The benefits of wind power
In the right situation micro-wind turbines are a very effective energy solution and could contribute up to £3,200 per year to your energy costs.
- Harness a plentiful energy source: In the UK we have 40% of Europe's total wind energy.
- Cut your carbon footprint: Wind electricity is a low carbon, renewable energy source and doesn't produce any pollutants. A well sited 6kW system can save around 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
- Cut your electricity bills: The wind is free, which means that after the system has paid for itself your electricity costs will be reduced.
- Store electricity for a calm day: If you don't connect your turbine to the National Grid you can store surplus electricity in batteries and use it when there is no wind.
- Quick payback: A large system typically pays for itself in 7 years or less under current tariff rates.
- Receive FIT payments: You can be paid for any electricity you generate using your turbine and any electricity you don’t use which can be exported back to the Grid. This adds up to around £2,800 a year.
Selling your own electricity
Savings with a typical system
Studies looking at a number of different of microwind systems indicate that a well situated 6kW turbine could generate:
- Around 10,000 kWh of electricity per year
- Savings of around 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
- Around £3,200 a year in Feed-in-Tariff payments and bill savings for 20 years.
What to do next?
- 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.
- What maintenance or servicing is required for a wind turbine?
- You should get your turbine checked by your installer or another accredited technician every year, which should cost between £100 and £200. Your inverter may need to be replaced once during the turbine's 20 year lifetime - this costs between £1000-£2000 for a large freestanding system. Turbines with batteries (off-grid systems) will need their batteries replaced every 6-10 years.
- 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 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').
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