Is a wind turbine right for me?
A wind turbine is a serious investment and needs to be considered carefully before purchasing.
The first thing that has to be considered is, is there enough wind to make it work?
The strength and speed of the wind is vital. Most places in the UK have a wind speed of 5.5M/s. Wind turbines can work in wind speeds as low as 2 M/s. These are unusual though.
The C&F turbines are viable from speeds as low as 4.5M/s but most other turbines need much higher wind speeds.
Some turbines such as the Gaia and Endurance are only available as 3 phase and these turbines usually don’t start producing any power until they are almost at rated speed and so, just because they are turning does not mean they are earning.
The better turbines are capable of producing DC power at the generator, at lower wind speeds and then inverting the power through an inverter into 240 volts single phase or 415 volts 3 phase for use by the property or sold to the Grid.
Some turbines can also do split phase if required.
The wind speed at your location can be found out by looking at the official government database that is available at energysavingtrust.org.uk/windspeedtool
If this is a good wind speed then you might want to erect an anemometer and get a measurement at the location. The problem with this though is that it only indicated the speed of the wind over the past few months and gives no indication of the possible future wind speeds.
A better indication is probably the past ten year’s data from the government database. If you have had a wind speed of 6M/s for the past ten years, then it is probably a good indication that you will have that sort of wind speed for the next ten years.
You also need to be able to position the turbine away from buildings and tall trees. A good installation company should be able to guide you about wind shadow. A basic rule of thumb though is that your turbine needs to be twice the height of the obstruction and ten times the distance of the obstruction away from it.