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In the light of today’s rising energy costs due to the escalation of oil and gas prices, along with a greater awareness of CO2 emissions, more people are turning to home renewable energy devices to supplement their electrical energy expenditure.
A popular method of producing electricity for the home is through the installation of a wind generator. Here we will learn of the typical installation costs of a home wind generator.
We begin with an overview of a typical home wind generator operation and plan.
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Overview of a Typical Home Wind Generator Operation/Plan
When contemplating purchasing and fitting a home wind turbine generator, it is essential to obtain an estimate of the wind velocity for your location first. This can be found through a number of Internet websites by the insertion of the zip code of the property you are located at. Once suitability has been confirmed, a professional wind survey on the property should be carried out by a reputable company. This will add to the costs but is essential to determine the best suited machine for the local wind characteristics. Some wind generator installation companies carry this out with no charge.
The Local Planning Office should be contacted as planning permission is often required; these costs can also be included in the total installation costs, so shop around!
A mast is ideal as a mount for the wind generator, as it can be set at a height to catch the optimum wind velocity. These masts are often secured in concrete with guy ropes taking the strain. Modern masts (or towers as they are sometimes referred to) incorporate a hydraulic ram that enables the wind generator to be installed in one piece (also being used to lower the machine for maintenance/repair).
Going forward, we shall examine the typical installation costs of 2.5 kW and 6 kW capacity mast- mounted wind generators for home use.
Note: Gable end and roof-mounted, small wind generators of around 1 kW have not been popular due to excessive noise, vibration, flicker, and damage to buildings. However, due to continual research and development, these are becoming more efficient and cost around £2000 installed.
A typical mast-mounted wind generator is shown below (Please click on image to enlarge.)
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Typical Installation Costs for Wind Generators at Home
We shall examine the installation costs of two sizes of wind generators; a 6 kW and a 2.5 kW, including their connection to the grid. This will allow excess electricity generated by the turbine to be exported to the grid and while earning money from FITS or Tax Credits.
It has been calculated that the average home consumption of electricity is 4400 kWh/year. A 2.5 kW mast-mounted wind generator can directly match the given favorable wind conditions.
A 6 kW mast-mounted wind generator can produce over 10,000 kWh per year. This will allow for generation of excess electricity that can be sold back to the electricity supplier.
The typical installation costs of wind generators of 2.5 kW and 6 kW are given below, along with the associated planning permission and wind survey costs factored in (where data is available).
UK Installation Outlays
1. Planning Permission Fee - $3200 (£2,000) Some installation companies include this in their costs.
2. Initial Survey - $1290 (£800)
- Some suppliers waive this fee
3. Average installation cost of a 2.5 kW wind turbine
- Proven Energy $17,694 (£11,000)
4. Average installation cost of a 6 kW wind turbine
- Proven Energy - $37000 (£23,000)
- A financial savings of $5150 (£3200) per year could be made from savings in electricity supply and Feed in Tariff (FITS) when producing electricity from a 6 kW wind generator.
- A saving of about 5 Tons of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere per year can be made by installing either of the home wind generators.
US Installation Outlays
Note: Due to information on capacities from US installation companies, there is a slight discrepancy in comparisons of UK wind generators' capacities, (US 2 kW and 5 kW capacities are examined, hence the difference in costs.)
- Surveys and Planning Permission costs
- There are numerous different planning laws and planning permission costs throughout the US. Please consult the following government affiliated article, “Local Codes and Requirements for Small Renewable Energy Systems"
2. Average installation cost of a 2 kW wind turbine
- Talon 2 from AC Green Energy $17000 (£10500)
3. Average installation cost of a 5 kW wind turbine
- Talon 5 from AC Green Energy $27,000 (£17,000)
Investment tax credit for 30% of installation costs may be available. Some states offer cash payments of 30% of installation costs instead of tax credit.
- A savings of about 3.5 Tons of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere per year can be made by installing either of the home wind generators.
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In conclusion, there are numerous types of domestic wind generators available that can either be fixed to the building structure itself or mast-mounted in the garden. It is important to keep in mind when planning, that typical installation costs for wind generators at home depend very much on the capacity of the generator and the method of mounting it. A 5 kW mast-mounted machine for example, would cost in the region of $27,000, with the added benefit of saving nearly 4 Tons of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere per year. Remember, all of the fees and savings should be taken into consideration as well.
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- Wind Generator Costs: http://www.coemiwindturbines.co.uk/coemi-wind-turbines-general-information/wind-turbine-cost
- Wind speeds – UK: http://www.windatlas.dk/Europe/landmap.html
- Wind Speeds – USA: http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas
- Feed in Tariffs - http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generate-your-own-energy/Sell-your-own-energy/Feed-in-Tariff-scheme#tarifflevels
- Tax Credits USA- http://www.powertaxcredit.com/
- Talon Wind Generators - http://windustries.biz/Products.html
- Proven Wind Generators - http://www.provenenergy.co.uk/our-products/