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Want Your Own Wind Turbine? Here's Our Guide

gigawatts of wind power are being proposed all over the globe, and new wind farms are regularly being proposed that outstrip one another to be the largest in their respective locations, or in the world. At the far end of purchase real name brand viagra the scale, the largest size wind turbines have a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet), and are estimated to be capable of producing 20,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually (enough to power as many as 5000 European homes). Since the power generated by a turbine increases exponentially as it gets larger, new turbines will continue to cialis 20 mg grow in size.

But small-scale turbines are perhaps a more exciting realm of development. The standard, propeller-style turbine is well established, and there are many suppliers for this kind of generator in a range of sizes. In 2007, Home Power Magazine had a roundup of usa levitra more than a dozen small wind turbines ranging from 8 feet to 56 feet in diameter (the latter of which is far larger than even a large, inefficient household would need for their power requirements). Green Building Elements had a review of this article last year.

Besides the propeller turbine, there are a number of other options that are being developed and coming into availability that offer different features and performance that can make them appealing alternatives for some.

Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines

In theory, vertical-axis wind turbines are thought to be better suited for urban locations, where winds are more swirling and less consistently directional. With a rotor that spins around an upright axis, wind coming from any direction can turn the blades and provide power. On the downside, the power produced by a VAWT is less efficient because, during part of its rotation, the rotor is moving against the wind.

Vertical-axis turbines are also generally quieter than horizontal, propeller style turbines. Their cylindrical form also lets them go into places with less space available, which also makes them well suited for urban uses. Another benefit of vertical turbines is that they generally appear more solid, which makes them less of a hazard to birds and bats.

The Windspire is one newer VAWT that is being aimed at the home-power market. It is a very narrow cylinder only 2 feet (61 cm) wide, but 30 feet (9.1 meters) tall. Another VAWT, the HelixWind presents an even more solid-looking presence, with scoop-like solid rotors in a helical configuration. The Windspire rotor is wider and shorter - 4 feet x 8.7 feet (1.2 x 2.7 meters) than the Windspire. Helix Wind also has a taller version with twice the rated capacity.

Loopwing and Energy Ball

More than a year ago, we first learned about the Loopwing, an unusual turbine from Japan that offered extremely quiet operation and canada online pharmacy levitra redundant safety systems to prevent overspeed in high winds. The noise reduction is due to the wow)) levitra canadian configuration of it's great! canada viagra generic the blades, which return to the shaft, rather than having exposed tips. This eliminates the vortices that are produced by the tip of the blade miving through the air which is the source of much of the noise created by a turbine.

Another turbine has recently been introduced with some similar characteristics. The Energy Ball looks like a variant on the Loopwing concept, though with more blades. However, the Energy Ball is a small turbine only slightly more than one meter in diameter, with a rated power of only 100 watts (0.2 kW). Even in a very windy location, this small turbine is unlikely to cialis soft order do much on its own to reduce your energy bills because of cialis buying its small level of output.

Other Small Turbines

Swift makes a turbine that is much like an ordinary horizontal-axis turbine, but unlike other propeller style turbines, though, its five blades are connected together with a ring. This makes it a hybrid between a propeller turbine, and a turbine like the Loopwing or the Energy Ball. The ring helps to cut down on noise, most of levitra prescription drugs which comes from blade tips traveling through the air, not unlike the Loopwing or the Energy Ball.

AeroVironment has another turbine designed for direct mounting on a building parapet. The AVX1000 is designed for commercial use only. Aerovironment's turbines can be installed with a decorative canopy that may also lessen the

Both the Swift and the AeroVironment turbines are displayed in building parapet installations where they are only a short distance above a building roof. They may be taking some advantage of the increase in wind speed that occurs at a building roof. But when the wind is blowing parallel to the face of the building, these turbines are likely to


AeroVironment AVX1000 - 66" dia - rated power 1.0 kW (@ 13.4 m/s 30mph)
Energy Ball
- 1.1m dia - rated power 0.1 kW (max 0.5 kW @17 m/s)
HelixWind S322
- 1.21m x 2.65m (4 ft x 8.66 ft) - rated power 1.88 kW
Loopwing - 2.85m dia - rated power 2 kW (@12.8 m/s)
- 7' dia - rated power 1.5 kW (@ 14m/s 31mph)
Windspire - 0.6 x 6.1m (2 ft x 20 ft) - rated power 1.2 kW (@ 11.2 m/s 25mph)

Comparing Turbines

Evaluating and comparing wind turbines is still a difficult task. Different manufacturers list information about their turbines differently, so straightforward comparisons between units can be difficult. Some manufacturers list the output based on the maximum output, which is typically far in excess of the average wind speed a site is likely to experience.

Furthermore, how a turbine performs at different wind speeds also affects its output. Some manufacturers list an annual power output (in kilowatt hours, just like electric service is typically billed) but that is based on an estimated average annual wind speed, which may not be the same as the average wind speed a potential user's site may experience.

