Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.

Add to My MSN

Are There Any Problems With Mounting Wind Turbines on Top of Houses?

6/4/2008 12:00:00 AM

Tags: wind turbine, wind power, renewable energy

Are there any problems with mounting wind turbines on top of houses?

It's appealing to look at a tall building or house and think about putting a turbine on top of it. This would eliminate the cost of the tower and reduce wiring costs. Unfortunately it's not that easy for two reasons.

The first relates to the quality of the wind. By putting a turbine on a building, the turbine will be higher and should get stronger winds, but quality wind is essential if a wind turbine is to produce power. Houses, much like trees, cliffs, and other wind turbines, create turbulence—effectively removing a lot of the wind’s ability to turn the blades.

Now some may argue that the roof is shaped in such a way that it won't disturb the wind too much, which brings us to the second issue with mounting a wind turbine on a house: vibrations. While spinning, the turbine will create vibrations that will make noise and can seriously damage the structural strength of a house.

With all of that said though, I have worked on small 400 watt turbines on roofs at the Folkecenter for Renewable Energy in Denmark. The turbines were mounted on concrete beams that went all the way to the ground so that addressed the issue of the house’s structural strength. However, the rule of thumb is, don't try it unless you're in a very special situation.

— Raphael Shay, Community Sustainability Manager, iCAST



Related Content

The Candidates Discuss Energy Issues

Find out what John McCain and Barack Obama have to say about energy issues including the use of nucl...

Renewable Energy Capacity Continues To Rise

Renewable energy accounts for nearly 50 percent of added capacity in US in 2012.

Farm Is Using an Old Method to Reduce the Cost of a Wind Turbine

One farm is able to combine cost savings, with energy sustainability by using a Savonius rotor.

Speaking of Clean Energy

Bill Clinton has 10 recommendations for what the U.S. government should be doing to promote cleaner ...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.