Micro-wind turbines are small-scale wind turbines that convert Wind Energy into electricity. The wind speed is the important factor on which the amount of electricity generated by a wind turbine depends. A wind turbine with a rated capacity of 1 kW, means that it will produce 1 kW of electricity per hour when exposed to the wind. These turbines typically generate, on average, only 10-40% of their rated capacity every hour over a year. A wind turbine will generate electricity as long as there is relatively constant wind of a reasonable speed. Most wind turbines are horizontal-axis turbine or vertical-axis turbine. Small wind turbines are more suitable for rural settings that are exposed to strong and consistent wind. Households usually use micro wind turbines that are smaller than 5kW.
Small wind turbines generally cost between $10,000 and $15,000 per kW of rated capacity, including the cost of installation. Small wind turbines generally need more ongoing maintenance than solar panels and micro-hydro systems. This is especially true for turbines on very exposed sites. It is always important to get an experienced & trusted supplier having a good understanding of their product.
Given is the list of micro wind turbine manufacturers -
Enmax – through its subsidiaries, provides electricity, natural gas, fibre-optic, and value-added services. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary, Canada. In 2011, the company had shareholder’s equity of $3.1 billion and net earnings of $184.6 million. The micro-wind turbines that ENMAX Energy is exploring are 12 feet in diameter and are mounted on a 33 foot pole. Unobstructed areas in a rural setting with high average wind speeds tend to be good micro-wind sites. ENMAX Energy has set up small-scale wind generation technologies across Alberta.
Motor Wind – Motorwind micro turbines can work in wind speeds of only 1m/second. Their light weight, small size, and flexible configuration allows them to be installed in both urban and rural environments, for individual or corporate use. Motorwind turbines give users a new option for efficient renewable energy and therefore reducing their impact on the environment. Motorwave is a unique technology that has been created and developed in Hong Kong to tap the power of wave motion in order to make electricity, desalinated water and hydrogen.
Organic Mechanic – served over 1,000 customers since 2005. The company provides access to the world’s best energy and sustainability technologies, inspiring people to choose greener solutions to protect their planet and even their pocket. Their Micro Turbine is a powerful, durable, and versatile micro wind turbine that cranks out 400 or 600 Watts of electricity. Adjustable to 12 or 24 Volts, making it ideal for battery charging, backup power, cabins and off-grid power. Constructed from aluminum alloy, nylon, and glass fiber, this hearty turbine includes 52 inch diameter blades and a 5 year warranty. It is designed to withstand highly corrosive environments & special protection. This amazing micro wind turbine supplies power at speeds even as low as 2.5 MPH, and includes advanced engineering that protects the unit in speeds creating more than 1300 RPMs. To complete the package an MPPT charge controller is included to maximize power output and charging capabilities.
Philippe Starck – the blades of Philippe Starck micro wind turbines are made of transparent plastic, which is great, as it will be virtually invisible up on the roof. the turbines were launched officially after a 2 years of research in collaboration with the Italian company Pramac. Their micro wind turbine is revolutionary for two reasons – the innovative shape and the ability to be used at home. It is, in fact, a true object of design, in line with modern patterns of distribution of energy from renewable sources. W ind power can be stored in battery banks of various makes and is then passed through inverters to make the type of voltage of electricity one needs to power their home applications.
Unlike the traditional turbines with horizontal axis, those with vertical axis are independent of wind direction and able to take advantage of the phenomena of turbulence as well as being extremely quiet.
There are turbines, which can be placed in the garden or on the roof and consist of a quadrangular model with a power output of 400W and the helicoidal shaped form, which can generate power of 1 KW. Price ranges from about 2,500 – 3,500 euros, with installation cost around 1,000 – 2,000 euros.
Ampair – has been manufacturing high quality renewable energy power systems in the UK for nearly forty years. Ampair turbines are renowned internationally for their durability in extreme environments. With nearly 30,000 systems sold to date, their turbines and power systems are currently providing power to equipment in globally. Ampair has been manufacturing ‘microwind’ battery charge wind turbines for nearly 40 years. Ampair 100, 300 & 600 turbines are now regarded as the professional’s turbine of choice, giving owners trouble free generation for decades. Ampair offers both wind and hydro 6kW grid connect systems along with one of the smallest grid connect wind turbines available – the award winning Ampair 600.
FuturEnergy – is a leading British wind turbine manufacturer and engineering company, specialising in the design, manufacture and distribution of small wind turbines. The company has sold more than 3000 domestic wind turbines worldwide, via a network of distributors, and are highly regarded in the renewable energy sector for their innovative and innovative technological designs. Extensive research and development goes to produce high performance, micro wind turbines for the global marketplace, while maintaining quality control and after sales service.
The Indian scenario
Wind energy in India is the biggest Green Industry currently with around 1 GW of Wind Power Capacity being installed in a year on average. The Growth in Wind Industry has been driven by states like Tamil Nadu who have heavily subsidized and promoted Wind Energy. India’s installed capacity at around 13 GW of Wind Power the world’s 5th largest Wind Energy Producer.