Small Wind Turbines for Homes & Businesses
Updated June 2019
How do they work?
The wind turbine, which is installed on top of a tall tower, collects wind energy and converts it into electricity. The turbine output is then made electrically compatible with the utility and the output is fed into the household wiring at the breaker panel.
The home is served simultaneously by the wind turbine and the utility. If the wind speed is below about 7 mph there will be no output from the wind turbine and all the needed energy is bought from the utility. As the wind speed increases the turbine output begins and increases and the amount of energy purchased from the utility is proportionately decreased. When the turbine output is more than the house needs, the excess electricity is sold to the utility. All of this is done automatically. There are no batteries in a standard residential wind system.
The wind turbine typically lowers your utility bill by 50-100%. It is not uncommon for homeowners with total electric homes and Bergey turbines to have monthly utility bills of $15-$20 for most of the year. In northern parts of the country, where less air conditioning is used, the bills can be very low year round.
What size would I need for my home?
Homes typically use 1,000-2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. Depending upon the average wind speed in the area this will require a wind turbine rated in the range 5-15 kilowatts. Our 10 kW unit, the BWC EXCEL 10, is the best-selling residential unit in the U.S. It has a rotor diameter of 23 feet and is typically installed on 80 or 100 foot towers. In 2019, we introduced a new 15 kW turbine with advanced features and an energy production capacity over double that of our 10 kW. If you have at least a moderately good wind resource, the new Excel 15 can provide all the energy needed for a total electric home (and allowing you to replace fuel oil or propane heating) and an electric car.
Who should consider buying one?
A wind turbine is a relatively large device and it is not suitable for urban or small-lot suburban homes. We recommend a property size of two acres or more unless your closest neighbors are supportive. The economics of a wind system are determined by the average wind speed in the area, the availability of rebates or tax credits, and the cost of electricity. As a general rule-of-thumb, we recommend that you have at least a 10 mph average wind speed and be paying 12¢/kilowatt-hour or more for electricity. We have wind resource maps for the entire U.S. and we can provide you with information on your wind resource and performance projections. Residential wind turbines have been installed in all 50 states.
Will it help the environment if I install a wind turbine at my home?
Wind turbines produce no pollution and by using wind power you will be offsetting pollution that would have been generated by your utility company. Over its nominal 30 year life a BWC EXCEL 10 or Excel 15 will offset approximately 1.2 – 3 tons of air pollutants and 200 – 500 tons of greenhouse gases.
Don’t I have to take wind measurements for a year or more?
No. For residential systems the cost of taking wind measurements is not justified in most situations. Wind resource data published by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2Tier and AWS Scientific is sufficient to predict performance. In very hilly or mountainous areas, however, it may be prudent to take wind data before purchasing a system to ensure that your site in not in a sheltered area.
Are wind turbines reliable, and what about maintenance?
Bergey Windpower sells more residential systems than anyone else because our turbines have proven to be the most reliable on the market. Our turbines have only 2 – 4 moving parts and do not require any regular maintenance. After a 66 month test of one of our 10 kW units, Wisconsin Power & Light concluded that, “The turbines’ reliability could not be improved upon.” Our turbines are designed to last 30-50 years or more and they operate completely automatically.
Do they make noise or interfere with TV reception?
Small wind turbines do make some noise, but not enough to be found objectionable by most people. They do not interfere with TV reception.
Will the utility company allow me to hook-up a wind generator?
Federal regulations (PURPA) require utilities to allow you to install a wind generator and to pay you for any excess power you produce. Bergey Windpower and its dealers can assist you in arranging the required utility company approvals.
Will I have to change any of the wiring in my house?
No, a wind turbine is easily retrofitted to virtually any home without need of changing any wiring or appliances. In some states a second utility meter will be added, however, so that the utility can know how much electricity you have sold to them.
What about towers?
Usually a tower of between 80-140 feet is supplied along with the wind turbine. Towers this tall are needed to get above the turbulence generated by obstacles and trees on the ground. Also, wind velocity, and, therefore, wind turbine performance, increases as you get higher off the ground. For most situations an 80 or 100 foot tower is sufficient. The most economical type of tower is the guyed lattice type, but many customers prefer the slightly more costly self-supporting lattice tower due to its smaller footprint.
How much do they cost?
