Wind Turbine for Homes: Everything You Should Know
Wind energy has been used for generations for its mechanical power in water pumps, grain grinders, spice processing, and more. Nowadays, wind turbines are used to harness kinetic energy from the wind to transform into electrical power by using the same technology as large wind turbines.
The use of wind energy is becoming more popular in the renewable energy industry. With a small wind electric system, US homeowners can partially or fully offset monthly electricity bills or even live off-grid.
If you want to learn about wind power, this article is for you. Here, you will learn what a wind turbine is, its power output for residential purposes, as well as the cost of wind turbines. We even compiled a top 10 of the best residential wind turbines available. For those looking to know more about solar vs. wind energy, we added a very interesting section comparing both technologies.
- What Is a Home Wind Turbine?
- Can a Wind Turbine Power a House?
- How Much Does a Wind Turbine Cost?
- What Is the Difference Between Solar Energy and Wind Energy for Your Home?
- Review Section – Top 10 Wind Turbines for Homes
- 1. Automaxx Windmill 1500W 24V 60A Wind Turbine Generator Kit
- 2. Tumo-Int 1000W 3Blades Wind Turbine Generator Kit with Wind Boosting Controller (24V)
- 3. Ista Breeze i-2000 48 V Wind Turbine Wind Generator From
- 4. 2000-Watt 11-Blade Missouri General Freedom II Wind Turbine
- 5. Dyna-Living Wind Turbine Generator Kit 400W
- 6. ECO-WORTHY 800W 12V/24V Solar Wind Turbine Generator Kit
- 7. Nature Power 70701 Wind Turbine-2,000 Watt, Marine Grade
- 8. Pikasola Wind Turbine 200W
- 9. HappyBUY Wind Turbine 600W 12V Wind Turbine Generator
- 10. Windmax HY400 500 Watt Max 12-Volt 5-Blade Residential Wind Generator Kit
- Is a Home Wind Turbine Right for Me?
- Best Selling Residential Solar Winds
What Is a Home Wind Turbine?
Residential wind power is generated by transforming kinetic energy from the wind into electricity by using a residential wind turbine installed above 6 meters (20 feet) to fully take advantage of prevailing winds. These turbines use the same principle as large wind turbines installed at large wind farms worldwide.
Figure 1. Ideal height installation for windmill generators (Source: Automaxx Windmill User Manual)
The first step for a wind power generator for home and work lies in its blade. Turbine blades have a shape making air pressure flow unevenly on both sides, which in turn makes the blade rotate at a certain speed proportional to the speed of the wind. These blades make the rotor of the turbine rotate at a certain speed expressed in revolutions per minute (RPM). While RPM of most rotors is not enough to generate electricity, this is no problem for a residential wind generator.
To increase the speed efficiency of wind turbines for wind power generation, the turbines have an inner gear that increases the RPM perceived by the rotator, allowing the turbine to fully convert the kinetic energy of the wind into DC energy.
Figure 2. Wind turbine components (Source: Ecoplanet Energy)
Wind turbines for homes are connected to an MPPT charge controller that manages energy flow from the turbine to the battery bank and to the inverter which converts DC into AC energy to power appliances.
Important Terms to Know About Wind Speed
When choosing a home wind turbine from the top 10 models on the list, there are some terms that you should know beforehand to understand the specifications for each model.
- Cut-in speed – Wind speed at which the generator starts producing wind power
- Rated wind speed – Optimal tested speed for the generator to produce its installed capacity
- Survival wind speed – Maximum wind speed that a wind turbine should withstand for safety precautions
Can a Wind Turbine Power a House?
Residential wind turbine systems can partially offset an electric bill or cover the load consumption for the home depending on its size. To know if a wind turbine can power a house, you must first know how much energy a wind turbine produces and compare this to the household power consumption.
The average US home consumes on average 10,649 kWh annually, 877 kWh monthly, or up to 29.23 kWh daily. In the top 10 small wind turbines for homes, you will find models with different shapes, sizes, and generation capacities that can range between 200 and 2000 Wh when exposed to rated wind speeds of 10.5–20 m/s (23.48–44.73 mph). While these residential wind turbines can partially offset an electricity bill, to fully offset the 877 kWh average monthly consumption and live off-grid, you should install a system comprising several wind turbines for your home.
