According to a UK home wind turbine study, turbines are generating only a fraction of the power claimed by manufacturers, and some even use more power than they produce! The results showed that the worst performers produced a mere 41 watt-hours per day – that’s less than what a household lightbulb uses in an hour!
On average the windmills generated just enough electricity to power an energy-efficient home, however, it still only accounted for 5 to 10 percent of what the manufacturers promised. The results will definitely hurt the UK’s wind power industry that was doing so well with its high-profile clients rushing to install green energy technologies. Some of the clients included famous Scottish novelist Iain Banks, Academy Award-nominated English actor Pete Postlewaite, and leader of the UK’s Conservative Party David Cameron.
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But managing director of Encraft, Matthew Rhodes had this to say:
“The results also show when wind turbines are installed in the right places they are a good investment. Unfortunately, the average semi-detached home, like where most people live, is obstructed by trees and buildings, making them poor locations.” He further went on to say, “Most of the customers had been badly advised. So there is a risk they could be turned off by the idea of a home wind turbine.”
Funded by the British Wind Energy Association and government, the study looked at home wind turbines by only five manufacturers in 12 urban, 10 suburban and 4 rural areas. It found the most efficient turbines could produce the equivalent power that was needed to manufacture them in under two years, while the least efficient ones would take over forty years!
But, Alex Murley, BWEA’s micro-generation expert, was very critical of the study. He argued that, “the study has been skewed unfairly, with far too few sites, and many in areas with not enough wind.” He further added, “New codes of conduct had been introduced for manufacturers and installers to adhere to.”
What we can gather from the study is that while home wind turbine power is a viable option, there are still many unscrupulous manufacturer’s out there, trying to cash in on the renewable energy craze by over-exagerating their turbines’ performance. This could have a very negative effect on the wind turbine market, even for legitimate manufacturers and installers, where misled customers lose faith in the technology.
Originally posted 2009-01-16 09:09:44.