Wind Turbines


Wind Turbines



The UK has one of the largest potential wind energy resource in Europe and wind power is currently one of the most developed and cost effective renewable energy technologies.

The modern wind turbine is quiet and is available in different sizes, depending on the required output. A small unit can attach directly to the roof and larger units require their own support post.

When the wind blows the blades of a wind turbine, the blades rotate a shaft. A generator converts the energy from the rotating shaft into electrical energy which can be used in a household to power electrical appliances, reducing electricty bills and reliance on fossil fuel energy generation.

Domestic wind turbines can either be integrated into the local electricity grid or operate as off-grid devices, charging batteries when excess electricity is generated. Depeneding on their site, a small scale domestic wind turbine can be an effective renewable energy option in terms of energy output. The best sites are those with an average annual wind speed of at least 5 metres per second and with an unobstructed flow of wind.

Technologies

Horizontal or vertical axis turbines, mostly on freestanding poles but can be mounted on buildings.

Installed cost

Small 1kW building mounted wind turbines cost around £2,000. A typical 6kW pole mounted turbine costs around £22,500.

Grants available

Call the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012 for details of any local support available.

Other financial

Eligible for Feed-in Tariffs payments – see Government Incentives support section. For more information visit energysavingtrust.org.uk

Running costs

None.

Savings

A 6kW turbine could generate income and savings of around £3,200. Includes FITs payment.

Maintenance

A regular annual maintenance check is usually required.

Space issues

The greater the distance between a wind turbine and any obstructions such as trees or buildings the better the wind resource and energy output will be.

Energy availability

Dependent upon wind speeds which fluctuate throughout the day and are often lower in spring/summer than autumn/winter. Also very dependent on site.

Planning issues

Needs planning permission from your local authority. It’s also advisable to discuss the installation with neighbours.

Installer issues

Choose an installer certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme - see microgenerationcertification.org. Check the installer is a member of the REAL Assurance Scheme visit realassurance.org.uk for more information. CO2 emissions Savings will depend on local wind speeds. A well sited 6kW installation could save over 5 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Other issues

The output of a wind turbine is determined by the wind speed at the site of the turbine, which depends on the location, height, and nearby obstructions. Wind turbines should only be considered if the average wind speed is at least 5 metres per second. You can get an initial indication of this by using our domestic wind speed prediction tool energysavingtrust.org.uk/windspeedtool


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