If you went through the planning steps to evaluate whether a small wind electric system will work at your location, you will already have a general idea about:
- The amount of wind at your site
- The zoning requirements and covenants in your area
- The economics, payback, and incentives of installing a wind system at your site.
Now, it is time to look at the issues associated with installing the wind system:
- Siting — or finding the best location — for your system
- Estimating the system’s annual energy output and choosing the correct size turbine and tower
- Deciding whether to connect the system to the electric grid or not.
Installation and Maintenance
The manufacturer of your wind system, or the dealer where you bought it, should be able to help you install your small wind electric system. You can install the system yourself — but before attempting the project, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I pour a proper cement foundation?
- Do I have access to a lift or a way of erecting the tower safely?
- Do I know the difference between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) wiring?
- Do I know enough about electricity to safely wire my turbine?
- Do I know how to safely handle and install batteries?
If you answered no to any of the above questions, you should probably choose to have your system installed by a system integrator or installer. Contact the manufacturer for help, or contact your state energy office and local utility for a list of local system installers. You can also check the yellow pages for wind energy system service providers.
A credible installer may provide additional services such as permitting. Find out if the installer is a licensed electrician, and ask for references and check them. You may also want to check with the Better Business Bureau.
With proper installation and maintenance, a small wind electric system should last up to 20 years or longer. Annual maintenance can include:
- Checking and tightening bolts and electrical connections as necessary
- Checking machines for corrosion and the guy wires for proper tension
- Checking for and replace any worn leading edge tape on the turbine blades, if appropriate
- Replacing the turbine blades and/or bearings after 10 years if needed.
If you do not have the expertise to maintain the system, your installer may provide a service and maintenance program.
Siting a Small Electric Wind System
Your system manufacturer or dealer can also help you with finding the best location for your wind system. Some general considerations include:
- Wind Resource Considerations — If you live in complex terrain, take care in selecting the installation site. If you site your wind turbine on the top of or on the windy side of a hill, for example, you will have more access to prevailing winds than in a gully or on the leeward (sheltered) side of a hill on the same property. You can have varied wind resources within the same property. In addition to measuring or finding out about the annual wind speeds, you need to know about the prevailing directions of the wind at your site. In addition to geological formations, you need to consider existing obstacles, such as trees, houses, and sheds. You also need to plan for future obstructions, such as new buildings or trees that have not reached their full height. Your turbine needs to be sited upwind of any buildings and trees, and it needs to be 30 feet above anything within 300 feet.
- System Considerations — Be sure to leave enough room to raise and lower the tower for maintenance. If your tower is guyed, you must allow room for the guy wires. Whether the system is stand-alone or grid-connected, you also will need to take the length of the wire run between the turbine and the load (house, batteries, water pumps, etc.) into consideration. A substantial amount of electricity can be lost as a result of the wire resistance—the longer the wire run, the more electricity is lost. Using more or larger wire will also increase your installation cost. Your wire run losses are greater when you have direct current (DC) instead of alternating current (AC). If you have a long wire run, it is advisable to invert DC to AC.
Sizing Small Wind Turbines
Small wind turbines used in residential applications typically range in size from 400 watts to 20 kilowatts, depending on the amount of electricity you want to generate.
A typical home uses approximately 10,932 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year (about 911 kilowatt-hours per month). Depending on the average wind speed in the area, a wind turbine rated in the range of 5–15 kilowatts would be required to make a significant contribution to this demand. A 1.5-kilowatt wind turbine will meet the needs of a home requiring 300 kilowatt-hours per month in a location with a 14 mile-per-hour (6.26 meters-per-second) annual average wind speed.
To help you determine what size turbine you’ll need, first establish an energy budget. Because energy efficiency is usually less expensive than energy production, reducing your home’s electricity use will probably be more cost effective and will reduce the size of the wind turbine you need.
The height of a wind turbine’s tower also affects how much electricity the turbine will generate. A manufacturer should help you determine the tower height you will need.
Estimating Annual Energy Output
An estimate of the annual energy output from a wind turbine (in kilowatt-hours per year) is the best way to determine whether it and the tower will produce enough electricity to meet your needs.
A wind turbine manufacturer can help you estimate the energy production you can expect. The manufacturer will use a calculation based on these factors:
- Particular wind turbine power curve
- Average annual wind speed at your site
- Height of the tower that you plan to use
- Frequency distribution of the wind — an estimate of the number of hours that the wind will blow at each speed during an average year.
The manufacturer should also adjust this calculation for the elevation of your site.
