A British study warns that home wind turbines are only generating a fraction of electricity promised by the manufacturers while some even fail to provide enough energy to run the turbine’s electronics.
The survey conducted by consultant engineers Encraft said that despite claims that micro-turbines can provide up to 30 percent of households’ electricity needs, on average some only generate 214 watts hours per day. Less than a 5 percent of the electricity a household requires.
However, engineers did find that wind turbines installed on buildings in exposed positions, or high up away from obstructions, generated significant amounts of energy.
Matthew Rhodes, Encraft’s managing director said that turbines if put up in the right place can achieve the desired results. But he added, “Sadly, an average semi-detached house, like the areas where most people live, where there are obstructions like trees and buildings, are poor locations”.
The “vast majority” of customers had been poorly advised. “There’s a risk they will go off the whole agenda,” he said.
The study was funded by the British Wind Energy Association and the government which inspected turbines in four rural, 10 suburban and 12 urban sites for a year.
Reacting to the report Alex Murley of the British Wind Energy Association said. “Sited correctly, small and micro wind turbines have the capability to provide more than 10% of Britain’s electricity needs.”
So it is clear that small wind turbines do not work everywhere, with correct sighting they can still produce enough power to make a significant contribution to a homes energy requirements. The report highlights the need for every micro-turbine installation to be preceded by a thorough report on suitable placement. The UK is one of the windiest countries in Europe and there are many excellent locations for this renewable energy solution.