Consumers can purchase and install a small wind turbine to generate energy for their homes. These are most effective outside urban areas, on properties covering 1 acre or more.
Wind turbines capture wind energy and convert it into electricity. Two setups are possible: on-grid and off-grid. An on-grid wind turbine is connected to the electricity grid. When it produces more electricity than the household uses, it gives the extra to the grid. When the wind does not blow, the system takes the energy from the grid. Off-grid wind turbines store the unused power in a battery.
Depending on the home size, the wind turbine needs a generating capacity ranging from 2 kW to 10 kW, with an average of 5 kW. This means that the diameter of the wind turbine will be from 12 feet to 25 feet. Small wind turbines are usually about 80 feet, but can be as short as 30 feet or as tall as 140 feet.
In order to install a small wind turbine, homeowners need to carry out preparatory research. The main question is whether there is enough wind in the area to make installation of a small wind turbine worthwhile. When buying a small wind turbine, consumers should pay attention to its energy output, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). It is a good idea to contact existing owners of wind turbines to learn about their experiences.