To get a preliminary estimate of the performance of a particular wind turbine, you can use the following formula:
AEO= 0.01328 D2 V3
- AEO = Annual energy output (kilowatt-hours/year)
- D = Rotor diameter, feet
- V = Annual average wind speed, miles-per hour (mph), at your site
Note: the difference between power and energy is that power (kilowatts) is the rate at which electricity is consumed, while energy (kilowatt-hours) is the quantity consumed.
Grid-Connected Small Wind Electric Systems
Small wind energy systems can be connected to the electricity distribution system. These are called grid-connected systems. A grid-connected wind turbine can reduce your consumption of utility-supplied electricity for lighting, appliances, and electric heat. If the turbine cannot deliver the amount of energy you need, the utility makes up the difference. When the wind system produces more electricity than your household requires, the excess is sent or sold to the utility.
With this type of grid connection, your wind turbine will operate only when the utility grid is available. During power outages, the wind turbine is required to shut down due to safety concerns.
Grid-connected systems can be practical if the following conditions exist:
- You live in an area with average annual wind speed of at least 10 miles per hour (4.5 meters per second).
- Utility-supplied electricity is expensive in your area (about 10–15 cents per kilowatt-hour).
- The utility’s requirements for connecting your system to its grid are not prohibitively expensive.
There are good incentives for the sale of excess electricity or for the purchase of wind turbines. Federal regulations (specifically, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA) require utilities to connect with and purchase power from small wind energy systems. However, you should contact your utility before connecting to its distribution lines to address any power quality and safety concerns.
Your utility can provide you with a list of requirements for connecting your system to the grid. For more information, see grid-connected home energy systems.
Wind Power in Stand-Alone Systems
Wind power can be used in off-grid systems, also called stand-alone systems, not connected to an electric distribution system or grid. In these applications, small wind electric systems can be used in combination with other components — including a small solar electric system — to create hybrid power systems. Hybrid power systems can provide reliable off-grid power for homes, farms, or even entire communities (a co-housing project, for example) that are far from the nearest utility lines.
An off-grid, hybrid electric system may be practical for you if the items below describe your situation:
- You live in an area with average annual wind speed of at least 9 miles per hour (4.0 meters per second).
- A grid connection is not available or can only be made through an expensive extension. The cost of running a power line to a remote site to connect with the utility grid can be prohibitive, ranging from $15,000 to more than $50,000 per mile, depending on terrain.
- You would like to gain energy independence from the utility.
- You would like to generate clean power.
For more information on operating your system off the grid, CALL Solar Of Hawaii.
10 Best Home Wind Turbines in 2021: Generate Electricity at Home
Are you tired of the ever-rising electricity bills? Wind energy is an excellent option that can ensure a significant reduction in your power bills. Let’s explore together the many home wind turbines available for use at home.
For these small home wind generators, they can be installed anywhere on your property and can help you cover either part or your entire energy needs.
We think the best option for most people is the Automaxx Windmill DB-400 400W 12V Wind Turbine Generator Kit.
Here, we are going to look at 13 of the best home wind generators and turbines that can help transform your energy bills.
Table of Contents
10 Best Home Wind Turbines Reviewed in 2021
Here is a list of the various home wind turbines that can help you save on electricity and go completely off the grid.
1. Automaxx Windmill DB-400 400W 12V Wind Turbine Generator Kit – Top Pick
This 400W 12V wind turbine generator kit from Automaxx has been designed for both land a marine use. The automatic braking system protects the system from high wind speeds.
You are also protected against salt water corrosion with a UV protection coating.
The windmill is well packaged and comes with straight forward installation instructions. Components are well built and made from high quality materials including stainless steel bolts and nuts.
It does take a decent gust of wind to get started. Sometimes a gentle breeze will not be enough to start the turbine (although it can keep it spinning once started).
You’ll need to find your own mounting poles, although the instructions do provide enough information so you can find the right gear at a hardware store.
2. Tumo-Int 1000W 3Blades Wind Turbine with Wind Boosting Controller (24V) by Tumo-Int – Runner Up
This home wind turbine is ideal for residential use and works well in areas with low wind speeds. The product is one of the best home wind generators available in the market. Using patented turbine blades that come in a twisted aerodynamic design, ensures optimum wind power generation.
The key features of this product include:
- A 1000 Watts wind turbine generator kit.
- Low wind speed demand: It requires low wind speeds to operate and generate vast amounts of energy with minimal noise.
- The complete package of this product contains generators, controllers, blades, bolts, screws, and a nose cone.
