The wind is a fantastic source of clean, renewable and free energy. If you own a large property and live in an area that receives a steady supply of wind, you might be able to generate some or all of your electricity using a wind turbine.
Over the last decade, wind power has become the fastest-growing source of energy in the world. Wind turbines – arranged in groups known as wind farms – are now a common sight across the countryside.
Wind offers several advantages over other sources of energy, particularly fossil fuels and non-renewable energy sources. It’s renewable, free to produce, and produces no carbon emissions over the long term.
It’s also becoming increasingly affordable as a growing number of businesses invest in wind power technology. Read on to learn more about how wind energy works, its major benefits and the type of property that’s best suited to wind power.
How does wind energy work?
Although wind turbines may look like complicated feats of engineering, the principle on which they work is quite simple.
Wind turbines typically have two or three large blades that are designed to catch as much incoming wind as possible. These blades are connected to a shaft that drives a generator located inside the body of the turbine.
As the blades rotate in the wind, they cause the shaft to rotate, turning the generator located inside the turbine. This generates energy, which is converted into functional electricity for your home or commercial building.
The electricity generated by a wind turbine can be used to power your building or home. It can also be exported back onto the national grid, earning you money from your energy supplier and increasing the nation’s energy supply.
Wind turbines typically use two designs: a fan-like design with two or three blades that rotate in the wind, and a vertical-axis design, where the generator and gearbox are located close to the ground to simplify the servicing process.
The electrical output of a wind turbine depends on several factors. One of these is the location of the turbine. Turbines located in windy areas typically operate more efficiently than those in calm areas and generate a greater amount of electricity.
Another factor is the size of the wind turbine. Large wind turbines owned by utility providers and industrial companies often use blades that measure over 116 feet in length, in addition to towers with a height in excess of 200 feet.
Residential and small commercial wind turbines are usually much smaller. Most of the wind turbines used in residential or commercial areas in the UK are 80 feet or less in height, with an electrical output of anywhere from 2 kW to 20kW.
What are the biggest benefits of wind energy?
Wind energy offers a range of benefits over fossil fuels, from its small effect on the environment to its cost. Some of the most significant benefits of wind energy are listed below:
- Wind energy is extremely clean. Wind turbines produce no carbon emissions while generating energy. The only carbon dioxide produced by wind turbines occurs during the manufacturing process.
- Wind energy is extremely sustainable. Unlike fossil fuels, which are limited in supply, wind energy is abundant and unlimited, making it a very sustainable source of energy that can be used well into the future.
- Wind energy is extremely inexpensive. Although there are costs involved in manufacturing and installing wind turbines, the long-term cost of producing electricity from wind is extremely low.
- Wind energy is a great investment. Because wind turbines take up relatively little space, they’re a cost-effective investment for rural land owners, farmers and energy suppliers.
- Wind energy improves energy self-sufficiency. By installing wind turbines in the UK, we can decrease our dependence on oil, coal, gas and other sources of energy that are imported from abroad.
As a homeowner or business, wind energy’s most significant advantages are its low impact on the environment and climate, its cost-effectiveness and its excellent long-term return on investment.
Can a wind turbine power an entire home?
On average, it takes approximately five kilowatts of electricity to power two homes in the UK, although this can vary depending on location, usage of electrical lighting and appliances, temperature and a range of other factors.
This amount of electricity can be generated by an 18-20 foot wind turbine installed in an area that receives a consistent amount of wind. Other factors, such as location and height, can also affect a wind turbine’s efficiency and electricity generation:
- Turbines installed higher above the ground are typically more efficient than wind turbines installed at a low height.
- Wind turbines are more efficient when installed in areas with high average wind speeds.
- Obstacles such as trees and nearby buildings can reduce a wind turbine’s efficiency, making a higher tower necessary.
Because powering a home requires a relatively large wind turbine, compared to the size of an equivalent solar panel system, wind power is most suitable for properties outside of major cities with a large amount of open, exposed land.
Since wind turbines can be connected to the national grid, your home or property can power itself during periods of steady wind, then revert back to using the grid when the wind isn’t blowing.
Thanks to the Feed-in Tariff scheme, you can also export the excess electricity your wind turbine generates, offsetting the cost of any non-renewable electricity usage.
Are you interested in wind energy?
If your property receives steady wind throughout the year, is located on a relatively large plot of land and has few obstructions such as trees or neighbouring buildings, you may be able to generate sustainable energy using a wind turbine.
Wind energy offers a wide range of advantages for your home or business, from low carbon emissions to cost-effective electricity to an additional source of income using the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
We offer high quality wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels and other renewable energy systems for residential and commercial properties throughout the UK.
Contact us to speak to our renewable energy experts and learn more about the wind and other renewable energy options available for your property.