Monday, April 20, 2009


Small wind turbines fail to produce in Dutch test

by Larry Geller

Wind turbine farm Thinking of putting a bunch of small wind turbines around the house to produce your own electricity? Think twice before investing, might be one message from this test carried out in Zeeland, a windy place in Holland. The link is to an English summary of the test in Low Tech Magazine. Click the pic to enlarge.

It seems, as the article notes, that size does matter. Also, of course, the cost of manufacture and the going price of oil. Bottom line, though, is that since the power yield goes by the diameter of the turbine, little is less and you’d need a bunch of them to keep the plasma TV warm and the beer cold.

More from another article on the same website:

A small windmill on your roof or in the garden is an attractive idea. Unfortunately, micro wind turbines deliver hardly enough energy to power a light bulb. Their financial payback time is much longer than their life expectancy and in urban areas they will not even deliver as much energy as was needed to produce them. Sad, but true.

According to a recent report by the UK Carbon Trust, windmills in urban environments will almost always have an energy payback of more than 20 years. In other words: small windmills in cities will never deliver as much energy as was needed to manufacture and install them. Installing an urban windmill will actually harm the environment. On the other hand, the energy payback time of a large windmill is less than one year.



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