Residential Small Wind Systems

How large of a turbine do I need?

Several factors come into play when deciding the size of turbine needed.

  • You need to know how much energy is used each month — average your monthly kilowatts usage from your electricity bill over a 12 month period – rule of thumb estimate is a usual household uses 10,000 kWh a year, which would require a 5–15kW rated turbine
  • Average wind speeds are needed for your location
  • Height that the turbine will be operating
  • Are you expecting to supplement or replace your current electricity needs with wind

Generally, the turbine has a diameter between 12 and 25 feet, which will produce approximately 2kW to 25kW.

What is the best siting for a wind system?

Again, finding the right site for a turbine has to take numerous factors into consideration.

  • You’ll need annual wind speeds for your property
  • Prevailing wind directions will be needed
  • Obstacles like structures and trees need to be accounted for
  • The turbine has to be 30 feet above any obstacle that is within 300 feet
  • There has to be enough area to allow for maintenance of the turbine
  • If guy wires are used there must be enough area for these to be properly installed
  • The length of the wire run has to be considered because electricity is lost during transmission between the turbine and the house
  • Siting the wind turbine on a hill or windward slope will increase its effectiveness

Can I erect a wind turbine on my property?

Zoning restrictions can hamper your ability to install a wind turbine. You will have to find out if there are height restrictions in your area and what they are. In itself, zoning may not deter you from installing a turbine as variances can often be granted. Currently there is a 35 foot zoning restriction in Washington. Calling your local building inspector will give you this information and will also tell you if you need a permit. Another restriction may be neighbors who don’t want to look at the turbine.

How much do wind systems cost?

Using AWEA numbers, residential wind systems cost between "$3,000 to $5,000 for every kilowatt of generating capacity." For a 3 to 10kW system the installation costs average around $15,000 to $50,000.

Does my property have enough wind?

Wind resource maps give estimates of wind speeds by region. NW Wind & Solar can give you this information when doing a free site inspection.

Should I choose wind power?

While wind systems do require a substantial upfront investment, small wind systems can help you to reduce your electricity bill by 50-90%. Before making the decision to purchase a wind system, make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible. This not only increases the effectiveness of the wind system but will add to your energy bill savings.

  • Have adequate insulation and weatherization in your home
  • Have your current HVAC system serviced to get peak efficiency out of the unit
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with low energy using CFLs
  • uy Energy Star® appliances
  • Update windows to reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer

NW Wind & Solar provides a free onsite inspection to help you decide if wind power is right for your home and property. We also have financial partnerships to help you finance your wind system. We are skilled, experienced installation experts who are certified and licensed. NW Wind & Solar also provides warranted installation. Call us at 866.376.5272 and start saving money on your energy bills.

Interested in alternative energy in the Pacific Northwest? For most residential and commercial customers, a photovoltaic array provides the most flexibility and consistent energy supply. To find out more visit our Solar Power pages.