Way back in 2009 we compiled a list of the top 3 residential vertical wind turbines which still to this day is one of the most popular posts on residential wind power. Four long years have passed since the initial post and we thought it only right that we update the information with the latest in residential vertical wind turbines for home use.
Traditionally when a wind turbine has been installed for home use most people have opted for the horizontal wind turbine – that is a three or four blade fan mounted on a horizontal axis to power their house. Vertical wind turbines which are otherwise known as a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) are becoming more common place in residential installations, and here are just a few reasons why:
Vertical Wind Turbine Benefits:
Unlike a horizontal wind turbine a vertical wind turbine does not have to be pointed into the wind to produce power. Being that the turbine is mounted on a vertical axis means that the blades will always be facing into the wind.
A vertical wind turbine does not require the gearbox and generator to be mounted high on the tower which means that the assembly can be mounted close to or on the ground which makes for easier access and maintenance.
Finally the vertical wind turbine has a lower start-up speed over the horizontal axis wind turbine which allows for the turbine to start generating electricity more often in low wind areas.
We have seen a lot of wind turbine designs in the past and we have also built many do it yourself wind turbines over the years so we have seen the good the bad and the downright ugly when it comes to vertical wind turbines. Here are our pick of the best vertical axis wind turbines:
Earth4Energy Do It Yourself Wind Turbine
Back in 2009 we were blown away with the bang for your buck performance of the Earth4Energy do it yourself wind turbine. This do it yourself wind turbine, now in a newer revision, is now producing even better results than the version we reviewed in 2009.
Although this is a do it yourself wind turbine the energy that this turbine produces is absolutely astounding. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw just how effortlessly this do it yourself wind turbine produced clean and green energy for free in a moderate breeze.
The best thing about this wind turbine is that it is within reach of all budgets. Following the plan of this wind turbine you can easily build your own wind turbine for under $150. To get a better look at our favourite wind turbine check it out here.
Mariah Power Windspire
Our second favourite vertical wind turbine is produced in the United States from 80% recycled materials – it is helping the environment even before you buy the rig! The Windspire turbine has a dimension of 30 feet tall and 4 feet wide and can produce up to 1.2 kW of energy in 12mph winds. Over the course of a year the wind turbine can produce 2000 kilowatt hours of energy however the cost may put it out of reach of a few people.
A typical Windspire installation will cost between $9000 and $12000 US Dollars. Check the ruling in your state as you may be able to buy this turbine and have it installed for as little as $3,800 after government rebates.
The GALE Wind Turbine
Produced by a company called Tangarie the GALE vertical axis wind turbine is a clever turbine that could also double as a work of art. The turbine which claims to produce up to 50% more electricity over a conventional wind turbine will start generating electricity in as little as 4 mph winds and continue to do so all the way up to 130 mph winds. The GALE wind turbine is easy on the eyes and ears and will not harm the surrounding wildlife according to Tangarie. As for price – get ready to hand over close to $7000 USD for one of these bad boys.
Residential Vertical Wind Turbines are a great way to produce free electricity for your home. Some units can be expensive on startup costs however you must think of a wind turbine as a long term investment – you will be ahead in the long run. If you are not able to finance a wind turbine I strongly suggest that you have a good look at getting your hands on the Earth4Energy do it yourself wind turbine kit – it is the most effective design that we have come across as well as being a simple process to build and install, not to mention at $150 the payback period may only take a few weeks!
Still not sure? Why not check out our review on the best wind turbine plans.