Domestic Wind Turbines - Wind Powered Electricity Generation at Home
Sustainable energy is becoming increasingly more important and technologies such as solar power and wind power are attractive and realistic propositions for more and more households, costs are reducing and as such so are paybacks.
A wind turbine is one of the most simplest methods of renewable energy, wind causes the fan blades to rotate which drives a generator that converts the rotational energy into electricity, supplementing the mains supply.
Is a Wind Turbine Suitable For Me?
There are a few important factors to consider before you can proceed which include but certainly not limited to, location, wind speed and planning permission.
Firstly and probably most importantly is the wind speed, you need to asses whether it's worth installing a turbine, the Government provide the NOABL wind speed model database that covers the UK and provides an indication of the expected wind speeds in you area, you can access the wind speed database here. You need to be looking at an average wind speed of around 5m/s or more remembering that the higher up the turbine is installed the greater the speed which brings us on to location.
There are 2 types of turbines, mast mounted and roof mounted, the higher the better but bearing in mind that planning permission may be required. Before making any commitments consult your local authority and find out what permissions you require.
Costs are very dependant on the type and size of installation, however, a small scale wind turbine and inverter installation of around 1.2kw can come in at under £1,900, in fact B&Q are selling a Windsave system for £1,898 installed. Larger scale 2-6kw mast mounted systems can cost anything from £10,000 - £25,000.
Do I Require Planning Permission?
Yes, but please consult your local authority for details.
Are Grants Available?
There are grants available from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (phase 2). You will need to obtain a quote from a certified installer and then apply for a grant.