Domestic WindTurbine

Wind turbines harness the power of the wind and use it to generate electricity. One of the greatest advantages of wind energy is that it can be used both on a large and small scale. Small wind energy systems known as domestic wind turbines or "microwind" turbines are ideal for householders to produce electricity.

Wind turbines use large blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. When the wind blows the blades are forced to turn, driving an electric generator to produce electricity. The stronger the wind, the faster the blades turn and the more is electricity produced. Thanks to their flexibility small wind turbines can be installed in most locations.

Types of Domestic Wind Turbines

Based on the direction of the rotating shaft there are two kind of wind turbines used today:

  • Horizontal-axis wind turbines. A typical horizontal-axis have three blades like airplane propellers and the amount of energy produced is dependent on their size. One of the biggest horizontal-axis turbine in the world have blades longer than a football field, and produce more than five million watts, enough to power 1,400 households.

  • Vertical-axes wind turbines. Vertical-axes wind turbines have blades that run from the top to the bottom. They can have different shapes, but the most common type is the Darrieus wind turbine, named after his French inventor (see image).

Based on their installation location there are also two types of domestic-sized wind turbine:

  • Mast mounted: these are free standing and are erected in a suitably exposed position, the classical wind turbine that we see everywhere.

  • Roof mounted: these are smaller than mast mounted systems and can be installed on the roof of a home where there is a suitable wind resource.

Domestic WindTurbine Requirements

If you are considering renewable energy for your home and think that a domestic WindTurbine can be suitable for you, first thing you have to do is find out if your location is windy enough. Generally a wind turbine needs at least 20 km per hour most of the time to run productively. Here is the US Wind Resource Map where you can find out about your location winds.

The actual wind speed at your site will be influenced by the local topography and any nearby obstruction, so here are few more factors to consider:

  • Any large obstacles like buildings, trees or hills near your home can obstruct the wind or produce turbulence.
  • Urban areas winds can be very fickle because of the buildings, so roof mounted wind turbines prove to be more effective than mast mounted turbines.
  • The higher a wind turbine is installed the stronger the winds will be and the more energy will be produced.
  • Small domestic wind systems normally do require permission from your local authority, so check before you install a system.
It is possible to build and install your own WindTurbine , but we recommend to approach this task with caution. If you are interested to explore this topic check out this useful How To Build A Wind Generator Guide.

Domestic Wind Turbines Size

The height of a wind turbine varies according to wind turbine models, but generally a range of 5-10 m height from top to bottom for stand-alone turbines is ideal. The higher the tower, the higher the average wind speed that the turbine will experience and the smoother the wind.

The size of the rotor diameter will also vary according to wind turbine model. To power a modern home on a windy enough site the blades would need to span about 5 m from tip to tip. With careful planning and some energy conservation improvements a smaller machine may suffice.

As for the space needed for a wind turbine, they should be placed as far away as possible from trees, buildings or other obstacles (at least 10-20 m) and above the height of nearby buildings. As a guide, the wind turbine should be about twice the height of obstructions in the immediate front of it.

For rooftop mounted turbines the height of the tower is less important since they will be above the nearby buildings anyway; yet they should be installed with care so that the vibrations will not be transmitted to the house.

Domestic Wind Turbine Maintenance

The maintenance required for small wind turbines is minimal; generally an annual check is all that it needs. The lifetime of a typical WindTurbine is about 20 years.

How To Build A WindTurbine For Your Home or Your Busines.

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