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How do wind turbines work?
A wind turbine works in the opposite way to a fan, which uses electricity to generate wind. In contrast to this, the sole purpose of a wind turbine is to use the power of the wind to make electricity. Simply put, when the wind blows the blades turn round, which in turn triggers a turbine that generates electricity.
While the blades of most turbines will start turning because of a gentle breeze, the greater the power of the wind, the more electricity produced.
There are two types of wind turbines available for domestic purposes. Firstly, there are pole mounted wind turbines, which stand on their own. For these to fulfil their generation potential of about 6kW, they need to be placed in a suitably exposed position. Then there are building mounted wind turbines, which are smaller than their mast mounted counterparts, usually with a capacity of up to 2kW. To provide an adequate supply of electricity, these systems are generally situated on the roof.
What are the benefits of wind turbines?
As wind is a renewable energy source there are numerous benefits to having a wind turbine. Once you get past the initial cost of the wind turbine itself and the installation fee, your electricity costs will be much cheaper, as you’re no longer solely relying on a supplier.
Like any other source of renewable energy, the process of generating electricity from wind turbines, doesn’t release greenhouse gases or any other harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.
If you’re isolated and not connected to the gird, it’s worth considering battery storage. This will allow you to store excess electricity, which can later be used when there’s no wind.
How much does a wind turbine cost?
The precise cost of a wind turbine depends on its size and type. While building mounted wind turbines tend to be cheaper than those that are situated on a pole, they’re usually smaller and less efficient. When observing the cost of the equipment and installation, you can expect to pay at least £23,000 for a 5kW pole mounted wind turbine.
With a well-placed 5kW turbine, it’s possible to generate 9,000kWh a year. This could help you to reduce your electricity bills by about £280 each year, while also saving nearly two tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
After investing in this renewable energy system, you’ll still need to have maintenance checks carried out every few years. These will cost anywhere from £100 to £200, with the specific figure depending on the size of your system. A well-maintained wind turbine should last for more than 20 years, although several components might need replacing within this period. Not only does this include the inverter, but for off-grid properties, the battery will also need to be replaced once a decade. The cost a battery replacement varies, depending on the design and scale of the system.
Although, the cost of a wind turbine soon adds up, there’s a government scheme in place which provides financial support. This is known as the Smart Export Guarantee, whereby you’ll be reimbursed for any additional electricity you export back to the grid.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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