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Wind Turbines for the Home: a Waste of Time?

By David Holmes on June 16, 2009

Domestic Wind TurbineIn a world where burning fossil fuels has been shown to damage the environment, greater attention has been given to finding alternative energy sources, such as through the use of solar hot water heating panels.

Another method of providing green energy at home is through the harnessing of wind power, which already makes up a substantial part of the world’s green energy supplies, as indicated by the thousands of enormous wind turbines positioned atop of hills across the globe. But does a home wind turbine solution work?

Home Wind Turbine Kits

Although industrial large-scale turbines can generate plenty of green electricity at altitude, the home wind turbine solution has not quite lived up to expectations. Despite being able to produce some power, a typical home wind turbine is not as efficient as the latest solar panel installations or, for that matter, geothermal alternatives.

Typically priced between £500-£3000, the average home wind turbine kit will suffer from a number of fundamental problems. Because buildings create a great deal of turbulence, which causes wind turbines to work less efficiently. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that houses tend to be positioned next to other houses, which are quite often situated at different heights. In addition to performing inefficiently, turbines also tend to be very noisy, although the latest kits available do manage to reduce noise to a certain extent. However, even modern kits cannot resolve the fundamental problem of vibration, which can wreak havoc on buildings.

In summary, wind turbine kits for the home are making significant technological advances towards producing green energy more efficiently, but they remain relatively expensive solutions that many would argue amount to little more than a complete waste of time and money.