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Generate electricity at home with small-scale wind turbines
Wind turbines harness the power of the wind and use it to generate electricity. Small systems known as "microwind" or "small-wind" turbines can produce electricity to help power the lights and electrical appliances in a typical home.
40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for small domestic turbines.
This film focuses on two electricity generating technologies for the home: wind turbine and solar electricity.
Wind turbines use large blades to catch the wind. When the wind blows the blades are forced round, driving a turbine which generates electricity. The stronger the wind, the more electricity produced.
There are two types of domestic-sized wind turbine:
If your small wind system is connected to the National Grid then you can make money by selling any generated electricity to an electricity supply company.
From 1st April 2010 you could be eligible to receive cash for each unit of electricity you generate using this technology.
If the turbine is not connected to the electricity grid then unused electricity can be stored in a battery for use when there is no wind.
In the UK we have 40% of Europe's total wind energy
To tell if a small scale domestic wind turbine is right for you, there are a few key questions to consider:
To make the electricity you produce go further:
Costs for a roof mounted microwind system start from around £2,000. Larger mast mounted systems cost between £14,900 and £22,600, including VAT at 5% and installation. These provide enough electricity for lighting and appliances in a typical home.
Savings: Recent monitoring of a range of small domestic wind systems has shown that a well sited 2.5kW turbine could generate around 4,000kWh per year which is equivalent to around 2.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. A system this size could generate income and savings of around £1,300 a year when eligible for the Feed In Tariff.
Maintenance checks are necessary every few years, and a well-maintained turbine should last over 20 years. Battery storage life is typically between 6 and 10 years.