If you live in an area exposed to wind, for instance, in a hilly area, a small wind turbine can help you shed up to 90 percent of your electricity bills. Wind power is one of the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly ways of producing electricity at home. You can produce electricity with zero emissions and no pollution at all.
Besides the monthly cost of electricity, a small wind electric system helps you avoid the high cost of extending power lines to a remote area – and all you need is wind in your area. Besides, you will not be affected by power outages in your area, seeing as you produce your electricity.
People in urban and rural areas can benefit from a wind turbine. A small system not only lights your home, but can also be used for other applications such as water pumping in farms and ranches.
How do These Systems Work?
Simply put, wind turbines turn the kinetic energy of wind into electricity. The system consists of blades, a rotor, and a generator. As the wind blows, it spins the blades. The rotor captures the kinetic energy of the wind from the blades and converts it into a rotary motion that drives the generator.
Most of the modern wind turbines on the market have an automatic system that protects the rotor from spinning out of control in strong wind areas. You can connect your small wind system to the mains electricity grid, or you can have it stand alone. If you produce more electricity than you need at home, why not sell some and make some money? If your neighborhood is not connected to the electric grid, a small wind electric system might be a great choice.
Below are our reviews of the top wind turbines for home use.
1. Missouri 2000-Watt General Freedom II Wind Turbine
This Missouri wind turbine comes with a 50-year guarantee. You do not have to paint it or perform any special maintenance. Over the 50 years, the blades stay in operation, they will not rust, thanks to the fact that they are hot-dipped galvanized.
You can use this system at home, business premises, or even for remote use. The unit works even when the speed of wind is low. The permanent magnetic generator (PMG) allows the unit to produce electricity any time of day, producing up to 2000 Watts.
The blades on the unit will automatically regulate during days when the speed of wind is high. Better yet, the blades aerodynamically taper towards the tips, to increase the speed of the blades even when the speed of wind is low. You can choose between 7- and a 9-blade turbine.
Regardless of the speed of the wind, the blades will spin in control – this is made possible by the keyed shaft and the hub stabilizer on the permanent magnetic generator. There is also a self-tightening cam-lock washer that further enhances the stability of the blades. You will never have to worry about the wires to replace or slip rings that fail. The wire tension system of this unit will last a lifetime. There is only one power transmission cord that will never twist because the system ensures the wind does not twist the turbine in the same direction severally.
Wind Turbine and Generator Features
• The Permanent Magnetic generator with 28 magnet rotor produces electricity even under low-speed wind condition
• Two heavy-duty bridge rectifiers convert power to D.C.
• Hub spacer to control the speed of the blades in areas with high speed of wind
• Mounting brackets for easy installation and easy turning of the blades
• 29 inches tall fin for maximum tracking
• Carbon fiber composite blades that will never rust
• The generator sports a 17mm stainless steel shaft that works with all hubs from Missouri
• Polished aluminum case for durability
• Zinc plated 28 magnet rotor
• Charges 12, 24, and 48-volt battery banks
- 11 carbon-fiber blades will never rust
- 2000 Watts output can power a small ranch
- Charges different batteries, so, you will never lack power even when the speed of wind is low
- Comes with a 3-year warranty with a promise the blades will last for up to 50 years
- Average cut-in wind speed of 6mph
- The ball bearings might need replacement often
2. AutoMaxx Windmill 1500-Watt Turbine Generator Kit
The AutoMaxx Windmill 1500-Watt Turbine Generator Kit is ideal for people living in cabins, sail boats, R.V. truck, homestead, tiny homes, or anyone not connected to the grid. You can even use this system with a solar panel to further increase the power you produce.
This versatile wind turbine is compact and light, and installs in small spaces. You can use it in residential areas and small commercial premises. The wind turbine sports a rugged construction that withstands the strong U.V. rays from the sun and heavy rains. It can even withstand a level 3 category hurricane.
Even in instances where the speed of the wind is low, the turbine still turns slowly, thanks to the precision construction of the blades. The blades are so light that you will see them turn in near-calm weather. With 360 degrees rotation, the unit converts wind kinetic energy to electricity with 100 percent efficiency. Whatever direction the wind is blowing, the turbine will generate electricity.
