When it comes to producing our own electricity at home, we usually think of photovoltaic solar panels or panels, a technology that uses sunlight to power our equipment and appliances with a relatively high initial cost if we want great power.
However, another option is gaining more and more strength, especially if we have a single-family home, with a clear roof, garage, large terrace or with a small patio or garden at our disposal: wind turbines for domestic use.
What are domestic wind turbines and what types are there?
Like the giant models installed in fields or in the sea, domestic wind turbines are machines capable of producing electricity that first convert the wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy through a propeller, then this mechanical energy into electrical energy thanks to an alternator.
The models for residential use are much smaller than the “professionals”, easier to install and also less powerful, but they still need a synchronization system to be able to provide energy to the electrical network so that the frequency of the current generated is kept in sync with the network frequency.
In general, in the current market, we can find two types of wind turbines to install in homes: those with a horizontal axis and those with a vertical axis, each one with its advantages and disadvantages, as we will see below.
Horizontal axis wind turbine
Those with a horizontal axis are those in which the axis of rotation of the equipment is located parallel to the ground, being, for now, the most common thanks to its good efficiency and reliability. They usually have the axis of rotation placed at the top of a mast and have a system of blades of different dimensions and in different quantities that trap the force of the wind.
This axis has to be constantly oriented towards the direction of the wind to achieve maximum performance, which is why they also have a vane or an electric motor that allows them to achieve this easily and automatically without our having to intervene.
Vertical axis wind turbine
The second large group of wind turbines is the vertical axis, some equipment where the axis of rotation is perpendicular to the ground. Its main advantage is that the blades are vertical, much less conspicuous and annoying, so they can be placed close to each other and in smaller spaces where other elements such as antennas, trees, etc. are nearby.
In addition, they do not need an orientation system towards the direction of the wind, since their blades are omnidirectional, they can be placed closer to the ground, their maintenance is easier and they can work with lower wind speeds.
Without blades, without noise and smaller than solar panels. These rooftop wind turbines offer 24-hour power.
What to consider before buying one
Once we have reviewed the types and basic characteristics of wind turbines for domestic use, we are going to see what aspects should be taken into account when choosing our ideal model.
• Suitability of installing a wind turbine at home: the most important point before thinking about installing one of these generators at home is to check if our home is suitable for doing so, something that goes beyond the space available above the garage, roof or garden. We will have to think if there is usually wind in our area on a regular basis and with enough force to move the blades of the equipment, since if we are surrounded by large trees, other buildings, we are in a valley or similar, we may barely be able to get it out. match except on very specific days when it is very windy.
• Type of wind turbine and space required for installation: this is a very important point since the available space and the characteristics of the place where we plan to install it will depend on whether we decide on one type or the other. Thus, for example, if we have a large and clear space, we can think of a horizontal axis model, while if we are more limited, we must opt for a vertical one.
• Materials and manufacturing quality: in the market, we will find a multitude of models made with materials of different qualities. The cheapest will abuse plastic and thin steel or aluminium, while the most expensive and resistant will offer us carbon fibre, high-density steel and materials that better resist corrosion such as special paints and varnishes. If we want a product that lasts many years, we should review how they are made.
• Power that they are capable of supplying: it is one of the most important points in the specifications of these generators, with values ranging from a few hundred watts to several kilowatts. In general, if what we want is an auxiliary generation system, a 400-600 watt model will suffice, but if we are thinking of powering the entire house, we will have to go to more expensive and larger equipment that can exceed 3,000-4,000 watts.
• Ease of Installation – Smaller generators are usually simple to install and come with everything you need in the kit to get you up and running right out of the box. However, if what we are looking for is a larger and more powerful model, we will probably have to hire the services of a professional to advise us and install the devices, especially if we want to put it on the roof, something that will have to be added to the total cost of acquisition.
Interesting models to consider.
VEVOR Wind Turbine Generator
If you are looking for a simple and economical model, this VEVOR generator offers a horizontal axis turbine system with the capacity to produce up to 400 watts of power and an output voltage of 12 volts. It has three blades, an installation kit and a nominal speed of 13 m/s, being able to automatically adjust its direction to obtain the maximum wind speed. Its price is 172 euros.
VEVOR Wind Turbine Generator 12V 400W Horizontal Wind Turbine 3 Blades Rated Speed 13m/s Strong and Durable Wind Turbine Kit with MPPT Charge Controller for Home, Villas
Today on Amazon for €175.99
FLYT Wind Turbine
Going up more in performance we have this FLYT model, a small horizontal wind turbine with a power of 800 watts and an output voltage of 24 volts. It has a total of 6 blades and is made of cast aluminium alloy, with 2 rotating bearings, which according to the manufacturer allows it to work more safely in stronger winds. Its price is 209.99 euros.
FLYT Wind Turbine 800W 24V Horizontal Wind Turbine Small Home Use Wind Generator, 6 Blade Windmill Met Laadregelaars
Today on Amazon for €209.99
VEVR Wind Turbine
If what we are looking for is a model with a vertical turbine, we can opt for this VEVR brand, equipment with 600 watts of power, 12-volt output voltage and a total of 5 vertical blades controlled by an external system that works with solar energy. The material of the blades is synthetic injection moulded with reinforced nylon fibre material and is priced at 187.99 euros.
VEVR Wind Turbine 600W 12V Wind Turbine Generator White Lantern Vertical Wind Generator 5 Blades with Solar Controller Wind Turbine 12V Wind Turbine
Today on Amazon for €187.99
Peron wind turbine generator
And if what we need is a more powerful and advanced model, this Peron team promises us up to 3,000 watts of power with direct 12V-220V output. It has a magnetic levitation system to reduce the noise of the blades, it has a controller included in the kit and its construction materials are designed to resist for years. Thus, the body of the turbine is made of die-cast aluminium and the tail of stainless steel. The turbine surface is waterproof anti-corrosion-baked enamel. Its price is the highest on the list since it costs 969 euros.
3000W 12V-220V Wind Turbine, Wind Turbine Generator, Permanent Magnetic Levitation with Controller, Home Windmill for Deck, Marine, RV, Villa, Boat (12V)
Today on Amazon for €969.99.