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Wind Turbines – Small is Sweet

July 12th, 2011

In Ireland, we have a fairly benign planning process for domestic wind turbines. It is quite exceptional that houses and farms can put up a wind turbine without their neighbours having any option to object, even if shadow flicker is a problem.

This has resulted in court challenges to turbines after they have been erected. Something you want to avoid at all costs (see our earlier post about a used 6kw Proven being for sale.

Although the planning process allows a 6m rotor, (or 8m for farms and businesses), you need to consider whether this is going to be contentious for near neighbours. Our own view is that a 3m to 4m rotor is adequte for most households, and with a cap on the amount of electricity you can export at the 19c rate, it may also be the most cost effective.

Lastly, while Autoproduction is a great idea, where factories can put up a larger turbine to produce power, again they have to be careful about offending neighbours. One case in point is a small West-Cork company which has raised more than the eyebrows of neighbouring residents. See here.

2 Responses to “Wind Turbines – Small is Sweet”

  1. Pete says:

    I just want to ask some question on wind turbines, i don’t know were to start on all the different kind of turbines,

    We have a small cottage in the country & we are still using tilly lamp we think it’s time to move forwords a bit and stay eco, we would be just looking for a turbine to power up, lets say three light bulbs, a fridge, a t.v. have you any idea what type , brand of turbine would suit our needs, we would be very gratefull if you could help, many thanks

  2. Quentin says:

    Hi, Your needs are modest, but for any sort of reliable supply you are going to need a battery based off grid system. We do produce an off-grid system combining both wind and solar PV, but this is way beyond what you would need.

    I would suggest a simple system with a 12V or 24V battery pack, a marine turbine and an inverter. I lived on a boat for three years powered by a small Ampair machine, but for a fridge and television, unless you have exceptional winds, you may need somethig a little bit bigger. For summertime coverage (particularly the fridge), I would add in a solar PV panel and a solar controller.

    My preference would be for 24V – if you increase the voltage, it reduces the current and the required wire sizes. You can still get 24V bulbs and inverters, and later if you want to build on the system, you can get larger inverters etc., that all work on this voltage.

    The batteries are the critical issue. If you buy a suitable battery, and ensure that you only ever discharge it to 50% of its capacity, it can delivery up to 2,000 cycles. Most deep cycle batteries from golf carts and fork lifts are not particularly suited for off grid systems. This is because they are not designed to spend long periods in a state of low charge, as often happens in off grid systems.

    We can supply suitable batteries, and solar PVs but for the turbine, inverter etc., I would rummage around the yachtie mags. Q

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Turbotricity Ltd.

Moylagh, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, Ireland


Phone within Ireland Lo-Call 076 6152052

From overseas call +353 57 860 0054

  • Great return on investment
  • Perfect height for reduced turbulence
  • No planning headaches
  • Reduce your energy cost
  • Affordable turbine
Delighted with my Turbotricity turbine. It works away effortlessly and quietly giving me plenty of clean free power Brendan Murphy