Wind turbines for the home are becoming very popular with our current energy crisis in the US. You cannot solely go by the rated output on wind turbines as this can be totally misleading. The reason for this is that companies do not use the same wind speed to determine what the rated output is. Also, small increases in wind speed can result in big gains in power to the rotor. You can get a 33% increase in power available by just a 10% increase in wind speed.
It can be very confusing because a wind turbine rated at 1000 watts at 30 mph could produce less than 200 watts at 15 mph which is only 20 percent of the original power. So what does someone who is looking to buy a wind turbine for home do? Well. the first thing is to totally ignore the peak output as well as power curve. Instead, check for the energy numbers that are produced monthly or annually by estimating what kind of wind speed you will be getting at your home. Simply check the specs for the turbine (KWH per month or year). Peak power does not really matter, we are more concerned with energy.
Lets take an example to illustrate this point. If you know that average wind speed is 10 mph at your site and you are shopping for a turbine that creates 300 KWH a month, you can then look for a turbine that fits those guidelines. If for some reason you can’t get this info from the manufacturer, simply find a manufacturer that will give you all the info you request. All of these numbers should readily be available from any good manufacturer of wind turbines for the home. Another thing that can help you is knowing what a turbine’s swept area is because this will help you figure the energy output annually.
Another important point is the wind turbines RPM at the rated wind speed because this can let you know what kind of longevity to expect. Generally, wind turbines that turn slower are much quieter and in most case last a lot longer. The higher the RPM’s, the faster all the components wear down. Also, more energy gets wasted by fast moving blades.