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)
- Should I get a wind turbine if there are frequently low wind speeds in my area?
- Micro wind turbines can be selected for good low wind speed performance, so that even on less breezy days, electricity can be generated.
- Do I need to own a field to have a wind turbine?
- It depends on whether you're considering a roof mounted or pole-mounted (freestanding) system. Pole-mounted turbines do tend to work best in exposed locations such as fields, as they tend to experience less turbulence caused by obstacles such as buildings and trees. The ideal location for a freestanding wind turbine is at the top of a gentle slope.
- What size wind turbine will I need?
- The size of the turbine that's right for your property will depend on a few factors, including whether you want to have a roof mounted or freestanding system, your local wind speeds and the planning restrictions in your area, You should check with the Government's Planning Portal and with your installer when planning your turbine 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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