When installing a wind turbine system, you should also consider the capacity factor for residential wind turbines in the USA, which is a parameter defining the real annual energy output for these wind turbines in relation to their capacity.
Considering the US average capacity factor of 16–20% on land, a residential wind turbine system with an installed capacity of 7,700–6,100 W can cover the annual average power consumption of 10,649 kWh.
How Much Does a Wind Turbine Cost?
If you are interested in the benefits of wind energy for your home, you might already be wondering how much a wind turbine costs.
The residential wind turbine cost varies considering manufacturer, quality of the turbine, and several other factors, but the main factor is the power capacity. The cost of a wind turbine with a small capacity of 200 W costs approximately $250–300, a mid-capacity 1,000W residential wind turbine costs around $1,000–1,200, and a 2,000W high capacity residential windmill costs around $2,000.
When considering a budget, you should factor in major components like the DC/AC power inverter and the wind turbine tower. You should also consider prices for minor components like wiring and permits, since they make up part of the cost of wind energy systems.
Clean energy enthusiasts interested in wind energy with a low budget or those wanting to test a wind turbine can learn how to build a wind turbine for home use by following this DIY residential wind turbine project. After you build your own wind turbine and test that the technology and output are satisfactory, you can get the real deal to power your home.
What Is the Difference Between Solar Energy and Wind Energy for Your Home?
Solar and wind energy are becoming the main renewable energy sources for US citizens. Here, we compare both technologies by analyzing how much wind turbines are efficient in comparison to solar panels, what the best technology is , and how well they work when combined.
Wind Energy vs. Solar Energy: Which One Is More Efficient?
The main difference between solar and wind energy is that solar power is generated using solar panels that convert solar radiation into electricity during sunlight hours, while wind power uses wind turbines to harness kinetic energy from strong winds throughout the whole day.
Considering the average capacity factor for wind energy in the USA, a small wind turbine for home generates 16–20% of its capacity annually. To estimate how much energy a wind turbine produces at your home, you can install a recording anemometer at 6 meters (20 feet) comparing wind speed against the performance curve of the wind turbine.
Solar panels rely on the solar irradiance for each state. Most panels have a capacity factor of 10–25%, and they have a daily energy output equivalent to 4–6 hours at full-capacity generation depending on the solar radiation index for each state.
Considering annual power output for wind and solar power, the efficiency is relatively similar for both technologies. The main difference lies in the overall time that the equipment is generating power and the relation of wind speeds vs. solar irradiance by state. Some states have faster winds making wind turbines a wise choice, while others have great solar irradiance making them perfect for solar panels. Only a few are ideal for both residential solar and wind power systems.
Efficient Use of Space
Solar panels only require rooftop space at houses. Portable solar panels on RVs can use both the rooftop and surrounding areas of the vehicle. Wind turbines, on the other hand, require land space to install a wind tower tall enough to take advantage of prevailing winds, making it only suitable for homes with big yards and local permits allowing these towers at the ideal height of 6 meters (20 feet).
Comparing Wind vs. Solar Energy
There are some key aspects of each technology that are worth comparing as can be seen below.
|Wind energy||Solar energy|
|Can generate power day and night||Can only generate power during sunlight hours|
|Generates electricity even on cloudy days||Reduced efficiency with clouds or shades|
|Requires regular maintenance||Requires low maintenance|
|Requires additional land space for the installation||Only requires rooftop space|
|Local legislation in some states prohibits installing wind towers at the right height||Practically every state allows installations of solar panels on rooftops|
|Turbines generate 16–20% of their capacity throughout the day||Panels generate their full capacity with 4–6 peak sun hours of during the day|
|Prices have fallen 23% in the last 10 years||Prices have fallen 73% in the last 10 years|
Is It Possible to Combine Both Solar and Wind Power?
Homeowners in states with great wind speeds and peak sun hours (equivalent number of hours in a day where the solar panels generate to their maximum capacity) can opt to install hybrid generator systems combining both wind and solar technologies. Hybrid generators are installed by solar wind companies specializing in the installation and integration of solar panels and windmill generators for homes.
Solar wind technology can be efficient and cheap, especially since some major components for both systems can be shared like the lithium, flooded or AGM battery bank, DC/AC inverter, and others. A hybrid generator system can be especially useful for off-grid homes, since solar panels can produce solar power at times with slow wind speeds during daylight hours and wind turbines can generate electricity at night or on cloudy days.
