Can I install a Leading Edge small wind turbine on my roof?
We do not recommend that turbines are installed on buildings. The turbulence generated by the roof itself robs the power in the wind and increases wear and tear on the turbine. Special considerations also have to be made to prevent vibration transmission and to ensure that the building is strong enough to mount the turbine on. It is always much better to install small wind turbines on as high a tower as possible, in a location away from trees and buildings that cause turbulence.
No small wind turbine is totally silent, but our wind turbines are some of the quietest! The wind itself makes a lot of noise and our turbines generally emit acoustics 5-6 decibels above the ambient sound of the wind. A normal conversation is around 45 decibels whilst a chainsaw is typically 100 decibels. Our wind turbines are generally just 56 decibels!
Are there incentives for purchasing domestic wind turbines?
This varies from country to country, any certified renewable energy installer can help you identify what incentives are available. There are no incentives in the UK for wind turbines of the size we supply.
What is the difference between on-grid and off-grid turbines and systems?
A on-grid system is, as the name suggests, connected to an existing power grid. Energy from the turbine can be exported to the grid whilst conventional grid power can be consumed when there is no wind. Off-grid systems are power systems that have no connection to a power grid. Instead power is generated locally and is often stored in battery banks.
Siting a wind generator is extremely important to the performance of the machine. Installing a wind turbine in a bad position is similar to installing a solar panel system in the shade – it will not maximise the performance of your investment. The total amount of energy available in the wind increases drastically with small increases in wind speed – read blog post "Doubling the wind speed delivers 8 times the power". Therefore it is very important that you site your turbine in the best possible location.
The proposed installation site for your wind turbine must have a good average wind speed of a minimum of 4.5m/s (10mph) and low wind turbulence. Wind turbulence is caused by obstructions to the wind such as trees and buildings. Excessive turbulence will hamper the performance of your turbine. Small wind turbines operate best in steady airflows. Free flowing airstreams are more consistent in direction and wind speed which results in more overall power being generated by the wind turbine system. Gusty conditions often result in a turbine 'hunting' the wind reducing the amount of overall power generated. Gusty and turbulent conditions also exert fluctuating forces upon the turbine that can reduce the reliability and lifespan of the system.
Wind barriers are simply obstacles that impede the flow of the wind (such as trees and buildings). A large 'wake' of turbulent airflow will occur for a long distance downwind of a barrier. It is not desirable to locate a turbine in this zone. For areas of undulating ground, the turbine should be installed in the highest possible position avoiding wind barriers and turbulence. For areas that are generally flat, the turbine can be installed in any position. Remember that for wind turbines with low voltage output such as 12V, it is important to keep the cable run to the batteries / inverter as short as possible. Long grass, crops or bushes will have the effect of slowing the wind down (even at the height of the tower). Try to install your turbine where the ground is smooth to increase the overall power production of the system.
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