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Information on Renewable Energy Solutions

& Green Eco Products

Alternative Energy

Solar PV, Wind Turbines, Solar Thermal & LED Lighting

Generation


Batteries - Stores the generated energy as low voltage DC.


Charge Control Unit - Prevents the batteries from becoming over or undercharged


Inverter - Converts the low voltage electricity to 230V 50Hz alternating current.


An inverter is not always required as low voltage lighting and appliances can be used. These will operate directly from the battery bank. This type of system has the advantage of independence from the grid. This is especially important in remote or rural areas where no mains electricity is available. Another advantage of this type of system is that you can still run your lights when there is a grid failure (power cut).


For a battery-less grid tie system you will require:


A Wind Turbine - Captures and converts energy from the wind and/or Photovoltaic Panels - Captures and converts energy from sunlight


Support Structure - Mounts the turbine in airflow (the higher the better)


Grid Tie Inverter - Directly converts the electricity to 230V 50Hz


A battery-less grid tie system is much more efficient in terms of energy and costs less to install. However the grid tie inverter must be connected to a mains supply and will only operate whilst the grid is online.


Do I need planning permission?


This is a grey area and depends on the geographical area. For a substantial and permanent installation, most urban and sub-urban areas in the UK will require planning permission - however some rural areas will not. Factors such as tower height and proximity to other buildings will need to be taken into consideration.

Check with your local planning department before permanently installing your small wind turbine. All types of micro-generation are being looked at favourably by UK planning departments.


It is possible to mount a turbine to a house or building (often called a roof-mount). However this should be considered as a last resort as the turbine will be less efficient due to the turbulence caused by the building itself. This will result in less power production and will increase the stresses on the turbine due to turbulence. This is the case for all small wind turbines even though some manufacturers claim that their turbines actually work better in roof-mount applications. A specially designed anti-vibration system should be employed to help prevent vibrations from the turbine from being transmitted to the building.  


Can I mount turbines to my house?


It is best practice to mount the turbine as high as possible away from obstructions such as buildings and trees. This will greatly improve the power production of the turbine.


We do not advise that any turbine larger than 1 metre diameter is mounted on a house or building.


Do small wind turbines hurt birds or other animals?


No. Many studies have been carried out worldwide to investigate whether small wind turbines present a hazard to wildlife. Reports of residential-scale wind turbines killing birds are very rare. Statistically, a sliding glass door is a greater threat to birds than a small wind turbine.


How can I export power back to the grid?


When you have a substantial generation system you may generate more renewable electricity than you consume from the national grid. When this happens you may 'export' your generated power back to the national grid. To do this you will need to agree an 'export tariff' with your utility company.


Do more blades mean more Power?


No. It is common misconception that by adding more blades, more power can be obtained from a wind turbine. In fact adding more blade significantly reduces the overall performance of a wind turbine. In theory, an extremely efficient turbine would only have a single blade. Unfortunately, turbines with less than three blades suffer from chronic vibration and fatigue problems, and turbines with more than three blades suffer from increased drag, weight and tip noise. Three bladed turbines are now considered 'optimum' and are the industrial standard from micro turbines up to wind farm sized machines.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Equipment do I need for my system?


There are two types of system: Battery based and battery-less grid tie.


For a battery based system you will require:


A Wind Turbine - Captures and converts energy from the wind and/or Photovoltaic Panels - Captures and converts energy from sunlight


Support Structure - Mounts the turbine in airflow (the higher the better)