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Introduction to What Are the Best Sources for Home Wind Turbines
To find the best sources for home wind turbines, the first stop should be the Internet. Here you will find the home wind turbine manufacturers and suppliers, and from these a shortlist can be produced based on your own criteria or from those that meet your personal requirements.
We begin with an overview on the operation of a typical home wind turbine.
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Operation of a Typical Home Wind Turbine
The home wind turbine consists of the following components:
- Nacelle – this contains the drive shaft, control mechanism, power generator and a tail fin fitted to direct the turbine into the wind. The nacelle also incorporates the mounting arrangement to the mast, which contains the power slip rings and output cabling that goes into the tower.
- Rotor – this is at the front of the nacelle and the turbine blades are fitted into the rotor These combine to drive the main shaft, converting the kinetic energy from the wind into rotary motion.
- Blades- there are normally two or three blades, the three bladed turbines being more efficient and quieter running. The blades are manufactured from wood or fiberglass that has the required material properties of durability, strength and flexibility.
- Power generator – these are normally of the permanent magnet type, being lighter in construction than the earlier type. A slow, direct drive is best, as this eliminates the need for a gearbox, again saving weight.
- Tower – depending on the design, the short mast can be bolted to the house gable end; the roof or a high mast installed in the garden. In the past, it was not recommended to attach the tower to a building due to vibration causing structural damage. However, modern wind turbines are much lighter and smoother running, so these can now be attached to buildings, given the right wind conditions.
The best location for the mast (if you have the room) is in the garden or ground surrounding the house. Here a 50-100’ high mast can be raised, providing the optimum height to catch the best wind conditions.
I have included a home wind turbine diagram below. (Please click on image to enlarge).
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The Best Sources for Home Wind Turbines
A typical home wind turbine is shown below. (Please click on image to enlarge).
I have investigated numerous Internet home wind turbine manufacturers and came up with the following shortlist of three companies:
This website offers a choice of two manufacturers, with a total of thirteen models illustrated, complete with prices. These wind turbines are different sizes and all have a very good description and specification section.
- Powermax Wind Turbines
Prices range from $1,989 for a basic 2kW turbine to $80,186 for a 25kW model; all are CE certified and qualified for federal tax credits.
They also supply a range of masts to suit the various wind turbine models.
- Talons Wind Turbines
Prices range from $7,000 for 2kW model to $113,400 for a 30kW model with variable pitch blades. These are the first small wind turbines I have seen that have variable pitch blades.
This site has over 500 wind turbines from 190 manufacturers and includes Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT) and Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT).
The website boasts to have all of the world's small turbines in one website. (There certainly is a massive amount of home wind turbines to choose from). However, the website has selected a featured company and a featured model. This gives an excellent description of the manufacturer and wind turbine, with an overview of the trouble spots to look out for when purchasing a wind turbine.
It also has a database containing all the different manufacturers and models, sizes and prices, along with their associated websites.
3. Wind energy
An excellent source of information for home wind turbines; the website begins with a general description of a wind turbine operation and an animated video. An installation video is also included.
It offers several good turbines and these come complete with controllers and mounting poles/masts.
I have also included this site because of the innovative blade design that makes the machine more efficient and quieter in operation. Definitely worth a browse through. This website gets full marks!