You can generate electricity at home with small-scale wind turbines.
Domestic wind turbines, known as microwind or small-wind turbines, capture the power of the wind and use it to produce electricity to power the lights and electrical appliances in your home. The UK is the ideal country for small domestic turbines with 40% of all the wind energy in Europe blowing over it.
Whenever the wind blows over your domestic wind turbine it will use this energy to generate electricity. This electricity can be used to power your home’s appliances and lighting, and because this electricity is free to you this will reduce your electricity bills. If you qualify for the government’s Feed-in-Tariff scheme you can receive payments for every unit of electricity you generate, as well as for any units you generate but don’t use, as they can then be exported back to the Grid.
You can fit a roof mounted or mast mounted (freestanding) microwind turbine depending on what the best way to capture wind power is in your area. Find out more about Installation of Wind Turbines here.
“A well sited 6kW turbine could generate around 10,000kWh per year which is equivalent to around 5.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. A system this size could generate income and savings of around £3,200 a year when eligible for the Feed-In Tariff” (Energy Saving Trust)
- What is the best wind turbine type and height for me?
- Factors such as whether you want a roof mounted or freestanding system, planning permission and any limitations to foundations may dictate the type and maximum tower height to be considered, but in general, the higher the tower, the higher the average wind speed that the turbine will experience. A taller tower should generate sufficient extra energy to justify any additional cost, especially if there is turbulence created by nearby trees or buildings that can be avoided with extra height.
- What level of VAT do I have to pay on my wind turbine installation?
- A reduced level of VAT - currently only 5% - is applicable to renewable energy systems for domestic properties.
- How does a wind turbine generate electricity?
- Most wind turbines have three blades which face into the wind; the wind turns these blades round. This spins the shaft, which is connected to a generator. The generator turns this mechanical energy into electrical energy, generating electricity. This electricity is passed through an inverter to convert it from CD to AC electricity, and this AC electricity is then supplied to your house through your wiring.
- How tall are domestic wind turbines?
- The height of a domestic turbine will vary according to manufacturer and model, but generally it varies from 6 to 15 meters (for a roof mounted system) up to 24 meters for a freestanding turbine. In general, the higher up the blades are, the higher the average wind speed that the turbine will experience, giving you a more efficient system. The rotor diameter of domestic wind turbines ranges from 2 meters for a roof mounted turbine, up to around 7 meters for a freestanding turbine, again depending on the model.
- Can an installed wind turbine be re-sited?
- Yes, provided the new site is suitable. However, substantial costs will be incurred to dismantle the turbine, transport it to the new site and re-install it, so ideally in the first place you should spend time selecting the most suitable site before you install it for the first time. If you do need to re-site the turbine, make sure you get multiple quotes from accredited installers for the moving work.
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