• The integrated automatic braking system
• Mounting bracket and all installation materials offered
• Connects with solar panel
• Sports a high-quality polypropylene and glass-fiber body to resist weather
• Maximum power point tracking
• U.V. protection coating
• 1500 Watts output
• Charges 200A or larger battery
In instances of high wind speed, the auto-braking system protects the rotor and the blades. This way, the system will never over-charge the battery.
You do not have to call professional to install the system as long as you can follow simple DIY instructions. You are offered all the mounting materials. You can even install this unit in conduction with a new or existing solar panel.
The system has only three blades, each aerodynamically designed to rotate even at low wind speeds. The low number of blades contributes to the light weight of the unit. The rotor is also compact at 33 pounds. On purchase of this system, you get a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
If you need to reduce your carbon footprint, you can do it with this turbine. Even if you are not tech-savvy, you will find the unit easy to install.
- Auto-braking system protects the system from damage
- Weatherproof construction strong enough to withstand a low-level hurricane
- Aerodynamically designed blades to work in low wind speed conditions
- Only three light weight blades on the system
- Can connect to a solar panel
- 1500-Watt power output is enough to run a homestead
- Comes with only 1-year warranty
- The blades feel light and wear off with a few years of use
3. HappyBuy 700W Wind Turbine Generator
If you live in a tiny house, a cabin, or you just want to supplement the electricity from the grid, this wind turbine can give you the power you need. It has a low power output at 700W, which can only power a small home. Nevertheless, it sports a high-quality construction to last through the decades.
The wind turbine features high-quality aluminum construction with stainless steel fittings. This makes the unit lightweight, compact, and long lasting. The system is made lighter by the incorporation of high-strength plastic. You do not have to worry about the lifespan of the plastic material as the manufacturer added 30 percent carbon fiber and anti-UV and anti-corrosion material, to lengthen the life of the blades.
On the surface, the wind turbine sports a coating that prevents corrosion and oxidation under the intense sun or heavy rain. The whole unit is weatherproof to give you power even when the weather is harsh.
Inside the unit features a permanent magnet rotor alternator that enhances the performance and reliability of the device. Further, the unit has a unique magnetic circuit whose starting torque is so low. Thus, even a breeze is enough to get the system started. It also features a maximum power tracking microprocessor that ensures strong wind does not overcharge the battery or damage the internal components. This is further enhanced by the auto-braking system that slows the system in case of extreme wind.
• Permanent magnet generator that starts even when a breeze blows
• Auto wind direction adjustment
• High power racking intelligent microprocessor
• Auto-braking system
• 700 Watts power output
• High-wind energy utilization factor
• High strength plastic blades
• Aerodynamically designed blades
• Dual bearing, for fan stability
The HappyBuy 700W Wind Turbine Generator is a vertical-axis wind turbine that makes it better at harvesting turbulent airflow in your home. You do not have to call a professional to install the system, thanks to the simple DIY installation instructions. Better yet, you can use this system in conjunction with a solar panel. It works efficiently once installed, and will generate electricity even during storms.
The HappyBuy 700W Wind Turbine Generator is a standalone power supply system. It operates excellently in a wide range of harsh climates. You can use it for scattered households, weather stations, scenic areas, gazebos, boats, and mobile homes, among other areas.
- Aerodynamically design blades turn even when only a breeze blows
- Turbine coated with anti-UV and anti-corrosion material for durability
- Permanent magnet generator generates power in low wind speed conditions
- Operates efficiently with no vibration and no noise
- Strong wind system protection
- The blades sport a plastic construction
- Only ideal for small homes; it produces a maximum of 720 Watts
4. Eco-Worthy 800W Solar Wind Turbine Generator Kit
Eco-Worthy is a company dedicated to lowering the cost of electricity for all homes. Their wind turbine comes accompanied by two solar panels to raise the power output to 800W. The solar panel and wind turbine combination is excellent, as you can get power from the solar on calm days and from the wind turbine on days when the sun won't show. The two systems work in conjunction to charge the same batteries.