Battery Bank for Hybrid Systems
Since solar and wind generation systems require energy storage systems, so do hybrid systems. These combined solar and wind systems store excess energy in a battery bank to be used later when electricity generation is not high due to weather conditions.
While it might be tempting to install a motorcycle battery or a golf cart battery due to low prices and high capacities, these are not suitable options for residential solar and wind power systems. Residential energy storage systems require a wet cell battery or solar battery bank, since these are deep-cycle batteries operating at 12–24 volts, ideal for these systems.
Review Section – Top 10 Wind Turbines for Homes
To help you find the best wind power generator for home installations, we compiled a list of the top 10 residential wind turbines. Here, you will find small- and high-capacity turbines with a wide variety of prices, different specifications, and more, allowing you to find the ideal option for your home.
- 【Effective Generation】Maximum power generation of 1500W of DC power at 24V or 48V, depending on the model. Low 5.6mph cut in speed starts charging the battery during calmer winds. The turbine...
- 【Powerful Applications】 Our 1500W can help cover electricity costs for some users, depending on a variety of factors. In areas of higher elevation, higher winds, and higher electricity costs, the...
- 【Environmentally Friendly】Take a stride towards sustainability with our windmill. Designed to harness the abundant power of wind, it generates clean, renewable energy, significantly reducing...
The Automaxx windmill generator is a mid- to high-capacity wind turbine manufactured with fiberglass + PP blades and a robust design. This turbine generates 1,500 W at a rated wind speed of 14 m/s (31.31 mph), has a cut-in wind speed of 2.5 m/s (5.59 mph), and has a survival wind speed of 50 m/s (110 mph).
This turbine has a Bluetooth system allowing you to monitor power generation, wind speed, battery connections, or engage/disengage the brakes through the Windmill APP.
- Built-in MPPT charge controller
- Durable design with a fast survival wind speed
- Mid- to high-generation capacity of 1,500 W
- Relatively low noise volume of 40 dB at 32.8’
- High cut-in wind speed of 3 m/s (6.7 mph)
The Tumo-Int wind generator is a robust and quality turbine with blades of reinforced glass fiber. It includes the Wind Boosting Controller system that adjusts turbine direction toward the windward angle to take advantage of the fastest winds.
With a relatively low cut-in wind speed of 2.5 m/s (5.6 mph), this model generates up to 1,000 W at a rated wind speed of 12.5 m/s (27.96 mph). This is the model with the biggest rotor diameter on the list.
- Large rotor diameter that can better harness the kinetic power of the wind
- Relatively low cut-in wind speed
- Includes the Wind Boosting controller
- Maximum survival wind speed of just 40 m/s
The Ista Breeze i-2000 windmill generators for homes are one of the highest-capacity models on the list, with an output of 2,000 W at wind speeds of 12.5 m/s (27.96 mph). This turbine uses an aluminum housing and blades of reinforced glass fiber, generating a relatively low noise of 60 dB when rotating. The turbine requires a low cut-in wind speed of 2 m/s (4.47 mph), ideal for calm weather. For speeds beyond 15 m/s (33.5 mph), its efficiency decreases rapidly.
- One of the wind turbines with the highest capacity on the list
- Aluminum housing ensuring faster cooling
- Requires a low cut-in wind speed
- Generates a low noise level considering its capacity
- Efficiency rapidly decreases for winds faster than 15 m/s (33.5 mph).
- MPPT Charge controller not included.
- Metal components are fully hot dipped galvanized, hub is zinc plated - Will not rust - No need for painting or special coating for up to 50 years under normal conditions
- Raptor carbon fiber blades withstand 125 mph - Guaranteed for a lifetime, not to break under normal use.
- The permanent magnet generator has a 28 rare earth magnet rotor inside and our skewed stator core for easy turning – up to 2000 watts max output!
The Raptor G4 Freedom II Wind Turbine with 11 blades is one of the most interesting and peculiar turbines on the list, with a 2,000 W capacity. This wind generator has one of the most durable and high-performance blades manufactured with carbon fiber, giving it a great aesthetic aspect.
This wind turbine has a cut-in wind speed of 2.68 m/s (6 mph) and a relatively low weight considering the number of blades and capacity. Due to the quality design and robust materials, this wind turbine can withstand fast survival wind speeds of 55.88 m/s (125 mph).
