Small & Medium Wind Technologies
There are many small and medium scale turbine models on offer and the type most suited to your needs will depend on your energy demand, budget and the area of land available.
The two main designs are horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT) and vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT), however a number of new designs are currently being researched such as shrouded or archimedes turbines. Most are installed on free-standing masts but building mounted turbines are also available for small domestic scale use.
Small wind turbines suit individual households or small farms and typically range in power up to 50kW. They reach a maximum height of 35m. In the right location, a 20m tall small wind turbine can produce the vast majority of the power your building uses. The UK has a good domestic manufacturing base of small wind turbines.
Medium wind turbines are best for those with larger areas of land and suit farmers, landowners, communities or businesses. They range in power from 50 to 500kW and stand between 25m and 55m tall. A 50m, medium wind turbine could supply enough energy for 60 homes, a small business, or a farmstead.
Micro wind turbines are up to 1.5kW in capacity and are often only 50cm in diameter. This scale of turbine is predominantly used in the sailing industry, or other off-grid applications such as signposts or caravans. The UK has a very strong domestic manufacturing base of micro wind turbines.