Placing or Siting Residential Windmills

Figuring out where to site a residential windmill is probably the most important factor in maximizing the yield of any particular wind turbine. On top of tall structures that towers over other buildings and trees in the area is a good place to start. Even so, buildings create turbulence. This is because, as the wind comes up and over a roof, most of it will turn ninety degrees. But some will circle back causing eddies or wind-shadows. This means roof-top wind turbines should be sited fairly high above a building or house.

The rule of thumb for placing a windmill is to raise the turbine above the top of a level roof by 1/2 the width of the building. Other buildings and trees can also complicate airflow, creating wind vertices. It is best, with a wind turbine, to rise above these possible problems as the condition can change every time the wind direction shifts.

Residential wind turbines work best at wind speeds of 10 mph (16 km/h) or more to recoup investment costs. The best place to situate a wind turbine, to get the highest and most constant air flow, is on top of a flag-pole or post that is sufficiently anchored to the ground on a foundation that goes below the frost line (to prevent frost heave).

The type of turbine can also make a difference as to location of placement. A horizontal axis wind turbine does better with steadier winds. For high-turbulence locations vertical axis wind turbines will suffer less wear and tear.

For residential turbines, doing long term studies to determine a windmill site is not usually feasible, the best practice is to choose a high spot with minimal obstructions.

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Destinations:

Winterize House

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