Is a Wind Turbine right for me?
Successful wind installations are about “location location location! The location of a wind turbine is crucial for optimising energy output.
The amount of electricity you will generate depends on your local wind speed. Your local wind speed itself depends on certain factors such as:
- where you are in the UK i.e. coastal or urban
- obstructions such as nearby trees and buildings which create turbulence and reduce wind
- the height of your turbine: wind speeds increase with height
It is crucial to measure the wind speed before installing a turbine to make sure it will be financially worthwhile.
Three Steps to see if your project is worthwhile:
Our Wind Speed Prediction Tool
We strongly recommend that you use our Wind Speed Prediction Tool. This is a very easy to use tool and will provide you with an estimated wind speed for your location. This wind speed estimating guide will enable you to determine whether the wind in your area is strong enough to justify further investigation.
We do not recommend installing small scale wind turbines in areas with wind speeds of less than 4 metres per second (4m/s.) Wind speeds of less than 4m/s are unlikely to be a cost-effective way of producing electricity with current technologies.
Carbon Trust Wind Speed Prediction Tool
If wind speed at your location is more than 4m/s we recommend that you verify the result by registering with the Carbon Trust and using their Wind Yield Estimation Tool. The Carbon Trust estimation tool allows you to;
- choose the blade height
- choose the height of surrounding obstacles i.e. trees and buildings
- select a particular wind turbine you are considering
- enter the power curve data (available from the turbine manufacturer)
You should receive predicted annual average wind speeds and an estimation of the potential electricity generation and carbon savings.
A Wind Gauge
From this you can consider if your proposed project still looks viable in which case the next step is to check wind speed readings using an anemometer or wind gauge. You should do this for at least three to six months and apply a seasonal adjustment factor as wind speed varies by season.
You should additionally record wind direction by using a separate weathervane or wind direction indicator.
Ideally the anemometer and wind vane should be sited at the same site and height as proposed wind turbine.