Small Wind Turbine Generator for the Home
With the availability of new feed in tariffs from the government and national grid under the clean energy cash back scheme building your own DIY wind turbine may sound like a great idea to earn money and have all your electricity for free, or is it ?
Wind power generation are like little windmills that are like small scale versions of the ones found on offshore windfarms in the UK where the wind turbine blades catch any wind moving through them and generate electricity for the home. Therefore a domestic wind turbine generator could provide almost all of your electricity by having this device in the bottom of your garden or placed on a vertical axis on the side of your house so long as you live in an area that is windy, for example on the top of a hill or near the coast.
Because the UK is an island and has winds from the Atlantic from the gulf stream at least 40% of wind generated over Europe finds its way over the UK so the island is ideally placed for home owners to either buy one of these devices or build their own as a DIY project.
What can wind turbines do for me?
Wind turbines are much smaller than the ones you may have seen on TV and can cost under £1,000 for a micro system and up to £20,000 for the larger systems and it depends on how much energy you want to produce. A 2.5kWh system could save your around £350 per year in electricity. Although no electricity is produced when the wind power is low or too high not all systems can store excess energy and has to be used right away. So depending on how much you spend having wind power may just be something you have to supplement other green solutions or standard electric power from the national grid as already provided by your energy supplier.
What home wind turbine should I choose?
It’s likely that you’ll need something that generates at least 3.0kWh power. This type of turbine is going to cost around £10,000 although you could get some local or government funding in the form of a grant. Check with your local council’s website first to see what’s on offer (the grants will vary up and down the country). This system should be sufficient to power a standard three bedroom house excluding heating.
The energy can actually be stored or exported to the national grid to take advantage of the feed in tariff system.
From the initial investment the pay back period is at least 10 years (in that in about 10 years time you would have saved the investment in electricity costs) so this is not something to invest in if you want to save money but rather to reduce the carbon emissions from the energy you use from for example coal fired power stations.
DIY wind power kits
There are hundreds of DIY kits on the market where you get a 5 or 6 bladed system which you can mount externally on a building and can cost anywhere from a few hundred pounds to several thousand but check carefully on what you are getting. Most kits hardly generate any power at all and all they do is charge up a battery which then provides power. Looking at some websites online we found one kit costing £2,000 and all it would do is power 3 light bulbs for a day.
Other kits that are more expensive and can actually generate up to 2.2kWh can cost over £4,000 and you have to install them yourself or get the company to install them for you. If you are any doubt speak to the carbon trust or energy saving trust who can help your decide if a wind turbine generator is the solution for your green energy requirements.