Another factor is the "cut in speed" of a particular turbine, which is the wind speed at which the turbine starts turning. Some minimal amount of power may be produced at this low speed, but it is only a tiny fraction of the turbine's rated speed. A turbine with an especially low cut in speed will start turning in a lighter breeze, but that doesn't mean it is going to be producing much power at those wind speeds.

Wind power has not been quite as readily accepted for home power generation for several reasons. First of all, wind power has greater requirements for open space and access to wind for efficient operation. By comparison, solar is much easier to viagra best prices accommodate, especially on a small site. Solar is also far less obtrusive than wind power. Solar panels located on a low slope roof or in a back yard are often almost invisible to passers-by, while wind turbines need to stick up into the air where they are able to catch the wind. Some people find this objectionable, which can sometimes make it more difficult to obtain the necessary permits for the installation of best prices on brand levitra a wind turbine. Any system with moving parts is more prone to breakdown and trouble than one that is solid state, which also contributes to wind power being less desirable for homeowners who do not also want to the best place purchasing viagra with next day delivery be turbine mechanics. Wind turbines also can produce noise and vibration. This, too can be objectionable to neighbors, as well as making it less desirable to mount the unit directly on a building. However, there are cities where zoning laws are being changed to allow for wind turbines to be installed with fewer regulatory hurdles.

Home wind power is still a small niche compared with solar. Far fewer homes are suitable for personal wind turbines than homes that can accommodate solar panels. But wind is part of the renewable energy mix, and there certainly are many homes where is is a viable option. For those, the renge of options is growing.

This article was cross-posted at and

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Comments (24)Add Comment
Possibility of using alternate energy to
written by Charlie "Chunk" Nelson, September 14, 2008
I really enjoy the new Swift turbine and only for you canada cheap cialis can't wait for more of these small turbines and VAWTs to make appearances in more urban areas.

I have been looking into many ways to potentially shove our school into a green direction and would really appreciate any feedback you have on the potential for using wind turbines as a source of power for a school, or even if solar cells or other methods would be more efficient and save more money (as it is a public school this is a must) in the long run.

Thanks for your time and I trust you will NFTBA,


P.S. I have begun the order usa levitra online process of setting up as a way to target schools in ways that they can take steps to go green in ways that do not cost any extra money to them, affecting the education of the students, so once I get the site running if you happen by any products that may not be something that would be posted on Ecogeek if you remember I wouldn't mind getting a heads up. As of now I am to be the only writer for it so any help is appreciated
written by Adam, September 14, 2008
Would these wind turbines cause air pressure to drop enough to kill bats? Or are they too small to cause damage to them. This is a big concern about wind turbines but hopefully with new and better technology the problem will be solved.
Scale & Height
written by Carl, September 14, 2008
A large community-scale turbine has an advantage over lots of home turbines because a 10X larger turbine yields 100X more power. Also, the higher the tower, the higher the wind speed. That 1KW at 30mph turbine will only give
written by Nalamo, September 14, 2008
this is one of viagra now online the most grossly inaccurate and uninformed articles about wind turbines I've ever read. You can't stick a turbine just anywhere, and the feasibility is largely based on your location and buy viagra in las vegas how much space you have. You can put up a 70 ft. tower and it might be inefficient depending on your wind maps and how much energy you use. Obviously, the higher the tower, the more space around it you need (by law). things could get costly depending on the kind of land you have--digging takes time and manpower). Lastly, factories give you the turbine, with shoddy directions on building the tower that holds it. Make sure the company who's installing it for you has experience with assembling it and ask if you can contact previous clients to see their work and ask if they've needed repair. these are just the major areas of concern. wind power can be great but do honest research first. this was hardly a guide.
written by Steve N. Lee, September 15, 2008
Way back in the late 60s, when I was just a little kid, one of our neighbours built a wind turbine to generate electricity for his house. Back then such a 'stunt' made him seem something of an eccentric kook, for want of a polite phrase! Never did we imagine he was a pioneer of alternative energy!

Of course there were no self-assembly kits in your local store, he had to build his using bits and pieces he'd picked up and adapted to fit together. Unfortunately, being so young, I didn't take that much of an interest in the results to know how efficient/successful it was. I did seek it turning in the wind, but that was about it.

Now, I see quite a few buildings in my local town with small turbines on their roofs. It's reassuring to know that people are embracing this technology, though obviously it would be better to see many, many more. Still, it's a start.

Sadly, my neighbour died years back. He never got to see an age when wind power could, quite literally, help save the planet. It's a pity. A pioneer should get to see the results of his passions.

Steve N. Lee
author of eco-blog
and suspense thriller 'What if...?'
Planning permission
written by Adam, September 15, 2008
Nice piece Philip.

