Q: How do I get a wind turbine for my house?
A: There are two easy steps for getting a wind turbine:
Call for your onsite consultation or fill out online form. We will view your property on Goggle Earth to determine if it is a good site. If so we will visit you site and make recommendations on the ideal turbine installation for your property and answer any additional questions you might have.
Schedule the installation. Our certified installer will identify a mutually ideal time for installation. It takes about one week to:

  • Install the foundation
  • Erect the tower
  • Learn how you can monitor your energy generation with our online Skystream monitoring system

Q: How do wind turbines work?
A: Turbines are a wind generator installed on top of a tower that converts the kinetic energy in the wind into electricity to be used in a home’s electrical system.
In a typical residential application, the turbine and a local utility serve a home simultaneously. If the wind speeds are below cut-in speed (8 mph), there will be no output from the generator and all of the needed power is purchased from the utility. As wind speeds increase, the turbine’s output increases and the amount of power purchased from the utility is proportionately decreased. When the turbine produces more power than the house needs, the meter spins backward, creating a credit that can be used later. All of this is done automatically without any interaction by the homeowner. Batteries are not required.

Q: Will turbines save me money?
A: Osirus turbines can help reduce your electric bills. The amount of money a turbine saves you in the long run will depend on its installed cost, the amount of electricity you use, cost of electricity, the average wind speed at your site and other factors. Costs vary with local conditions and tower height. Most of our installations have ranged from $19,000 to $49,000. The U.S. federal tax credit (30% of installed cost) can decrease this cost significantly. In some areas, state incentives can offer further reductions.

Q: Will it help the environment if I install a wind turbine at my home?
A: Because wind turbines are a renewable energy source, produces no pollution and uses wind power; you will be offsetting pollution that would have been generated by your utility company. Over its life, the wind turbine can offset more than 60000 pounds of global warming pollutants (carbon dioxide and other gases that are associated with global warming) every year.

Q: Do wind turbines create any sound or interfere with TV reception?
A: Turbines are generaly very quiet and makes a small amount of operating sound similar to the level of a small office. It generally cannot be heard over typical background noise such as the sound of the wind. They do not interfere with TV reception.

Q: Are wind turbines dangerous to birds?
A: While no formal studies have been done, anecdotal evidence indicates that birds occasionally collide with small wind generators as they do with any other type of structure. However, such events are very rare.

Q: Should my neighbors be concerned about safety if I get a wind turbine?
A: No. Wind turbine design is done in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratories. As part of this, extensive computer modeling and field testing was done to ensure a safe design. All testing was done to internationally accepted standards for small wind safety and reliability. Your neighbors who may have some concerns about safety may appreciate the following information:

  • Tower stability: Thousands of small wind generators are installed in the U.S. every year, and their safety track record is excellent. Trees are much more likely to fall than a properly installed turbine, yet no setbacks or minimum property sizes are required for trees.
  • Safety of utility repair personnel during a power outage: In accordance with IEEE and UL, turbines will automatically shut down in the event of a power outage, and will not energize a dead power line. This is necessary to protect the utility line repair person.
  • Ice shed from rotor blades: Ice buildup makes turbine blades less aerodynamic, so that they turn more slowly. Typically, ice will drop to the base of the generator tower and is not dangerous.
  • Children and towers: In terms of educating children about not climbing structures, a small wind generator should be treated no differently than other climbable structures such as water towers or amateur radio antennas.

Q: Will a wind turbine damage neighboring property values?
A: No. With thousands of small wind generators installed today in the U.S., there has never been any evidence to support this claim. Actually, there are several survey sources that indicate otherwise.

Q: Will my utility allow me to hook up a wind turbine?
A: Yes. Federal regulations (specifically, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA) require utilities to connect with and purchase power from small wind energy systems. We should be able to help arrange the required utility company approvals.

Q: Will my local government allow me to install a wind turbine?
A: A tower is a structure that normally requires a building permit. Zoning regulations often limit the height, placement, and other characteristics of appurtenant structures, so a conditional (special) use permit or variance may be necessary.

Q: Will I have to change any of the wiring in my house?
A: No. A wind turbine can easily be installed at any existing home without the need to change any wiring or appliances. In most cases, the utility will install a second utility meter to measure how much surplus electricity it is receiving from the generator owner.

Q: What about towers?
A: Towers as short as 45 feet tall are available. However in some circumstances, a taller tower may be necessary to raise the generator above turbulence created by obstacles on the ground and/or trees. Wind speed increases with height above ground, and increasing speed increases the amount of energy your generator will produce. Relatively small investments in increased tower height can yield high rates of return in energy production. A rule of thumb for proper and efficient operation of a wind turbine suggests that the generator should be 20 feet (6 meters) above the top of anything within 250 feet (about 76 meters).


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January 2018
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