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Are roof mounted turbines any good?

Posted by Graham Eastwick on 24 September 2009 at 10:43 am

Roof-mounted turbines were very popular a year ago or two. However, over the last few months a couple of reports have been published that suggest building-mounted turbines may not deliver as much electricity as hoped. One of the major manufacturers has just closed and stopped supplying turbines to domestic customers.

So, should you consider installing a turbine on the roof of a building? In most cases the strength of the wind is too low and the turbulence in the wind reduces the available energy further. This is especially true for homes where neighbouring homes are close by. Measuring the wind speed is essential prior to spending what can be £4,000 to £5,000 on  turbine.

The most successful wind projects are where turbines are mounted on masts away from buildings, trees and other obstructions. It is still important to measure the wind speed at the proposed site if you don't want to be disappointed by the results.

If the wind speed is too low you may want to look at other technologies such as solar PV (photovoltaic) or micro-hydro at your building as the outputs of these systems are more predictable.

Photo by Mike Baird

About the Author: Graham Eastwick is a director of Encraft, and manages renewable energy installations for home owners, community organisations and small businesses across the UK.

About the author: Graham Eastwick is a director of Encraft, and manages renewable energy installations for home owners, community organisations and small businesses across the UK.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

1 comments - read them below or add one

Renewable Energy Market

Renewable Energy MarketComment left on: 20 October 2009 at 9:45 pm

Thank you Graham, finally another renewable energy energy expert who advocates caution and surveying.

For anyone thinking of installing a wind turbine please, please, please do not take the information given to you by a company wanting to sell you the technology without a site survey (which should take at least a year). Most of the wind turbine pedlars in the UK use the British Wind Energy Association's (BWEA) national wind spead database to provide prospective clients with a wind speed for their area without informing the client that the data is "mean windspeed at a given height.

 For Turbines location is everything!

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