The wind turbine has an output of 400W, which is low if you need to power a big home. However, the power is complemented by the two solar panels that accompany the system. The turbine features three blades aerodynamically designed to turn even when only a breeze blows. At 5.6mph, the unit can generate electricity. However, it generates enough power at about 23.5mph. The unit stops at a maximum of 78mph at which the auto-braking system slows down the turbine.
The blades will turn regardless of the direction of the wind. These blades sport a plastic construction coated with anti-UV and anti-corrosion material to last long. In the case of strong wind, the turbine will stop to protect the battery from overcharging. This also protects the internal elements in the system.
Besides the wind turbine are two solar panels that install parallel to the turbine. Each panel is rated at 195W. The solar panels are light and compact, and install below the wind turbine. You do not need a separate connection or installation bracket for the solar panels. At 28.2 pounds, the units are easy to install.
• Low torque generator
• 20A Hybrid controller
• 195W Solar Panels
• Permanent magnet generator
To install this system, you need a cord that runs from the controller to the battery. You will also need a pole on which to install the wind turbine and the solar panels. The installation process requires you to follow the DIY instructions provided. However, the fact that you have to buy the cord separately does not sit well with most users.
- A solar panel and wind turbine system ensures you have power at all times
- Easy to install, thanks to the easy DIY provided
- Overload and short-circuit protection, thanks to the 20A hybrid controller
- Low start speed, but with high wind power utilization
- Aerodynamically designed turbine, so, the blades turn regardless of the direction of the wind
- The wind turbine has a low power output
5. Tumo-Int 1000W 3-Blade Wind Turbine Generator
The Tumo-Int 1000W 3-Blade Wind Turbine Generator is an ideal unit when you have a large homestead to power. With a power output of up to 1000W, the unit can charge as many batteries as you have. Its high-efficiency in wind energy conversion allows it to generate energy even when only a breeze blows by your home.
The turbine features three blades aerodynamically designed to rotate regardless of the direction of the wind. The lightweight design of the blade ensures that the unit does not vibrate or produce any noise during operation.
You do not have to worry about going out of power, seeing that the unit features a patented permanent magnet generator. The generator can generate energy even when the wind speed is low. In areas with strong wind, system sports dual over-speed control to prevent damage of parts.
- Aluminum alloy case to reduce vibration
- Aerodynamic blades
- Dual over-speed control design
- Auto windward direction adjustment
- Controller to convert alternating current to direct current
- Overcharge protection
- P.C. Software connection
The rugged design of the generator ensures you have power through all seasons. The generator works fine between -40 degrees Celsius and 80 degrees Celsius. The unit is robust if you assembled it correctly. Installation doesn’t require any form of expertise as you are offered an easy-to-follow manual. After installation, you can use the unit for more than 15 years.
P.C. software allows you to adjust the parameters of the wind turbine. On the software, the parameters appear graphically. If you have a solar connected, the software displays both wind and solar battery power. The software also stores operational data, controls the wind turbine, and modifies parameters. If the system has a fault, an alarm goes off to notify you of the issue. There are different languages available on the software for your selection.
When shopping for this turbine, you can choose between a 3-blade and a 5-blade turbine. The three-blade option is ideal if you live in an area with strong wind. If your neighborhood lacks wind energy, choose a 5-blade turbine. During installation, you need a tower at least 20 feet in an area with no obstruction. If you live in an area with obstruction, the tower should be at least 20 feet above the obstacle.
Tumo-Int promises to answer all questions that users might have. They also guarantee that the wind turbine will serve you for a minimum of 15 years.
- 1000W output is enough to power a large household
- Generous 3-year warranty with a promise of 15 years’ service
- Less vibration and less noise
- Over-charge protection
- Easy control of parameters through P.C. software
- Lightweight blades that spin even when the speed of wind is low
- Pairs well with solar power
- The turbine cannot withstand powerful winds or hurricanes
6. WindMax 500W Residential Wind Generator Kit
The WindMax Residential Wind Generator has a power output of 500W. The power output is enough to power small cabins, small homes, boats, R.V.s, and other small units, like lighting a small business. It was recently updated to a 5-blade model that can rotate even when the speed of wind is very low.
If you are a first-time buyer looking for a unit that is reliable and efficient, this unit might impress you. The unit is not the most stylish or the most powerful on the market, but it helps you reduce your electricity bills even when the wind is still. It operates without any vibration or noise, and is practically maintenance-free.
