200 to 1600 dollars in cost for 120 kWh to 160 kWh.

Posted by: Craig on 11 Apr 09

The average home uses about 920 killowatt hours of electricity a month. How practical is it to have 23 of these things plugged in around the house. Its a cute little toy. I might pay 40 bucks for it.

Posted by: Garth on 17 Apr 09

2 questions. First, being that the Jellyfish can be plugged into any wall outlet and can be unplugged at any time. Would that qualify it as a non permanent
fixture hence would it be excluded from having to
obtain a permit to install it?
Second. When will they be available exactly?
Oh, and can you use many of them like 8 in one house?

Posted by: Alfred V Tasca on 20 May 09

Sounds like a sound idea. I'm interested. Might buy one when its available.

Posted by: Carl Gillespie on 12 Jun 09

i really would like about 10 please.......

Posted by: mike on 3 Jul 09

At up to 40 kw a month and a kw usage of 650 in a really small home that amounts to max. $ 2.50 savings a month or 180 months = 12 years before any savings can be achieved.

Not sure that this turbine will last that long. Considering that the manufacture and distribution used electricity it might not ba a viable product.

Posted by: apimom on 9 Aug 09

Nice design. However, and I hate to throw cold water on this, but you have designed a generator or maybe an alternator (I can't tell)that may get you a lawsuit. If the grid goes down and you are still putting juice back into the grid and linemen are working on the wires they could be killed. There is a NEC rule 1729 that has addressed such cases. Some Grid tie inverters that can be bought on Ebay plug into the wall as well, but none have the 1729 approval and are hence all illegal in the states. If this has an obboard inverter with islanding features, (meaning they stop putting out power when the grid goes down)it still has to be inspected and meet the criteria of the utility that owns the wires you are pumping clean electricity into. Sorry for going on, but this needs further work before people start plopping down money for something that could get their power shut off. I have a 200 watt generator at my house that charges batteries and does the same thing with a $35 dollar inverter from Ace hardware. The diffeence is that I have isolated the circuits from ones served by the utility. Congratulations on an eye pleasing design,,,just do some more work and get a good lawyer before you sell even one of them.

I answer questions from readers at


Posted by: Gary on 25 Nov 09

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