Small scale wind turbines (up to 10 kW ) have been around for a long time. Compared to their large scale counter-parts they have not seen much success. The main reason is the technology difference between turbines manufactured on small scale and on large on scale. Normally large scale turbines have in them yaw control, power electronics, gear boxes and even blade pitch control. All of these technologies are missing in the small scale turbines and this results in a drop in efficiency. Furthermore, as small scale turbines are made to spin faster, they also tend to wear quickly.
The difference has been highlighted in this article. Nonetheless as the prices for small scale turbines have dropped and as the technology has improved to an extent, small scale turbines have once again become feasible. If installed properly, these turbines have the potential to return the investment in 3 to 4 years time.
Below are a list of turbines and their prices.
Tumo-Int 5 kW Wind Turbine
This turbine is available from websites like ebay. They are available at a price of £3966 ($ 5000). The turbine has a very low cut off speed of 2 m/s.
Proven 6 kW Turbine
The company Proven was a farmers initiative in the UK. The idea was to design a turbine for the farmers by the farmers. However, there were a few design issues particularly with the blades. The company eventually went bust.
Proven Turbines today are available as refurbished. The 6 kW turbine can be bought for as little as £6000
The cut in speed for these turbines is 2.5 m/s. These turbines can be identified from a distance because of their peculiar blade shape.
Deming 20 kW Turbine
When it comes to price per watt, Deming 20 kW is one of the cheapest in the market. It is available through Alibaba, the Chinese online market portal. The turbine is off-grid meaning it does not come with a system that can be plugged to the mains electricity supply. The price for the turbine is £ 5000 ($ 6500). The cut in speed is 3 m/s.
Daelim 10 kW Turbine
Daelim 10 kW turbine is also one of the top selling turbines on Alibaba. It is an on grid turbine. The price for the turbine is £ 8100 ( $ 10,000 ). The cut in speed for this turbine is 3 m/s.This turbine is manufactured in China so it may take some time for it to be transported.
Jacobs 20 kW Turbine
Jacobs 20 kW turbine is one of the most popular and sought after turbine in its category. It comes with a 80 feet ( 26 meter) mast. This gives the turbine access to high quality un-perturbed wind. The Jacobs 20 kW turbine is available for £ 12,995 ( $ 16200). The cut in speed for the turbine is 3.5 m/s.
These prices have been provided for guidance purpose only. The prices may change with time and also with respect to ones location. Given that the capacity factor for small scale turbines is very low (almost 10 -15%), these turbines are not very efficiency in terms of energy conversion (wind power to electricity). They need to spin at a certain speed before they make any useful electricity. Below that speed they either dont produce at all or can just provide trickle current.
However given that the prices have dropped substantially, they have become feasible once again. A 10 to 20 kW turbine can be expected to generate electricity worth £ 3000 – 4000 pounds.
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