There are plenty of sources of natural energy available to us that can lessen our reliance on electricity.
One of the most popular choices in recent times is to harness the power of the wind to provide your home with energy, and the best way to do this is with a small wind turbine.
What is a home wind turbine and can you make one yourself?
A small wind turbine is defined as one that generates between 1000 watts to 300 kW and they can be used for microgeneration to provide power to a home.
These turbines capture energy from the wind and turn it into electricity and they work all times of the day or night provided conditions are right but take a lot of effort to make your own.
If you’ve been researching natural energy and think that wind is the way to go, it’s best to have a professional assess your property to see if it’s suitable for a wind turbine and then go from there.
We’ll help you establish what’s required to power up a home with wind power and how much energy it’ll have to create to give electricity to your household.
- 1 What Is a Home Wind Turbine?
- 2 Can a Wind Turbine Power a House?
- 3 Assessing Whether You Should Get a Home Wind Turbine
- 4 Are Wind Turbines Worth the Time and Money?
- 5 How Long Before a Turbine Pays For Itself?
- 6 Can You Make Your Own Wind Turbine?
- 7 Related Questions
What Is a Home Wind Turbine?
A home wind turbine is usually a small turbine that can be connected directly to the home or a battery or power system.
It generates power from the wind which is then converted into electricity, and depending on their size, quality, and conditions, you might get enough to power up your whole house.
A turbine collects power from the wind as it turns the propellers around like a rotor which is connected to the main shaft.
There are three ways that a wind turbine can be used at home: grid connection without any battery storage, standalone power system, or grid connection with a battery to store the power.
When using one of the grid-connected systems, you can send electricity to the grid when you make excess and then draw on this when it runs low, so in the best case scenario, you’ll always have free energy to rely on.
Can a Wind Turbine Power a House?
Wind turbines come in all shapes and sizes and their energy capacity differs as well.
When installed correctly and in an area that has optimal wind force, a home wind turbine will have to provide enough natural energy for you to be able to live off its supply completely.
A standard 1.5-kilowatt wind turbine will create sufficient energy to power up a home that uses 300 kilowatt-hours per month with the right wind speeds.
To determine whether it’ll meet the needs of your home, you’ll have to assess your previous electric bills and even do up an energy budget to make sure you never go over.
However, the benefits of having free energy without any environmental impact make all of the hard work assessing it worthwhile.
Assessing Whether You Should Get a Home Wind Turbine
A lot of planning needs to go into installing a home wind turbine to determine whether or not it’s suitable for your home.
You’ll first need to establish that the area and property have access to enough constant wind force to power up the system and the right terrain to make it work.
The wind needs to be consistent and powerful enough through all seasons and during the day and night so that it can provide you with ongoing energy. By accessing some of these resources, you’ll get a good idea of whether it’ll be suitable:
- Wind speed data
- Wind resource maps
- Vegetation flagging
- Wind measurement system
Secondly, your local area will have regulations in place about whether or not these systems are allowed and what’s required to have one installed.
There are zoning codes and covenants in place that must be adhered to, and a professional installer will be an invaluable resource when it comes to this step.
Finally, you’ll have to establish the economic suitability of installing a wind turbine, whether you make one for yourself or have it done professionally.
After assessing how much energy yours can make and whether it’s feasible in terms of local codes, you’ll get an understanding of whether it’s in your interest to go ahead.
Are Wind Turbines Worth the Time and Money?
A wind turbine can be a great source of natural energy but it doesn’t work the same for every household.
Before committing to having a wind turbine installed or creating your own, you’ll need to analyze the cost and effort to see whether it’s a smart investment. Consider these items as you calculate its efficiency and if it could work for you.
- Cost of installation and parts, whether doing it yourself or hiring a professional
- Previous electric bills to get an idea of how much energy your household uses
- The characteristics of wind in your region
- How much output you can expect from a wind turbine
- Whether it will pay for itself after a certain amount of time
Most of these calculations you can figure out for yourself, but the Department of Energy has resources that can assist.
Their Consumer Guides for Small Wind can give you the basics on what to look for at your home and what you can expect in terms of energy production and consumption, so it’s a must-have to consult before you go ahead.
How Long Before a Turbine Pays For Itself?
The most important question people have when installing any type of natural energy production in their home is whether it will end up paying for itself in saved electric costs.
When it comes to a home wind turbine, you can expect to pay between $7,000 and $20,000 for the entire installation including labor and parts.
Of course, this amount varies depending on your setup and whether groundworks or towers are required, as well as the capacity of the turbine.
Provided you have a good wind supply and no other factors that will end up costing more money, you can expect your wind turbine to pay for itself between six months to a year after installation.
When it comes to paying for itself in reducing carbon emissions, there is good news here as well.
Although research has found that wind farms and turbines on smaller scales can use some energy to create, their effect is far less than the long term harm of greenhouse gas emissions used to make electricity the old fashioned way.
Can You Make Your Own Wind Turbine?
If you’re an avid DIYer you might be wondering about building your own wind turbine as a project.
While it’s completely possible to create a wind turbine by using everyday materials you’ll find at the local hardware store when it comes to creating sufficient amounts of energy to live off, you’re better seeking professional help.
A wind turbine can be a fun project to try for yourself or even to teach your kids about natural energy sources, but a backyard job requires a lot of know-how.
In addition to the turbine you’ll need to be able to assess the land and wind, as well as connect it to a power bank or energy grid, so it’s not a project for people without the right knowledge.
Wind turbines have been used to create natural energy for years and having one in your home is a great way to farm electricity without doing damage to the earth.
If you’ve been considering a home wind turbine but want to know more, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions to help you out.
Are Wind Turbines Loud?
Some people are put off by the prospect of having a home wind turbine because of the sound but modern turbine technology has removed a lot of the noise.
These devices are almost silent and the only sound they make is due to the soft turning of the blades. Because they don’t always blow at top speeds it won’t always make a sound but even when it does, it’s not too noisy.
Do Wind Turbines Kill Birds?
One concern with larger-scale wind turbines is that they kill birds that happen to fly into them accidentally.
However, according to studies, turbines are responsible for a minimal amount of bird deaths, especially when compared to other manmade structures. Therefore, there’s no need to worry about harming birds if you have one built in your backyard.