Wind turbines generate electricity using the energy produced by the wind. While the large-scale wind turbines most people are familiar with are unsuitable for homes and most buildings, small wind turbine systems called ‘microwind’ and ‘small-wind’ turbines are frequently installed by homeowners to produce enough electricity to power electrical appliances.
The UK’s location and geography makes it an excellent country for wind power. The UK has 40% of Europe’s wind energy. Despite this, less than 0.5% of the UK’s electricity is generated using wind power — just a small fraction of the total potential wind electricity production.
Even small increases in the speed of the wind can produce a significant increase in the output of wind turbines. In a typical home, a wind power system can generate anywhere from 2.5 to 6 kilowatts, depending on the placement of the wind turbines and the home’s size and location.
Small wind turbines are often used on boats and in mobile homes to charge onboard batteries. Each turbine installed in a home can generate anywhere from several hundred watts to 2 to 3 megawatts. Because of this, most home systems use multiple wind turbines in order to achieve their target power output.
Can all homes benefit from wind turbines?
The amount of electricity produced from a wind turbine depends on several factors. The first of these is location. Some homes are significantly more exposed to the wind than others. The average wind speed throughout most of the UK is approximately 5 metres per second. You can check the average local wind speed in your city using this website.
In order for your home to be suitable for a wind power system, it needs to have no large obstacles such as trees, hills, or tall buildings that could cause turbulence or decrease the wind speed. It also needs to be located in an area in which local planning permissions allow wind turbines to be installed for energy generation.
How much does it cost to install a wind turbine system?
Wind turbine systems vary in cost significantly based on your power output targets and location. Wind turbine systems capable of producing up to 1kW of electricity start from £2,000 and can cost up to £6,000. Large systems capable of generating 2.5kW to 6kW can cost from £12,000 to £20,000 to install. Turbines require relatively little maintenance, but should be checked by a professional every few years to ensure optimum performance.