WindMax used an updated permanent magnetic generator on this product to ensure you get power even when the speed of wind is low. The generator has a low torque and is started by the slightest spins on the blades. You can use the system in conjunction with solar panels, and the two will complement each other harmoniously.
Features and Specifications
• Nylon and fiberglass blades
• 500W power output
• Aerodynamic blade speed limitation
• Electro-magnetic over-speed control
- Great price for users who need a small unit
- Over-speed control protects overcharge
- Solar panel compatibility
- Compact and easy to install
- Only ideal for small homesteads, thanks to its low power output
7. Nature Power 2000-Watt Wind Turbine
If you need enough power from a wind turbine to power a small ranch, the Nature Power 2000-Watt Wind Turbine will be ideal for you. You can use the unit in land or in water. Although the unit offers enough power for a large homestead, the kit is expensive to most homeowners.
The Nature Power 2000-Watt Wind Turbine might feel like an investment to a homeowner, but it is worth its price. It sports a sleek modern look with three carbon-fiber blades. It is also very effective and will give power on most days.
Features and Specifications
- Over-speed protection
- 3 Carbon-fiber blades
- 2000 Watts power output
- Cast aluminum body
- 3-phase synchronous generator
- Charges a 12V battery
- 1-year limited warranty
- Can withstand up to 110mph wind and is rated for 28mph wind
Although this unit has a light body, it is strong and sturdy to last through decades. The system is weatherproof and withstands strong winds, heavy storm, very cold, and very hot weather. It also sports a marine-proof coating, so, you can use it in open waters.
The entire unit is highly durable, thanks to the cast aluminum build. You are not offered an installation pole, so, you have to purchase a 1.5-inch pipe. Overall, the installation process is pretty simple.
- Durable aluminum cast construction
- High power output to power homes that rely on wind power alone
- Operates with no vibration or noise
- Weatherproof; can be used on boats or cabins even in harsh weather
- Lightweight body that is strong and sturdy
- Relatively expensive for most homeowners
Why Do You Need a Residential Wind Turbine?
The move towards clean energy and a cleaner world is gaining traction. Everywhere around the world, governments, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and even corporations are pushing for cleaner power in homes and in businesses.
Solar power has, for a long time, found its place in many homes. Although most people are still connected to the grid, solar and other cleaner sources of power complement the power from the grid. Wind turbines have their benefits:
• The power is clean and renewable: You only need wind to generate electricity with a small wind generator. The wind is abundant, and you do not need to destroy the land or exploit natural resources. The wind is always present, and you will, therefore, never run out of power.
• Cut power bills: Once you have installed a wind turbine, there are no extra power costs. You can produce enough power for your home, depending on the size of the turbine you choose. Larger wind turbines can even power more than one homestead. If you produce enough power, you can disconnect from the main grid and escape bills for good.
• Simple Installation: Most of the kits feature 5 or fewer components that easily connect. Residential wind turbines are small and most even connect to small poles on top of your house. Manufacturers offer all the installation materials, so, all you have to do is follow the manual. Depending on the model, you can install a wind turbine in an hour or less.
• No Pollution: Wind turbines do not produce smoke, smells, or chemicals in their operation – zero pollution. Most units do not even vibrate or make noise.
What if the wind Doesn't Blow?
Most homeowners are concerned about what will happen if the wind stops blowing. It can be devastating that just when you disconnected from the main grid, the wind stops blowing as hard in your area. Some periods throughout the year, the wind will not blow as strong as you'd want. Does that mean that you have to reconnect to the grid?
If you're going to have power every day, you can use your wind turbine in conjunction with a solar panel. Even if you live in a high wind speed area, there are days the air is calm. Besides the solar panel, you can buy large capacity batteries that will store power for you to use later.
When shopping, ensure that you pick a wind turbine that operates even when the speed of wind is as low as 2mph. This way, even a breeze can charge your batteries.
How do you know you have the right residential wind turbine? You should go for the best affordable device to ensure your home has enough power at all times. For the most part, your home power needs will determine the unit you go for.
