Wind energy

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Wind turbines harness wind energy by turning rotors connected to a generator. There are two basic types: Horizontal (HAWT) and Vertical (VAWT) Axis Wind Turbines.

HAWT are the more common windmill type. VAWT are the anemometer type often used for micro generation because they are smaller and do not need to orientate towards the wind.

It is essential for efficient operation that wind turbines are sited where there is an unobstructed wind path in all directions, avoiding wind breaks such as buildings and trees. It is strongly advised that before any turbine is installed that a full assessment of the area’s wind speed is carried out.

However, for a more accurate wind speed figure it is advised that producers have an anemometer installed for a period of at least six months. The Carbon Trust website also has a Wind Yield Estimation Tool which may be useful:

Correctly sited wind turbines produce no adverse emissions, can neutralise their own carbon cost in the first year and can pay for themselves in less than half of their 20-year design life.

Planning permission will be required for most wind turbines, a bat survey may be required and there may be restrictions if producers are located close to aircraft landing sites. For more information click here.

Most turbine suppliers can carry out planning and other preparatory work. Grid connection charges are dependent on size of generator proposed, location and local existing grid infrastructure. These costs need to be established early on in the project planning process.

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