small wind electric system installing and maintaining

small wind turbine

With proper installation and maintenance, a small wind electric system should last up to 20 years or longer.



Before installing your system, you first need to do the following:


  • Find the best site
  • Size your wind turbine
  • Decide whether you'll have a grid-connected or stand-alone system
  • Understand your local zoning, permitting, and neighborhood covenant requirements.

    The manufacturer/dealer should be able to help you install your small wind electric system. Many people elect to install the systems themselves.


    Before attempting to install your wind turbine, ask yourself the following questions:


  • Can I pour a proper cement foundation?
  • Do I have access to a lift or a way of erecting the tower safely?
  • Do I know the difference between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) wiring?
  • Do I know enough about electricity to safely wire my turbine?
  • Do I know how to safely handle and install batteries?

    If you answered no to any of the above questions, you should probably choose to have your system installed by a system integrator or installer.


    Contact the manufacturer for help, or contact your state energy office and local utility for a list of local system installers. You can also check the yellow pages for wind energy system service providers.


    A credible installer may provide additional services such as permitting. Find out if the installer is a licensed electrician, and ask for references and check them.



    Although small wind turbines typically are sturdy and reliable machines, they do require some annual maintenance.


  • Check and tighten bolts and electrical connections as necessary.
  • Check machines for corrosion and the guy wires for proper tension.
  • Check for and replace any worn leading edge tape on the turbine blades, if appropriate.
  • Replace the turbine blades and/or bearings after 10 years if needed.

    If you do not have the expertise to maintain the system, your installer may provide a service and maintenance program.