• Height Restrictions: Most manufacturers recommend that you install the wind turbine at least 20 feet above any obstructions. However, many neighborhoods, especially in urban areas, have height restrictions. If you live on a farm, you can install the unit as high as the manufacturer recommends, but that cannot happen if you live in the suburbs or an urban area. You can check with the local courts, neighborhood associations, or zoning committees, the highest you can place your wind turbine.
• Where to Mount: Determining where and how to install a wind turbine will help you choose the best options for you. If, for instance, you need a vertical wind turbine, you need to ensure that you have the space for that. However, if you are pressed for installation space, you can install the unit on top of your roof.
• Power Output: How much power do you need and what is your budget. Most residential units offer between 500W and 2000W power output. If you need a system that complements other power sources, or you live in a small cabin, you can pick one with 500W output. However, if you are not connected to the main grid and you rely solely on wind power for energy, you need to pick the most powerful unit, and that is the 2000W wind turbine.
• Safety and Durability: Does the unit you are going for have over-speed and over-charge protection? These two features protect your battery, the generator, and the blades. Besides, the unit should feature quality construction to last long. No one wants to spend top dollar on a unit that will break after a few months.
• Warranty: Some units come with a promise to serve you for more than 50 years, but that is not as good as a warranty. If you can get a unit with a lifetime warranty, that would be the best. However, aim to get at least 3-year warranty for a wind turbine.
• Buy from a reputable company: Buying from a reputable company guarantees you the availability of service parts, good customer support, and reputably quality products.
You should also check whether the unit can generate power from a breeze. Generators with a low torque can produce power even when the speed of wind is 2mph.
Are There Drawbacks to Using Residential Wind Turbines?
Even when you are connected to the grid, there are always a few drawbacks. For instance, if you are connected to the main grid, you will have power almost all days, but you will have to pay for that every month.
The wind turbine is the same; you get what you pay for. Low-cost wind turbines have come a long way and they have more features than they did a few years ago. However, these units can be very problematic for you. If you look at the warranty details of these low-cost units, you will see that the warranty may or may not be valid when your system breaks down.
You might want to stay away from turbines that appear on approved lists for rebate programs. Such products are from manufacturers who test and rate their products, giving them very high ratings. Note that, wind turbines will not last as long as solar panels; you will constantly need to replace parts
Wind turbines are almost maintenance-free. However, you need to inspect them annually or bi-annually to ensure they are always in top shape. You do not have to call a professional to maintain your unit as long as you have a few handy tools at home.
Lastly, you might not have power when the speed of wind is low. This means you need another source of power to complement, or large capacity batteries to carry you through the wind-less period.
Will a Wind Turbine Work in Your Home?
As long as you live in an area that experiences moderate speed of wind throughout the year. If you live in an area with so many obstructions, forget about a wind turbine. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you should be living in at least an acre to make the wind turbine efficient and avoid running into problems with homeowner's associations.
People living in suburbs will have challenges installing a wind turbine, thanks to the zoning requirements and other restrictions. Once you have ensured the restrictions do not block your efforts to have a wind turbine, and you are in an area with enough wind, you can go ahead and install a wind turbine.
Wind turbines come in handy to people who live in remote areas and are not connected to the grid. They are also ideal for people who need to cut bills and people who are conscious of the environment by producing clean energy for home use.
Whatever reason you may have to want a wind turbine, it is valid. A wind turbine will not only save you money, but will also help you reduce your carbon footprint. Understand that you do not have to use the wind turbine electric generator as the primary source of power in your home. You can install a wind turbine to complement the power from the grid or from your solar system.
Some people install a wind turbine to provide power in case of an outage, or to light the home and reduce bills. If you use a wind turbine to light your home and the power from the grid for other energy needs, you will have lower bills. For homes that use solar energy, a wind turbine comes in handy when the sun doesn’t show up and you need energy.
You can also use the residential wind turbine as a standalone unit, especially if you live in an area with no connection to the power grid. Again, if you find the cost or connection to the power grid to be unaffordable, you can result to a wind turbine. If you are using it as a standalone system, ensure you get the best quality with a high power output to keep your home lit at all times.
Some wind turbines are less costly, but they may not generate enough power. Some generate enough power, but they are very costly. Shop according to your budget while ensuring you pick the best affordable system for your home needs.