- Relatively lightweight turbine.
- With 11 blades, this turbine better harnesses the kinetic power of the wind.
- Withstands the fastest survival winds for turbines on the list.
- High capacity of 2,000 W.
- Relatively high cut-in wind speed compared to other turbines on the list
- Does not include the MPPT. Charge Controller
- [High-Quality and Durable]- The 400W wind turbine motor adopts a three-phase AC permanent magnet synchronous generator, free running, low noise and long service life. Teflon wire is heat resistant,...
- [Excellent Heat Resistance]-The coil is made of Teflon wire, which is resistant to high temperatures. It has effective regulation of current and voltage, low start-up speed but high wind energy...
- [High-Quality 3 Blades of Wind Turbine Generator]-The blade is equipped with a copper inlay part that does not damage the nylon fiber when the bolt is tightened, the blades are not easily deformed or...
For homeowners looking for a small wind turbine for home to partially offset electricity bills, the Dyna-Living wind turbine generator kit is one of the best options with a 400 W capacity and an included MPPT Charge Controller. This model has a relatively low cut-in wind speed of 2 m/s (4.47 mph) and one of the highest survival wind speeds of 50 m/s (111.84 mph), ideal considering its size.
- One of the lightest wind turbines on the list.
- Includes the MPPT Charge Controller.
- Excellent cut-in wind speed of 2 m/s (4.47 mph).
- Generates little noise.
- Includes an auto-adjust control system that constantly faces the turbine toward the windward direction.
- Requires a fast-rated wind of 13 m/s (29.08 mph) to achieve full generation.
For renewable energy enthusiasts wanting to reduce their carbon footprint through residential solar and wind power systems, the Eco-Worthy 800 W is the best deal. This is a 2-in-1 kit including a 400 W wind turbine and two solar panels with a 195 W capacity each. This windmill generator has the lowest-rated wind speed on the list with just 10.5 m/s (5.6 mph).
- Includes a 400 W turbine generator and a 400 W solar system
- Includes the hybrid controller that manages power output for panels and the turbine
- Ideal for states with great solar irradiance and fast winds
- Requires the lowest-rated wind speed in the list to achieve maximum generation
- Lowest survival wind speed on the list
- All-weather, high-quality marine-grade coating and construction provides versatility in both land and sea environments
- Begins to supply power at a very low 7 MPH wind speed, so even if the wind dies down, your power won't
- Maintenance-free design features an industrial-strength die-cast aluminum body with carbon fiber composite blades that are engineered for low-noise operation
The Nature Power 70701 is a marine-grade wind turbine with a built-in MPPT charge controller and an excellent generation capacity of 2,000 W at a rated wind speed of 12.5 m/s (27.96 mph). This turbine has the highest cut-in wind speed of 3 m/s (6.7 mph), but for marine applications, this is quite easy to achieve.
- One of the highest-capacity wind turbines on the list.
- Built-in MPPT charge controller.
- Designed to withstand marine-grade applications.
- It has the highest cut-in wind speed on the list.
- 1.（-Safety-）: 5-leaf double-axis vertical blade design, which looks like a Red lantern. Safety factor is high due to blades be fixed inside by a flange, then not risk of blade falling off.
- 2.（-High Wind Energy Utilization-）: Wind blades adopt reinforced fiber nylon which more durable and strong ability of Anti-wind. Especially with optimized aerodynamic shape and structural design,...
- 3. (-Quietly-): The vertical wind turbine is quieter than horizontal axis turbine. Double bearings make it more stable and not easy to shake when wind generator is running. Silent rotation, suitable...
The Pikasola wind turbine has five vertical axis blades with a low cut-in wind speed of 1.5 m/s (3.35 mph). Each blade is manufactured with a high-quality nylon fiber with a design allowing blades to be moved by the wind from every direction. This wind generator achieves a maximum generation of 200 W at an 11 m/s (24.06 mph) rated wind speed and includes an MPPT charge controller that controls power flow to the batteries and shuts down generation when batteries are fully charged.
- Requires a low rated wind speed of 11 m/s (24.06 mph).
- Lowest cut-in wind speed on the list.
- MPPT charge controller included.
- Vertical axis design that moves with winds from any direction.
