July 25, 2017

Should I install a wind turbine in my garden?

With an increasing focus on renewable energy sources, an increasing number of people are integrating at-home renewable energy sources into their power supply. And, whilst solar panels tend to be the most common home renewable energy sources, did you know that it’s also possible to install a home wind turbine in your garden?
But how much does a wind turbine cost? How do they work? And can you actually earn money from it anyway?

Here’s our guide to installing a wind turbine in your garden:

Types of home wind turbine

There are two different types of home wind turbine – roof mounted wind turbines and freestanding mast or pole mounted turbines.
Whichever type of wind turbine you choose to erect in your garden, there are a range of sizes, prices, and powers available. Home wind turbines will allow you to generate anything from under 100W to up to 50kW of energy. To give you an idea of practical usage, smaller, micro-turbines tend to be used to charge batteries, whilst larger turbines producing upwards of 0.6kW can be used to generate electricity for use in homes and businesses.

The type of turbine you choose will affect the amount of power you can expect to generate – rooftop turbines tend to vary from 0.5kW to 2.5kW, whilst pole-mounted turbines are usually around 5kW or 6kW.

How do home wind turbines work?

Home wind turbines generate electricity when their blades are turned by the wind. The amount of electricity that is generated varies depending upon the speed and consistency of the wind. The electricity generated is then transmitted into your home’s mains supply through an inverter box.
The turbine won’t generate enough energy to power your home alone, so you will still need to be connected to a mains power supply. So, rather than replacing mains energy, the power generated by your home wind turbine will supplement your traditional electricity supply and help to reduce energy bills.

How much do wind turbines cost?

The cost of your wind turbine will vary depending upon a range of factors, including the type, size, and power of the turbine. However, as a general guide, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that domestic wind turbines cost approximately:

– Roof-mounted 1 kW micro wind turbine: up to £3,000
– 2.5 kW pole-mounted wind turbine: £9,900 – £19,000
– 6 kW pole-mounted wind turbine: £21,000 – £30,000

The estimated prices above include VAT and installation. It’s worth pointing out that, whist roof-mounted, micro turbines are considerably cheaper, they are also substantially less efficient and typically produce far less energy than pole-mounted turbines.

Will my turbine generate money as well as energy?

Back in April 2010, the Government launched a Feed-in Tariff scheme and, as a result, energy suppliers must pay you if you generate any of your own electricity using renewable energy. This applies whether you use the energy generated to power your own home or if you export it to the grid.

Under the scheme, home owners are guaranteed a minimum payment for the electricity generated, as well as an additional payment for any electricity exported to the grid. What’s more, if you generate electricity yourself, you’ll also be saving money on your energy bills!

Of course, as with most Government scheme’s terms and conditions do apply to the Feed-in Tariff scheme, so it’s well worth looking into it before you invest.

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