What Size Wind Turbine Do I Need?

When you decide to make the switch to wind energy, one of the first decisions that you will have to make is what size wind turbine to use. The size of the wind turbine that you need depends upon your particular application. Obviously, you will need a different sized wind turbine to charge the batteries for your sailboat than you will to supply the energy to operate your home. Turbines ranging in size from 20 watts to 100 kilowatts are considered small wind turbines. There are also micro turbines, which range in size from 20 to 500 watts. This size is commonly used to charge batteries for recreational vehicles.

For an application like pumping water, a 1 kilowatt to 10 kilowatt turbine is most commonly used. Wind energy has actually been a common energy source for farmers to pump water and grind grain for centuries. Mechanical windmills were used in the past, and mechanical windmills are still in use where wind energy is unavailable due to low wind conditions. However, many farmers have made the move to wind electric energy. The initial cost of installing mechanical versus electric windmills is roughly the same, but electric provides twice as much pumping volume. Another downfall of mechanical windmills is that they must be constructed directly above the well for which they are providing energy to pump water. Restricting the windmill location to the location of the well prevents you from taking advantage of the best wind resources. On the other hand, wind-electric pumping systems can be placed wherever the best wind resources are located. They are simply connected to the well and pump motor using an electric cable.

Wind turbines that are used to provide energy to operate a home can vary in size from 400 watts to 100 kilowatts. The size of the turbine that you need for a home depends upon how much electricity you need the turbine to generate. It is a good idea to come up with an energy budget in order to help you determine how much energy you need your wind turbine to produce. You can also refer to your monthly utility bills to see how much energy you use in a typical month. Before you change to wind energy, it’s a good idea to assess your home and determine how you can make it more energy efficient. It is less costly to increase your energy efficiency than it is to produce additional energy. In addition to using wind energy, you can save money by making your home systems (like air conditioning and lights) more efficient.

On average, a home uses about 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. Although the exact numbers depend upon the wind conditions in the area, a turbine with a rating of 5 to 15 kilowatts could provide a significant portion of this quantity of usage. More specifically, a home that uses 300 kilowatt hours per month in an area that has an average annual wind speed of 14 miles per hour would need a 1.5 kilowatt wind turbine. Additional information on the anticipated output of particular wind turbines is available from each manufacturer but our engineers will calculate all of these figures for your home and come back with specific recommendations on your usage. We use the predicted energy output of the turbine together with your energy budget and information on local wind speeds to determine what size wind turbine is right for you.

If you are interested in making the switch to wind energy, contact Windpower Technology. We provide renewable electricity generation options for agricultural, commercial, residential, and community use. To find out more about what size wind turbine is right for you, call Windpower Technology today.