- A Permanent magnetic three-phase AC generator.
- Simple installation, and includes a one-year maintenance warranty.
3. Happybuy Wind Turbine Generator 700W DC 24V by Happybuy – Best Budget Choice
This home windmill is a great product that has the following specifications:
- Main parameter -“Model: NE-700M4, max wattage: 720W, Rated Wattage: 700W, rated voltage: dc 24v, rated wind speed: 36. 1 ft/s, starting wind speed: 8. 2 ft/s; safe wind speed: 147. 6 ft/s”
- Engine net weight is 46. 3 lbs; several blades: 3; wind wheel diameter: 6. 07 ft; blade material: nylon fiber; 3 phase AC PMG generator; Electromagnetic braking method; and auto adjusts wind direction.
- Performance -3Phase AC PMG with a permanent, low torque magnet generator and a microprocessor with high-power tracking intelligence.
- Dual-bearing fixed – this makes the fan movement more stable, producing minimum noise and vibration.
The wind turbine is covered using a unique process which makes it resistant to corrosion and oxidation under any weather condition.
4. Primus Wind Power 1-AR40-10-12 Air 40 Wind Turbine 12V by AIR40 by Primus Wind Power
The Primus Air 40 Wind Turbine is among the best residential wind turbines for sale in the market, and that offers the following features to suit your energy needs.
- An advanced microprocessor technology ensures more exceptional performance, as well as high wind protection with no mechanical braking.
- Durable blades that are built to operate with minimal noise and optimal wind energy capture in almost all wind speeds.
- A lightweight design that is simple-to-install, and has an integrated controller used for plug-and-play operation.
- The wind generator can produce 40 kWh of energy/month and can generate energy in a wide array of wind speeds.
- Pairs with solar PV for redundant energy production year-round.
5. GOWE 3KW Grid Tie Wind Turbine Generator by GOWE
If you need to generate a serious amount of power, ths 3KW wind turbine from GOWE is a good option
The generator system comes as a package that includes one 3KW wind turbine, one 3KW grid tie controller, and a 3KW grid tie inverter.
When making your order, you should always indicate your voltage, for instance, 110V/220V, 50HZ/60HZ.
6. 2000Watt 11 Blade Missouri General Freedom II by Missouri Wind and Solar
Made in America, Missouri General Freedom 11 Blade Turbine is one of the great choices you can make when purchasing a home windmill.
The turbine is mostly built with weather-resistant components while the blades are made of carbon fiber.
Other main features include:
- Raptor carbon fiber blades that can withstand wind speeds of 125 mph, with a lifetime guarantee of non-breakage in normal usage.
- Completely hot metal components dipped galvanized, and zinc plated hub. This ensures there is no rust and eliminates the need to paint or unique coat for 50 years of regular operation.
- The wind turbine includes a permanent magnet generator that has an inbuilt 28 rare earth magnet rotor, and a skewed stator core to facilitate easy turning. It guarantees a max output of 2000 watts.
- The Missouri Freedom II Wind Turbine has a 6mph cut-in speed with NO COGGING!
- Every Freedom PMG rotor has twice the amount of copper that is in any Delco style PMA. The more the amount of copper, the more the power.
- It is offered in two colors, black and grey.
The product is 3.4 stars rated out of 5, and you can buy it on Amazon.
7. Automaxx Windmill 1500W 24V 60A Wind Turbine Generator kit by Automaxx
The complete package of Automaxx Windmill 1500W 24V comes with an MPPT charge controller, manual and automatic braking system as well as an Amp meter.
Other features of this wind power kit also include:
- A cohesive automated braking system helps safeguard it from abrupt and high speeds of wind. Also, it offers simple DIY installation procedures inclusive of all materials. The windmill can also be used together with solar panels.
- The package also includes a maximum power point tracking, and it is built with a high-grade Polypropylene & Glass Fiber material that has a weather-resistant seal.
- The product consists of protection features like UV protection coating, protection against unexpected wind gust and voltage surge, high wind speeds, and battery overcharging.
- Various specifications such as 1500W rated power rated speed of 46 ft/s, 24V Voltage system, and 5.6mph cut-in wind speed. Also, it offers a 200A battery capacity or more, three blades, 5.6 ft Rotor diameter, and Weight: 33 lb.
- The kit includes one centerpiece (Generator), one Tail Piece, one MPPT Charge Controller, three Blades, 1 Nose cone, Amp meter display box, 1 Manual brake switch, Locking nuts, Spacers, Hex Screws, Hex keys and one operational installation manual.
