Going for Wind
For about £1,000 the British householder can buy his own power-generating wind turbine. By pumping power generated by the mini turbine into substantial batteries, a constant power source can be obtained. Alternatively you can put it straight into the national grid and get paid for it.
There are two different options for a home turbine – mount a mini-turbine on your roof or alternatively on a freestanding pole. Greater returns are generally gained from pole-mounted turbines, as wind for building-mounted machines usually has more obstacles to get around, which weakens the flow. Performance is directly related to the strength of the local winds, and measurement of this before installation is key to purchasing the right level of turbine. The free-standing pole turbine in the right location will have unobstructed wind access and therefore greater generation capacity. It is strongly recommended that an anemometer be used to measure the wind speeds in different locations to establish where the best site for a pole turbine will be.
Someone in the UK planning to adopt wind power for electricity generation should consult The Energy Savings Trust, who can provide detailed advice on grants available, the right equipment to purchase and what to do in installation.
One factor to be aware of when purchasing is the ‘cut in’ speed. This is the speed of wind at which the power generation begins. While the layman might expect any turning blades to generate power, in fact, it has to reach a minimum level. Different micro-turbines have different cut-in speeds.