How do wind turbines perform as an investment?

A wind system will usually recoup its investment through utility savings within 5 to 10 years and after that the electricity it produces will be virtually free. Return on investment is usually between 8 and 18% depending on size. Over its life a small wind system can produce electricity for as little as half the […]

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How reliable are wind turbines? Will I have to perform much maintenance?

Modern wind Turbines are designed for a long life of 20-30 years. Most small turbines have very few moving parts and do not require much maintenance. All wind turbines should receive annual lubrication and inspection. Most modern turbines like the Endurance E and S series have a remote interface that allows monitoring from a home computer. […]

How much does a wind system cost?

A small turbine can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $75,000 installed, depending upon size, application and service agreements with the manufacturer.

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What about towers?

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An 80- to 120-foot tower is usually supplied along with the wind turbine. Towers this tall are necessary to raise the wind turbine above turbulence generated by obstacles on the ground and trees. Wind velocity and, therefore wind turbine performance, increases with altitude. Several different types of towers are available and each type has its own advantages.

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Will I have to change any of the wiring in my house?

No. A wind turbine is easily connected to virtually any home without the need to change any wiring or appliances. The turbine will need two open spaces on the circuit breaker panel to be connected. If none are available an electrician can easily make the necessary changes.

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Will my utility allow me to hook up a wind generator?

YES. Federal regulations (specifically, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA) require utilities to connect with and purchase power from small (less than 80 MW) wind energy systems. Great Rock Windpower will help arrange the required utility company approvals. The wind turbines we reccomend have aready been approved by the utility.

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Do wind turbines make noise or interfere with TV reception?

Small wind turbines do make some sound, but not enough to be found objectionable by most people. A typical residential wind system makes less noise than the average washing machine or air conditioner. Wind turbines do not interfere with TV reception.

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Don’t I have to take wind measurements for a year or more?

For most residential systems the cost of taking wind measurements is not justified. Wind resource data published by the U.S. Department of Energy is sufficient for an experienced evaluator to predict wind turbine performance. On the Vineyard we have been collectiong data and gaining knowledge enough to forgo wind measuring for turbines smaller than 100kW.

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Will it help the environment if I install a wind turbine at my home?

Yes. Wind turbines produce no pollution and by using wind power you will be offsetting pollution that would have been generated by your utility company. Over its life, a small residential wind turbine can offset approximately 1.2 tons of air pollutants and 200 tons of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and other gases which cause climate […]

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Who should consider buying a wind turbine?

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A residential wind turbine can be a relatively large device and is not suitable for urban or small-lot suburban homes. Except for very small wind turbines on very small towers, a property size of one acre or more is desirable. As a general rule of thumb, if economics are a concern, a turbine owner should have at least a 10 mph average annual wind speed and be paying at least 10 cents/kWh for electricity.

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