| REUK Shop | REUK Blog | Directory | About Us  |  | RSS Web Feed for Renewable Energy UK 

Consumers Disappointed With Micro Turbines



Consumers Disappointed With Micro Turbines

Roof-mounted domestic wind turbines disappointing consumers

home > wind | news
   Printer Friendly Version Print Article     

Since B and Q started selling Wind Turbines during the summer of 2006, many people have taken the plunge and invested 1500 in a green alternative source of energy promising "30% reduction in electricity bills". Many commentators have written about how unrealistic promised power yields from these roof-mounted micro wind turbines, but now the consumers themselves are expressing their disatisfaction.

Donnachadh McCarthy and his Wind Turbine

Donnachadh McCarthy (seen on BBC2's It's Not Easy Being Green) told Adam Vaughan of The Guardian, "I've had my second one for three months now - the first one (a 400 Watt Stealthgen D400) was vibrating the house too much - and so far it's powered one energy-saving bulb for around three hours a day. It's created a total of 1.6 kWh, which isn't even 20p worth of electricity.".
At that rate it would take well over 1,800 years for this Windsave 1000 to cover its sale price!

Donnachadh McCarthy on the roof of his Camberwell Eco-home

Urban areas are sites of turbulent wind - not the friend of horizontal axis wind turbine generators which are better suited to open spaces. Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) are far better able to cope with erratic winds, but their manufacture for urban settings is still very much in its infancy. With the Windsave 1000, regular wind speeds of around 20mph are necessary if you are to generate any significant amount of power (100+ Watts), but these winds very rarely occur in an urban setting. In addition, turbulence caused by nearby buildings and trees causes any wind to constantly change direction leaving the wind turbine chasing the wind rather than extracting power from the wind.

Fitting used to connect Windsave 1000 mast to home

More and more people are coming to the realisation that small domestic wind turbines fitted onto the ends or roofs of properties can never be economical, and that turbine induced vibrations passing through masonary are both annoyingly noisy and potentially structurally damaging.

PV Solar roof tiles in action

When real world wind speeds are taken into account, the wattage generated is far far lower than the 1kW promised by micro-wind turbine manufacturers. In most urban situations, a small array of roof-mounted PV Solar Panels or some solar roof tiles will offer far more Watts/, have no moving parts, maintenance requirements, noise issues, or potential to damage the structural integrity of your home.

Related Links (List Updated 13th Jan 2009)

NEW The two following newspaper articles cover a survey by consultants Encraft looking into the claims made by small wind turbine manufacturers. They found that on average building-mounted wind turbines used across the UK generate only 0.214 kWh (units) of electricity per day - sufficient to power a few low energy light bulbs. At current electricity prices that equates to a £33 annual saving (and a 45 year payback period for the turbine). The problem is not with the wind turbines themselves, but with the completely unsuitable locations in which they are typically being installed.

Wind Turbines like David Cameron's Don't Provide Much Electricity - The Telegraph
Many Home Turbines Fall Short of Claims, Warns Study - The Guardian.

See also this article from December 2006:
Renewable energy runs into turbulence on the home front - from The Guardian.



Article Last Modified: 13:57, 13th Jan 2009

Comment on this Article

If you have any comments on this article, please email them to neil@reuk.co.uk.


Related REUK Categories

wind | news
2006-2014 REUK - All Rights Reserved
Page Last Updated on 25th July 2014 at 04:08:00pm

Site Search


Recent
Blog Posts


1. New Raspberry Pi Model B+

2. Pyboard Python for Microcontrollers

3. New REUK Low Voltage Disconnect with Display

4. Valiant PremiAIR 4 Stove Fan

5. Low Voltage Disconnect with LCD Display

6. Solar Water Heating Swimming Pool Controller with Display

7. 12V Programmable PIR Timer with Override

8. Solar Water Heating Pump Controller for Hot Tub with Maximum Temperature

9. Playhouse Lighting Controller with LVD

10. Simple Low Voltage Disconnect with Two Outputs


Latest
Articles


Make A Bridge Rectifier From Diodes
Make A Bridge Rectifier From Diodes
Make your own single or multi phase bridge rectifier from diodes


Low Voltage Battery Disconnect Circuits
Low Voltage Battery Disconnect Circuits
Find out more about low voltage battery disconnect (LVD) circuits - used to protect batteries


Water Heating with Surplus Solar PV
Water Heating with Surplus Solar PV
Heat water with surplus solar generated electricity


Publish Temperature Sensor Readings to Twitter Raspberry Pi
Publish Temperature Sensor Readings to Twitter Raspberry Pi
Find out how to publish DS18B20 temperature sensor readings to Twitter from Raspberry Pi


Solar Panels on eBay
Solar Panels on eBay
Find out about the solar panels on sale on eBay


Picaxe Programming From Linux
Picaxe Programming From Linux
Find out how to programme PICAXE microcontrollers from the Linux command line


Connecting to Raspberry Pi from PC via SSH
Connecting to Raspberry Pi from PC via SSH
Find out how to operate a Raspberry Pi directly from a Windows PC using SSH


Setting up Static IP Address on Raspberry Pi
Setting up Static IP Address on Raspberry Pi
Find out how to give your Raspberry Pi a static IP address




REUK Shop

Popular Items


2013 SOLAR PUMP CONTROLLER WITH RELAY
New solar water heating pump controller with fitted 10A relay
£25.99 each.



MINI 12 VOLT REGULATOR WITH FUSE AND SWITCH TERMINALS
Supply a fixed 12.0 Volt DC to your devices (up to 1 Amp output). Includes fitted 1A fuse, 2 spare fuses, and terminals for connection of a switch
£6.99 each.



REUK MINI LDR DUSK DAWN LIGHTING CONTROLLER
Multi-function light detector triggered light/dark dawn/dusk controller
£13.95 each.



MINI 12V PROGRAMMABLE LOW VOLTAGE DISCONNECT LVD
Protect your 12 volt batteries from being overly discharged
£12.95 each.



REUK SUPER TIMER 3 MINI
Mini multi-functional timer
£13.95 each.



12 VOLT REGULATOR
Supply a fixed 12.0 Volt DC to your devices (up to 0.8 Amp output)
£3.99 each.



MR16 CERAMIC BULB HOLDER
Bulb holder for 12 Volt LED spotlight bulbs
£1.39 each.



REUK SUPER POULTRY LIGHTING CONTROLLER
Control up to 8 Watts of LED spotlights to stimulate egg production in birds
£29.99 each.



300 WATT POWER INVERTER
Convert 12V DC battery power into 230 AC to power portable televisions, computers, video recorders etc. 300 Watt power rating - peak power 600 Watts
£29.99 each.