Wind Power

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.

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The Basics

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)

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FAQs

Will a wind turbine work if I live in a built up area?
The industry tends not to recommend that a domestic wind turbine is installed in an urban environment for a number of reasons, including: increased turbulence, resulting in higher stresses on the turbine and lower energy capture for any given wind speed; increased margins of safety required when more people are living and working near the turbine; additional measures possibly required to limit the transmission of vibrations into the structure of the building and lower average wind speeds in a city environment reduce the annual energy capture.
What is the lifetime of a domestic wind turbine?
Wind turbines have a lifetime of 20 years or more if serviced regularly, and if you're eligible for the FIT scheme the FIT payments will be paid to you for the same length of time.
How do I find out if my site is windy enough for a wind turbine?
Our survey takes into account the average wind speed in your area, so should give you a broad indication of whether your location is suitable for a wind turbine. We do recommend that you measure the average wind speeds in the turbine locations you're considering for at least a year before committing to an installation. You can measure your wind speed using an anemometer (wind meter). A good anemometer will record your specific wind profile (e.g. average wind speeds, wind spikes, changes in wind direction) which will help you select the most appropriate wind turbine for the wind characteristics of your site. The Power Predictor anemometer from www.bettergeneration.co.uk is a good choice for a domestic installation.
How much of the time do wind turbines produce electricity?
Wind turbines produce electricity 70-85% of the time, but they generate different outputs dependent on the local wind speed. Over the course of a year, a small wind turbine in the UK will generate about 7.5% (for roof mounted turbines) to 30% (for larger turbines) of the amount it would generate in a constant strong wind. This is known as its 'load factor' (or 'capacity factor').
What happens to my electricity supply when the wind stops blowing?
Without adequate wind blowing, the turbine will not turn and create electricity, therefore you will have to draw power from the grid. This will happen automatically as long as you are connected to the Grid.
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