How do residential wind turbines work?


A wind turbine, which is installed on top of a tall tower, collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity that is compatible with a home's electrical system. In a residential application with net metering, a home is served simultaneously by the wind turbine and a local utility. If the wind speeds are below cut-in speed (usually a minimum of 2 or 3 metres per second is required) there will be no output from the turbine and all of the needed power is purchased from the utility. As wind speeds increase, turbine output increases and the amount of power purchased from the utility is proportionately decreased. When the turbine produces more power than the house needs, the extra electricity can be sold to the utility if such arrangements are available. All of this is done automatically. 

There are two types of domestic-sized wind turbine:

  • Pole mounted: these are free standing and are erected in a suitably exposed position, often around 5kW to 6kW
  • Building mounted: these are smaller than mast mounted systems and can be installed on the roof of a home where there is a suitable wind resource. Often these are around 1kW to 2kW in size.


The case of Denmark

Denmark was a pioneer in developing commercial wind power during the 1970s, and today almost 50% of the wind turbines around the world are produced by Danish manufacturers such as Vestas and Siemens Wind Power along with many component suppliers. Wind power provided 18.9% of electricity production and 24.1% of generation capacity in Denmark in 2008. In 2012 the Danish government adopted a plan to increase the share of electricity production from wind to 50% by 2020.

Household wind turbines below 25 kW receive a fixed feed in tariff of 60 øre/kWh (0,08041 €/kWh).


ADVANTAGES OF WIND POWER:     

 

  1. The wind is free and with modern technology it can be captured efficiently.

  2. Once the wind turbine is built the energy it produces does not cause green house gases
    or other pollutants.

  3. Although wind turbines can be very tall each takes up only a small plot of land. This means that the land below can still be used. This is especially the case in agricultural areas as farming can still continue.

  4. Many people find wind farms an interesting feature of the landscape.

  5. Remote areas that are not connected to the electricity power grid can use wind turbines to produce their own supply.

  6. Wind turbines have a role to play in both the developed and third world.

  7. Wind turbines are available in a range of sizes which means a vast range of people and businesses can use them. Single households to small towns and villages can make good use of range of wind turbines available today.

DISADVANTAGES OF WIND POWER:     

      

  1. The strength of the wind is not constant and it varies from zero to storm force. This means that wind turbines do not produce the same amount of electricity all the time. There will be times when they produce no electricity at all.

  2. Many people feel that the countryside should be left untouched, without these large structures being built. The landscape should left in its natural form for everyone to enjoy.

  3. Many people see large wind turbines as unsightly structures and not pleasant or interesting to look at. They disfigure the countryside and are generally ugly.

  4. When wind turbines are being manufactured some pollution is produced. Therefore wind power does produce some pollution.

  5. Large wind farms are needed to provide entire communities with enough electricity. For example, the largest single turbine available today can only provide enough electricity for 475 homes, when running at full capacity. How many would be needed for a town of 100 000 people?

Don't hesitate to contact us to answer your questions about wind power.