- One-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Automaxx Windmill 1500W 24V is undeniably a great option when searching for the best wind turbine for home use.
8. ISTABREEZE Set 1.5kW, 24V Windsafe by ISTABREEZE
The main components of the home wind turbine kit include a wind generator and a Hybrid Charger Controller.
The product also includes other multiple features such as:
- System Voltage of 24V
- A warranty period of 2 years and it’s considered the world’s best-selling brand
- Generator: 3phase AC PMG, aluminum material, Working temperature from -40℃ to 80℃
- Special protection: a wind generator rated capacity of 1500W, upward tilting during a storm, and 24V system voltage.
- A Wind Mill Blade is built of plastic and 30% glass fibers. The blade is 107 cm, and noise is 40dB
9. Windmax HY400 500 Watt by WindMax
Whether it’s on the strong or mild wind, this is a right wind turbine for you. It is a well-built home windmill that will give you superior performance due to its cutting-edge features.
As per the manufacturers, the product comes with the following features:
- 5-Blade Wind Generator Kit with a max voltage of 12V
- 500 Watt Max/400 Watt Rated
- Pole not included
- The wind turbine kit consists of a generator, controller, blades, and screws/bolts
- The product is maintenance free
- Offers higher energy production yield even at low wind speeds.
- Low ownership cost (great for starters)
10. MarsRock Small Wind Turbine Generator by Marsrock
The 400W economy windmill qualifies to be among the best home wind turbine kits, due to its extensive features. This product is ideal for a hybrid wind and solar system, and includes the following:
- Can operate at low wind speed with maximum energy utilization, low vibration, attractive appearance;
- A friendly design which is easy to install, maintenance, and repair.
- Start wind speed of 2m/s
- Three aerodynamically tapered blades that produce 400Watt, 12Volt.
- Exact injection binding blades together with the enhanced model of aerodynamic contour. The structure and the blades have various advantages, including high exploitation of wind energy.
- Generators, permanent magnet rotor alternator that has a special stator design to reduce resistance torque efficiently.
- Size: 70cm x 30cm x 25cm (27.56in x 11.81in x 9.84in);
- Weight: 10.0kg (22.05lb.).
What is a Home Wind Turbine?
As the world is putting in more and more efforts to change to renewable sources of energy, wind energy is one of the primary targeted sources. With more research advocating for the use of clean energy to preserve the environment, wind energy will play a significant role.
Home wind energy can come in handy for homeowners who are looking to produce power for their homes and live more of an off-grid lifestyle.
Although a large section of wind farms target to power multiple users such as a community or a town, smaller home wind turbine kits also exist.
These small turbines can be used by individuals to generate electricity for their homes, cabins or businesses. Some can also be used for marine perposes. Although not as popular as solar power, wind energy can still provide enough power, especially in areas with strong winds.
Typically, an average household will require a 5kW home wind turbine to meet all their energy requirements.
Nevertheless, the efficiency of the wind turbine will significantly depend on the strength of the wind in your area.
A home wind turbine is a device that is used to convert the kinetic energy from the wind to electricity.
The turbine acts as a generator and produces clean power from wind energy, that is decarbonized or free from emissions.
A home wind turbine can be a great addition to your existing solar setup, allowing you to continue to generate some power during the night.
Things to Consider When Buying a Home Wind Turbine
Before you purchase and install your home wind turbine, there are several essential things that you should consider. Here are a few necessary things that you should determine before the purchase:
How much energy do you need?
Having a clear data on the exact amount of energy your home require is vital. It enables you to know which is the best residential wind turbine to suit your power needs.
The amount of wind in your area
By determining the amount and speeds of the wind around your location, you can quickly know the size and type of the turbine you need. Since different home wind turbines have various power generating capacities, you can decide which is the best for you.
The speed of the wind will determine the turbine to buy, as the start-up wind speeds in different turbines also vary.
Research on current local zoning laws
You should find out any local regulations that may affect or hinder you from installing that turbine.
For instance, in some communities, the installation of wind turbines may be prohibited.
Check the Certification
You should also make sure that the home wind turbine you want to buy is certified. Certification is by the Small Wind Certification Council, which is a body that is tasked with ensuring that manufacturers only bring quality wind turbines in the market.
After undertaking these crucial steps, you can now go ahead and purchase your home wind turbine.
Conclusion on Using Home Wind Energy
Finding a reliable alternative source of power for your home can be a mind-boggling task. I believe this piece on home wind turbines has shed more light on wind energy production as well as the various turbines you can buy.