Wind Energy Links


Welcome to the section on Wind power.

By Denis Croombs

In the Ireland/UK we have the highest level of Europe’s total wind energy, but it’s still largely untapped with very little of our electricity requirements being currently generated by wind power.Wind turbines can be very small units to full commercial units generating enough power for a small town, but I will be only looking at so called micro turbines suitable for 1 home, these generally generate less that 3kw (peak) and can be used in so-called on-grid or off-grid.Off-grid systems normally have sets of batteries to store the electricity to cope with the highs and lows of generating electricity using a wind turbine and are generally only used where mains electrical power is not available.

On-grid systems generally are used to reduce the amount of electricity taken from the grid, thus saving money thus saving oil used to generate electricity for the grid.

Planning permission is no longer required if it complies with certain rules as outlined:-

Micro Wind Turbines
Wind Turbines with a mast height of 10 metres and a rotor diameter of 6 meters will be exempt from planning permission requirements subject to the following conditions:
· The rotor diameter should be 6 metres or less
· There should be a 3 metre minimum clearance between the lower tip of the rotor and the ground
· The minimum distance of a wind turbine from its nearest neighbouring boundary would equal the total height of the turbine plus 1 metre
· Noise levels at the nearest neighbouring inhabited dwelling should be <43dB(A), or <5d(B) above background noise
· Only one turbine is permitted within the curtilage of a house
· The turbine must be situated behind the front wall of the house 
· All turbine components shall have a matt, non-reflective finish and the blade shall be made of material that does not deflect telecommunication signals.
· No advertising or logos may be placed or appear on turbines.

In the main, the conditions attached to the exemption for micro wind turbines are designed to ensure their safe installation and use.

Issues such as visual amenity, noise, vibration, possible structural damage, safety and poor installation mitigate against the inclusion of building mounted turbines as exempted development. Nevertheless, it will still be possible to apply for planning permission for such turbines in the normal way. The KidWind Project is a US project a team of teachers, students, engineers and practitioners exploring the science behind wind energy in classrooms around the US. Our goal is to introduce as many people as possible to the elegance of wind power through hands-on science activities which are challenging, engaging and teach basic science principles.

While improving science education is our main goal, we also aim to help schools become important resources for students, and the general public, to learn about and see wind energy in action.

Turbines and noise:-

Most micro turbines are designed without a gearbox to keep the noise to the minimum, and generate less than 5db over the background noise level, most people report that the noise is like wind noise through a tree.

Here are some of the suppliers that I have found so These supply a 2kw 3.6mt blade diameter unit with a 9mt tower complete kit (including inverter) for £1600 inc vat.