small wind electric system tower
Tower heightRelatively small investments in increased tower height can yield very high rates of return in power production. For instance, to raise a 10-kilowatt generator from a 60-foot tower height to a 100-foot tower involves a 10% increase in overall system cost, but it can produce 25% more power.
The estimated annual energy output and turbine size you'll need can help determine the best tower height.
Types of towersMost turbine manufacturers provide wind energy system packages that include towers. There are two basic types of towers: self-supporting (free-standing) and guyed. There are also tilt-down versions of guyed towers.
Most home wind power systems use a guyed tower, which are the least expensive. Guyed towers can consist of these components:
While tilt-down towers are more expensive, they offer the consumer an easy way to perform maintenance on smaller light-weight turbines, usually 10 kilowatt or less. Tilt-down towers can also be lowered to the ground during hazardous weather such as hurricanes. Aluminum towers are prone to cracking and should be avoided.
Installation or mountingA general rule of thumb is to install a small wind turbine on a tower with the bottom of the rotor blades at least 30 feet (9 meters) above any obstacle that is within 300 feet (90 meters) of the tower.
Mounting small wind turbines on rooftops is not recommended. All wind turbines vibrate and transmit the vibration to the structure on which they are mounted. This vibration can lead to noise and structural problems with the building, and mounting on the rooftop can expose the turbine to excessive turbulence that can shorten its life.
Related entries• grid-connected small wind electric system
• small wind electric system resource evaluation
• small wind electric system turbine
• small wind turbine annual energy output
• small wind turbine sizing
Related category• WIND POWER
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