A Bergey residential wind turbine costs approximately $65,000 – 95,000 to install. The large range in costs is due to different types and heights of towers and variations in the amount of construction work required. Your Bergey dealer can do a site survey and provide you with a firm quotation. Small wind turbine qualify for federal tax credits and state rebates, where available. For businesses there are also substantial depreciation benefits. These incentives can greatly reduce your costs and payback period.
How are they as an investment?
That depends on your cost of electricity and average wind speed. The wind system will usually recoup its investment through utility savings within 5 – 10 years and after that the electricity it produces will be virtually free. Compared to purchasing utility power, a wind system can be a good investment because your money goes to increasing the value of your home rather than just paying for a service. Many people buy wind systems for their retirement because they are concerned about utility rate increases.
How would I proceed to have a wind turbine installed at my home?
We highly recommend that you work with an authorized Bergey dealer for a complete turnkey installation.
How can I get more information?
We would be happy to send you further information on our small wind turbines or answer any of your questions. Just call, e-mail or write to Bergey Windpower Co. at the address below. We also recommend the web site of the Distributed Wind Energy Association: www.distributedwind.org For information on subsidies and regulations for your state we suggest: www.dsireusa.org
For a detailed reference book on small wind we recommend Paul Gipe’s 2016 book “Wind Power for the Rest of Us: A Comprehensive Guide to Wind Power and How to Use It”. This $65.00, 576-page paperback book (or $20 electronic version) can be purchased from www.amazon.com.
Call us at 1-405-364-4212 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions…or write us at: Bergey Windpower Co., 2200 Industrial Blvd., Norman, OK 73069.
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How much does a Bergey wind turbine cost? ›
How much do they cost? A Bergey residential wind turbine costs approximately $65,000 – 95,000 to install.What size wind turbine is needed to power a house? ›
A 1.5-kilowatt wind turbine will meet the needs of a home requiring 300 kilowatt-hours per month in a location with a 14 mile-per-hour (6.26 meters-per-second) annual average wind speed.How much does a 10kw wind turbine cost? ›
Wind turbines under 100 kilowatts cost roughly $3,000 to $8,000 per kilowatt of capacity. A 10 kilowatt machine (the size needed to power a large home) might have an installed cost of $50,000-$80,000 (or more). Wind turbines have significant economies of scale.Are small wind turbines worth the money? ›
Despite the high initial cost, however, well-placed wind turbines – particularly those in exposed coastal areas and which receive an average wind speed of above 6m/s – can generate a significant amount of energy and therefore present an excellent return on investment.How long does it take for a residential wind turbine to pay for itself? ›
What is the environmental payback period? The environmental payback period is the amount of time it takes for a wind turbine to generate the amount of energy used during manufacturing and installation. For most wind turbines, the time it takes to offset this energy use is between 6 months to a year.Are residential wind turbines worth it? ›
If your area is windy enough enough, home wind turbines can help lower electricity bills by as much as 50-90% and provide an uninterrupted power source through extended utility outages—all with zero emissions and pollution.How much does it cost to install a wind turbine at home? ›
Residential wind turbines vary depending on how much power they can produce and other factors. A rough range is $4,000 to $8,000 per rated kilowatt. A system that would offset most of an average home's electricity use (10,000 kWh/year) will cost roughly $50,000 before incentives.Can a single wind turbine power a house? ›
To put it another way, the average wind turbine that came online in 2020 generates enough electricity in just 46 minutes to power an average U.S. home for one month.Can a wind turbine heat a house? ›
If you are not yet familiar with wind turbines, they are large blades that are mounted on either buildings or poles. The huge blades catch the wind as it blows and turns it into energy, which you can use in your house for all your needs, including electric radiators for heating.What size wind turbine can I have without planning permission? ›
Additional wind turbines or air source heat pumps at the same property requires an application for planning permission. The highest part of the stand alone wind turbine must not exceed 11.1 metres. The distance between ground level and the lowest part of any wind turbine blade must not be less than five metres.
