following information is sampled from the article ‘Siting
a small wind turbine’ from the British Wind Energy Association
web site, www.britishwindenergy.co.uk/you/siting.html
The association promotes and educates the use of wind energy
in the UK.
a Small Wind Turbine
wind is free, the means to extract the power from it is not.
Consequently serious consideration must be given to siting
the turbine to get the best possible performance and reliability
It is essential that turbines be sited away from obstructions.
In practice, especially for very small machines which need
to be located near the user, ideal siting will not be easy.
As far as possible though, keep away from local obstructions
such as large trees and houses, or use a taller tower to ensure
that the turbine is well above the obstruction. The potential
site should be assessed for its wind strength and direction.
Get a reliable estimate of the winds to be expected at the
proposed site. There is no substitute for actual measurements.
The turbine manufacturers should be prepared to help. You
can get an estimate of the annual mean wind speed for a given
location by entering the OS grid reference into the UK wind
2. Mount the turbine on as high a tower as possible and well
clear of obstructions, but do not go to extremes. Easy access
will be required for erection and foundation for the tower
may be needed depending on the size and tower type. It is
also important to ensure that the wind turbine can be easily
lowered for inspection and maintenance.
3. Try to have a clear, smooth fetch to the prevailing wind,
e.g. over open water or smooth ground. If possible site the
turbine on a smooth hill.
4. Use cable of adequate current carrying capacity (check
with the turbine supplier. This is particularly important
for low voltage machines). Cable costs can be substantial.
5. Consult your local council as to whether you need planning
permission. You should try to minimise the environmental impact
of the turbine, and it will be helpful to inform your neighbours
of your plans at an early stage.
6. For larger machines you may have to pay rates. This can
make a big difference to the economics of installation, again
you should find this out by consulting your local council.
Further information can be obtained from Using Wind Power,
A Guide to Remote Power and Domestic Applications, which provides
a good general explanation of how wind energy works and how
it can be used domestically, and includes tables for calculating
(35 pages. Send large SAE plus £1 in stamps to the BWPA
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