Home Wind Turbine Study Reveals Shocking Truth

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.

VIDEO: Closer to home – Jay Leno Uses Home Wind Turbine

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.


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Originally posted 2009-01-16 09:09:44.



6 Comments

  1. Posted January 22, 2009 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Very interesting article, thank you for the information.

    David
    Energybloggers.com

  2. Posted January 22, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Very informative article you have here. I wonder what the solution will be for those who live in subdivisions where there is little room to have free flowing wind, we’ll see 🙂

  3. Posted January 25, 2009 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    The solution is to use a hybrid solar and wind power system.
    But, remember the are plenty of ways to reduce your electricity bill without having to resort to wind turbines or solar pv power.

    Maybe our article on Passive Solar Design will help.

    Tim

  4. Posted February 22, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    This is the problem when large chains of garden centres get the idea to sell turbines; no expert knowledge, no advice, just the hard sell. B&Q have now decided to withdraw the turbines they were selling and this sets home renewable production back years.

  5. GL
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Maybe they should have thought more about their purchase. Look at the design of the wind turbine. It uses blades that are wide near to the center shaft and skinny further out from the shaft. Exactly backwards from what it needs to be.

    A little example: If you are removing the wheel from your car, do you put pressure on the wrench really close to the lug nut in order to turn it, or do you put pressure on the wrench further from the lug nut in order to turn it? Torque = Force X Distance. If that lug nut is stuck you might even put an extension on the lug wrench in order to get more leverage to turn the lug nut.

    The same logic applies to turning a generator to make electricity from a wind powered generator. You WANT the most pressure from the wind to be as FAR from the center shaft as possible.

    You know this. I should not have to tell you about how a lever works. That picture of a wind turbine shows the blades being wide CLOSE to the hub and really skinny further away from the hub.

    I is simply logic. Archimedes, about 287-212 BC is quoted as having said about the use of a lever, “Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth.” And guess what, a blade on a windmill, or on a wind powered generator, or even on a “wind turbine,” is a lever.

    A blade that is wide at the furtherest part away from the hub should give better torque and thus more power.

    A blade that is wide close to the hub and skinny way out from the hub is exactly backward. That is an idiotic way to design them (unless you don’t want them to work??? If they worked then the need for oil and gas might seriously diminish. Now who would benefit from shoving non-efficient silly three bladed wind turbines down the public’s throat? Hmmm?). Think. Think. Think. Silly of them to ignore simple physics like that. Think.

    You have seen “wind turbines.” Something is definitely not right about them.

    There is a page at http://www.reasonablepower.com/1/know_the_facts.htm . Go look.

    The three bladed wind turbine companies sometimes have said that “downstream turbulence” is important. YOU THINK about this statement. REALLY THINK about it. After the wind goes through the blade area, ALL of the energy that the blades can convert from the wind has been converted, so WHO CARES what turbulence there is? DUHHHHH… The wind that is hitting the blades and passing over the blades and making the blades turn is important. NOT the wind that has already passed the blades. HELLO ? Can you see this? “Downstream turbulence?” Who cares? Downstream turbulence? What are they trying to sell to you? A lie? Really, you think about it. They make the blades EXACTLY BACKWARD with the wide part close to the center shaft where it will produce the LEAST amount of torque to turn the generator, and then they advertise that you need to worry about downstream turbulence. Hello? They are calling you, the general public, an idiot. Hmmmm… Who would benefit from pushing this concept on the general public? The oil companies, the gas companies, the coal companies. Think about it. Those three bladed wind turbines are “not right”.

    And another thing, they use three blades. What is the idea of three blades? What about all that other wind that passes between those blades? Did you buy a wind turbine simply for looks? Are you worried about “disturbing the air?” The air shifts and blows and twists as it will and it does not care. Watch your tree limbs on a windy day. Those limbs bend one way, then another way, then some other way. The wind does not care. Why use only three blades? The wind turbine industry has said that the downstream turbulence is important. The wind turbine industry has said that you should not disturb the air. Duhhhhh… What a bunch of illogic. When you buy a wind turbine you want to convert AS MUCH of the wind to electric or mechanical energy AS POSSIBLE. That is WHY you buy a wind turbine. Really, think about it. Tell those silly, illogical, waste of space, three bladed wind turbine salesmen “NO.” Tell them to go fly a kite, and maybe they might get the idea that you are not so stupid. If I thought that you were stupid I would not have told you this. Now, it is time for you to think.

  6. Ponca
    Posted April 29, 2009 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    GL is absolutely correct. I am from Oklahoma and we hand old fashion wind mills in every pasture to drive water pumps for our horses and cows. Check out this link after reading GL’s post. http://www.rise.org.au/info/Applic/Windpumping/index.html
    How many blades are there? Are they larger on the outside end or inside end? Wouldn’t take much stretch of the imagination to connect an electrical generator to one of these by-gone era dinosaurs. Or maybe great grand dad was on to something. I have lived all my boyhood years around them and they are very low maintenance and believe me in a good wind these suckers really get with the program. The only disadvantage about them is in Oklahoma when a good ole twister comes up they can be ripped out of the ground … but so can the barn and the house and the trees..

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  3. By linksmarker.com on February 13, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Home Wind Turbine Study Reveals Shocking Truth…

    According to a UK home wind turbine study, the turbines are generating only a fraction of the power claimed by manufacturers, and some even consume power!…

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