Turbines Tree

Is a wind turbine right for my home?

This blog explores the options available to homes considering installing a wind turbine to generate energy. It looks into the function of turbines and offers advice on the compatibility of wind power for your home.

Wind turbines have been a hot topic in the news and it is hard to know if they will actually be good for your home or not. It is a fact that the UK is one of the windiest places in Europe and the wind blows the most in the winter when homeowners use more electricity. Based on those two facts, wind power makes sense but is it better on a commercial farm scale as opposed to a domestic level.

We investigates whether wind power is suitable for your home and the expectations you should have when you install a turbine.

How does a wind turbine function?

Your wind turbine will be mounted to your home or on a mast next to your home. The wind causes the blade of your turbine to rotate, which turns a rotor shaft, that generates a low voltage direct current (DC) that is converted to an alternating current (AC) electricity. If you connect to the national grid, you can sell your power to your supplier if you produce more than you need or you can buy extra if your wind turbine doesn’t produce enough for your home. If you are off the grid, your wind turbine will charge batteries in your home.

What should I consider when deciding on wind power for my home?

You need to look at how suitable your home is when considering a wind turbine to power your home. Ideally your home will be on top of a hill with clear surroundings perfect for wind to come sailing through. As most people don’t live in this location, it is best to look for an average wind speed of at least 5/6 metres per second and see if you are able to connect your wind turbine to your home and the national grid (underground cable).

How do I find out the wind speed?

There is a UK windspeed database where you can get an idea of the windspeed in your area but this is an average so shouldn’t be considered the final answer. The truth of the matter is, wind speeds can vary enormously within each area and the only way you can get an accurate reading for your home is with a wind gauge.

What size wind turbine is right and how much will it cost?

The size of wind turbine your choose will depend on the size of your home, the land you have surrounding your home and how much power you are planning on generating. You basically have three options:

  • Micro-turbine: This turbine costs around £2k and is in the range of 500 watts to 2.5 kW.
  • Small turbine: These cost around £11k and up with 2.5kW to 8kW.
  • Mast-based grid: You will fork out around £25k for this installation including groundwork.

If you are looking for cheap, then you can always make your own wind turbine and to put the cost into perspective, a 5kW turbine will produce 15,000kWh of electricity every year meaning it will pay itself off in 10 years time. As with most things green, the initial investment is the painful part.

Planning permission

You will need to apply for planning permission if you decide to install a wind turbine for your home. The local authority will assess the noise pollution, vibration, visual impact, interference and safety of your wind turbine.

2 Comments to Is a wind turbine right for my home?

  1. Mr Pearce's Gravatar Mr Pearce
    October 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Can you please inform me how to start the ball rolling with regard to installing a Wind Turbine for my home. Many thanks Mr Pearce

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