How long do residential wind turbines last? ›
The typical life span of a wind turbine is 20 years, with routine maintenance required every six months. Wind turbine power output is variable due to the fluctuation in wind speed; however, when coupled with an energy storage device, wind power can provide a steady power output.Can I put a wind turbine in my backyard? ›
According to the windmill company Southwest Windpower, the ideal location for a wind turbine is 20 feet above any surrounding object within a 250-foot radius. The DOE also recommends that the tower be located on at least one acre of land, which rules out most city dwellers.How many homes in a year can a wind turbine power? ›
Though this number can vary greatly due to factors such as size, wind conditions, repairs, and blade length, a typical wind turbine can power 1000-2000 homes in one year. One megawatt of energy production capacity will power about 1000 homes, and many onshore wind turbines have a 2-3 MW capacity.Are solar panels or wind turbines cheaper? ›
The costs of solar panels and wind turbines
Solar panels are easier to establish, but still, because it only supplies a smaller amount of households, the costs can be higher. According to calculations it cost about $2.19 per watt to install solar energy, while wind power costs only $1.50 per watt.
- Residential Solar Panels. Every ray of sunshine that lands on your roof is free electricity for the taking. ...
- Wind Turbines. ...
- Solar and Wind Hybrid Systems. ...
- Microhydropower Systems. ...
- Solar Water Heaters. ...
- Geothermal Heat Pumps.
Wind turbines on average harness 60% of the energy that passes through them, compared with the 18% - 22% efficiency of solar panels. Therefore, it is undeniable that a home wind turbine can produce more electricity than several solar panels.How many gallons of oil does a wind turbine need? ›
Right now the average wind farm is about 150 turbines. Each wind turbine needs 80 gallons of oil as lubricant and we're not talking about vegetable oil, this is a PAO synthetic oil based on crude... 12,000 gallons of it. That oil needs to be replaced once a year.How much do the landowners get for every wind turbine on their property? ›
Wind lease terms vary quite a bit, but general rules of thumb are: $4,000 to $8,000 per turbine, $3,000 to $4,000 per megawatt of capacity, or 2-4% of gross revenues. Larger turbines should translate to larger payments.How much money does a land owner get from a wind turbine? ›
On average, a smaller single wind turbine lease could be valued at around $8,000/year with a larger turbine bringing between $50,000 to $80,000/year. How much land is needed for wind turbines? A property does not have to be large to be valuable.How loud are residential wind turbines? ›
So just how noisy are these turbines? The closest that a wind turbine is typically placed to a home is 300 meters or more. At that distance, a turbine will have a sound pressure level of 43 decibels.
Are roof mounted wind turbines worth it? ›
They have the advantage of height, which means they'll get the most out of the wind blowing over your home. It's typically cheaper to install a roof-mounted turbine than a standalone one, although their size means they are less powerful. You can normally generate around 1–2 kilowatts (kW) of electricity.Do wind turbines increase property value? ›
London School of Economics study
Studies conducted in the United Kingdom have found similar results as the Journal of Real Estate Research and the University of Rhode Island studies in that there is no significant negative impact on property values near wind turbines.
The best way to find grants for wind turbines is to search on the internet and ask the Sustainability Officer at your Local Authority, or contact your local energy advice centre.How many solar panels equal a wind turbine? ›
In fact, one wind turbine can generate the same amount of electricity per kWh as about 48,704 solar panels.What is the average size of a residential wind tower? ›
If you ARE a good candidate, then you are ready to answer our audience question, what size wind turbine does an average house need? And actually, this is the easiest part. Generally, a generator with a capacity of 10 kilowatts is a good bet for a home of 2,000 to 2,500 square feet.How much is a Bergey 10kw wind turbine? ›
A typical 10 kW Bergey PowerSync II home wind energy system will cost $40,000 – $60,000 to install, depending on the tower option and various installation factors.How much does a standard wind turbine cost? ›
What's the cost of a wind turbine in 2021? $1,300,000 USD per megawatt. The typical wind turbine is 2-3 MW in power, so most turbines cost in the $2-4 million dollar range. Operation and maintenance runs an additional $42,000-$48,000 per year according to research on wind turbine operational cost.What is the average cost of a residential wind turbine? ›
These small wind turbines can cost between $3000 and $5000, per kilowatt of energy capacity, which comes to around $15,000 and $75,000 for expected installation project costs, according to the ACP (American Clean Power Association).How much does a 100kw wind turbine cost? ›
How much do wind turbines cost? Home or farm-scale turbines are generally under 100 kilowatts and cost about $3000–$8000 per kilowatt of capacity.Are vertical wind turbines worth it? ›
To Go Vertical or Not
While they produce less energy than horizontal turbines, vertical axis wind turbines still produce power and can be a better option depending on the application. They're more suitable where space is limited and come with fewer challenges and risks to maintain.