- The Pikasola wind turbine has one of the better aesthetics.
- Lowest capacity on the list.
- It is relatively heavy considering its capacity.
- High-quality Blades: The blade material is synthetically injection molded with high-strength reinforced nylon fiber material. Simultaneously, the fashionable spiral blade is also designed with...
- Excellent Generator: Designed with single-phase AC PMG, it boasts low torque, high-power tracking intelligent microprocessor that can effectively regulate the current and voltage. It increases wind...
- Compact & Fixed: With dual bearings, the fan movement is more stable. Low vibration and low noise. Its single-dimensional and compact shape has a low starting wind speed and a large windward area,...
The HappyBUY Wind Turbine is one of the best vertical-axis turbines for homes with blades made out of reinforced plastic, 30% carbon fiber, and UV-resistant materials. This turbine has a small to medium capacity of 600 W that can power batteries and partially offset your electricity bills at rated wind speeds of 12.0 m/s (26.84 mph). The turbine has a relatively low cut-in wind speed of 2 m/s (4.47 mph).
- Blades with a vertical axis taking advantage of winds from any direction
- Quality design with materials resistant to UV exposure
- Great power capacity for a vertical axis wind turbine of this size and weight
- Relatively low cut-in wind speed
- External MPPT charge controller included
- Only works at 12V.
- 500 Watt Max/400 Watt Rated
- Pole not included
- Wind turbines include generator, blades, controller and screws/bolts
The Windmax HY400 is a 400 W wind turbine rated at a speed of 12.0 m/s (26.84 mph), but it starts generating wind energy at 2.5 m/s (5.6 mph), and the output goes as much as 500 W in fast winds. The HY400 has an electromagnetic brake and blades with an aerodynamic brake protecting the turbine against fast winds, providing it with a survival wind speed of 50 m/s (111.84 mph).
- One of the wind turbines with higher survival wind speed rates.
- Includes the M.P.P.T charge controller.
- Suitable for 12V/24V/48V systems
- Quality and durable design.
- Has a 5-blade design that properly harnesses the kinetic power of the wind.
- Relatively heavy weight considering generation capacity.
Is a Home Wind Turbine Right for Me?
Before investing in a home wind turbine, it is important to consider certain aspects to know if you will be able to fully take advantage of wind power generation. Here, we will explain the most important things to consider before installing a wind turbine.
Are You Allowed to Install a Wind Turbine Where You Live?
While most states allow for residential wind turbine installations, some have laws restricting aspects involved in this installation. For instance, the ideal height to install a wind turbine is just above 6 meters (20 ft.). Since most locations have a 35 ft. height construction limit, this might not be a problem.
Noise levels can be another restriction. Check the dB that the turbine makes when operating, and verify if they would be allowed in your neighborhood.
Investigate the Wind Resources at Your State
To fully take advantage of wind energy, you should have good wind speeds in your state that go from 10.5 to 14 m/s (5.6–31.31 mph). These wind speeds will ensure that most turbines installed at your home can fully generate their power capacity. Installing an anemometer at your location will allow you to measure wind speeds to later compare this data with the performance curve of the wind turbines on the list.
Do the Math and Make the Right Call
Finally, you should compare the available information for your state with the specifications for your desired wind turbine from the top 10 turbines on the list and make a choice.
For instance, let us calculate the power output for the 2,000 W 11 Blade Missouri General Wind Turbine considering a 20% capacity factor. Using the formula below, we can estimate an average production.
As can be seen above, the turbine would generate around 2,803.2 kWh annually, easily offsetting around 26% of the electricity bill for the yearly average national consumption of 10,649 kWh.
To fully live off-grid with this consumption, you need a higher capacity system combining 3–6 of these turbines in a small wind-generation system. When considering every aspect of the costs, you should also consider wind energy financial incentives, as well as the tax exemptions and loans in your state.
Wind energy is one of the main options to generate power partially or fully offsetting electricity bills, even allowing you to live off-grid. Installing a residential wind turbine will allow you to generate clean, renewable energy and enjoy the financial incentives and revenues from it.
Considering the high efficiency of wind turbines and solar panels nowadays, it is clear why homeowners are going green with a hybrid solar-wind system. You can also start enjoying the benefits of renewable energy by picking a wind turbine from the top 10 list and powering your home with wind energy.