Wind Turbines are the technology of the future!
What Is Wind Energy?
When the Earth is irradiated by the Sun the ground absorbs some of this radiation and heats the ground, this heated ground warms the air above it. Hot air rises in what are called convection currents. The uneven heating of the earth's surface causes winds, for example, if the sun's rays fall on land and sea, the land heats up more quickly resulting in the air above the land moving upwards more quickly than that over the sea (hot air rises). As a result the colder air over the sea will rush in to fill the gap left by the rising air. It is processes like these that give rise to high and low pressure areas, and thus to winds.
How wind works
Small systems known as "microwind" or "small-wind" turbines are defined as those having an electrical output in the range 0.3kW to 50kW. They use large blades to catch the wind. When the wind blows the blades are forced round, driving a turbine which generates electricity. The stronger the wind, the more electricity produced.
A good way to describe a wind turbine is that it works the opposite way of an electric fan, instead of using electricity to make wind, wind turbines use wind to make electricity.
There are two types of domestic-sized wind turbine:
Mast Mounted: these are free standing and are erected in a suitably exposed position (most popular)
Roof Mounted: these are smaller than mast mounted systems and can be installed on the roof of a home where there is a suitable wind resource.
If your small wind system is connected to the National Grid (it usually is) then you can make money by selling any generated electricity to an electricity supply company. From 1st April 2010 you could be eligible to receive cash for each unit of electricity you generate using this technology.
The feed-in tarriff (FIT) is guaranteed for 20years.
|Technology||Scale||Systems installed before 31/03/12||Systems installed before 31/03/13||Systems installed before 31/03/14||Duration|
The tariff levels shown in the table below apply to installations completed from 15th July 2009 to 31st March 2012 for the lifetime of the tariff. After this date, the rates decrease each year for new entrants into the scheme. All generation and export tariffs will be linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) which ensures that each year they follow the rate of inflation.
The benefits of wind electricity
Cut Your Carbon Footprint: Wind electricity is green, renewable energy and doesn't release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.
Get Paid For Generating Power: Receive money from feed-in tariffs (FIT) for 20 years
Cut Your Electricity Bills: Wind is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced.
Store Electricity For A Calm Day: If your home isn't connected to the National Grid you can store excess electricity in batteries and use it when there is no wind.
Sell Electricity Back To The Grid: If your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can't use it, someone else can use it - and you could make a bit of money.
Minimise Energy Costs: Not only will you experience a reduction in your electricity bills but Wind Turbines also minimise the impact of rising energy costs over the coming years.
Increase Property Value: An energy saving Wind Turbine installation adds value to your property.
Long Lifespan: Average system lifespan of over 20 years with minimum maintenance required
40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for small domestic turbines.
The UK is the windiest country in Europe and the resource is much greater during the colder months of the year, when energy demand is at its highest.
It's clean. Wind power does not produce dangerous waste, nor does it contribute to global warming.
Wind power is getting cheaper. Onshore wind power currently costs around 3-4p/kWh, this isn't a lot more than new coal (2.5-4.5p) and is cheaper than new nuclear (4-7p). Statistics suggest that sometime after 2010 wind power will challenge gas for the position of cheapest energy source.