In the UK, we've finally removed the need for planning permission on solar, but you still need to go through the planning rigmarole with wind. Hopefully that'll change in the next 5 years.

On a separate note, the Swift is pretty popular over here. Interestingly, it's also proposing micro wind as a solution to fuel poverty:
"European" homes
written by Karsten, September 15, 2008
Nice that you specify that some wind turbines supply enough power to run 5000 European homes. It would be interesting to mention how many African homes such turbines could power. (50 000?) Or US-American homes (3000?).

Ultimately it comes down to using less power - not searching for ways to create the currently used amount cleanly.

This is NOT to criticize the article - just to add.

written by DaMs, September 15, 2008
An interesting article about electricity storage (ultracapacitor-based) :

I know it's a little off topic, but hey it's still about electricity smilies/grin.gif

written by Gayle, September 15, 2008
Vertical axis wind turbines
written by Sim Garner, September 15, 2008
I think the 100mg cialis use of the vertical axis wind turbine is going to be a great hit with residential wind energy users. There is no doubt that renewable energy is the wave of the future. We all want out environment to stablize and the fear of our ozone dpletion to deminish, wind energy is one of the ways this can be accomplished.

Giant wind turbines can produce a lot of power but can't be and will not be accessable to everyone. Home wind turbines are accessable to all. That is the future of the individual home owner.
written by Piers Headley, September 16, 2008
The trouble with large conventional turbines is the noise that they make (variosly described as simular to a VERY long train passing or whining noises) which is leading to increasing resistance to their use here in Germany. This is a major problem to address especialy in home rigs.
Aquia Capital
written by Bill C, September 16, 2008
Two points:
1) DaMs: Energy storage is NOT off topic, but is critical to time- and place-shifting wind and sun power.
2) Micro-generation for homes and small communities represents a form of freedom and independence from government/utility/corporate/oil company entities. Yes, there are issues with the efficiencies of microgeneration, but I happen to be a fan of freedom. smilies/wink.gif
Wind power
written by Ryan, September 19, 2008
Until just a year or so ago I was oblivious to alternative forms of energy. I've recently turned into quite the eco-geek and I hope to soon build a green, self-sufficient home. I was recently in Cleveland Ohio going to the Rock Hall of fame and where can i purchase viagra I noticed that next door by the football stadium was a HUGE wind turbine. I have to say that even with the Rock hall and the air show going on, the coolest thing to me was looking up at this MASSIVE turbine which at the time was turning, hence, creating power!
Wind pages
written by Robert Pritchett, September 21, 2008
Thank yo for the quick summaries on some of the wind turbine technologies.

We do have a more expansive list on the topic of Wind turbine technologies at
other small wind turbines
written by All Small Wind Turbines, September 22, 2008
Take a look at for an overview of all small wind turbines.
buisness owner
written by linda apple, October 03, 2008
I need to know how much a vertical wind turbin would cost for three homes and how big they would have to be
written by Cage, October 08, 2008
Can someone tell me what the cost of a 5 mega watt wind turbine is. It seems like a lot of small towns that own their own electric companies could be self sustaining and make a profit with just one or two of fast cialis online these.
Home Wind Turbine Kits
written by Home Wind Turbine, October 15, 2008
We sell Home Wind Turbine Kits. That has every component with it (except batteries) which you buy locally, is a matched kit of components. It’s really a handyman level install, many folks put it in themselves and many have an electrician finish it up for safety. Pay by credit card secured, takes about 1 week to pack and ship, Most kits go out UPS Ground. Free Shipping. Have a look at our site which s chock full of wind energy articles and DIY pictures and directions.
.1 kw = 100 w
written by marine2171, October 16, 2008
Under the energy ball section, it says that it is rated for 100w or .2kw. Since 100w is .1kw and real viagra without prescription 200w is .2kw I am a bit confused as to which one it really is.

written by Mark Cironi, October 25, 2008
Please review our website at
The windcube represents the smallest footprint with the most amount of power production in the industry and it was developed in northern Ohio. Plans for full scale production begin in January 2009.
written by kerem evliyazade, January 06, 2009
written by wind turbine, August 28, 2009
The shape of above pictures is difficult to diy as these blade need the complex forming process. This need the special stamping or mteal forming machines. Diy wind turbine should be simple and easy to install.
Vertical axe wind turbine
written by vetrogeneratori vetrenjaca, December 19, 2010
Great article. I`ve been using vertical axe wind turbine for some time in urban area and I can say that I`m fully satisfied with the power output and low noise that it produces.
written by Nidal al Dabbas, November 09, 2013
I am looking for a company interested to set up an assembly plant for wind turbines in Jordan.there is a high demand on alternative energy solutions since electricity prices are on rise. Importing system is not feasible due to taxes and high prices.any company interested will have great opportunities for selling there products in Jordan.

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