Domestic Wind – Nov 2008

We haven’t known Hamish too long, but he gave sterling service while we knew him. Hamish is a small 1kW wind turbine that was bolted to the end of our house. I know it is a little nuts giving a name to a wind turbine but I like to think it is more, well, eccentric. Hamish was spinning and generating electricity for us for over a year and generated about 175 kW hours, or about 7% of our electricity, not a great deal but he did his best. The trouble now is firstly that our new extension was going to block the southerly wind and secondly Hamish was starting to pull himself out of the wall!

Hamish was something of an experiment. I was concerned about vibrations in other wind turbine designs that had caused structural damage but hoped that the new system with the Windsave turbine had overcome this. I was wrong. I was also wrong to believe their claims of electricity generation which are hopelessly over estimated. I still passionately believe in the power of wind to help contribute to Wedmore’s energy needs but I would not recommend strapping them to your house. There are many free-standing wind turbine designs which in the right location can be an excellent source of energy.

The good news is that a quick auction on ebay and Hamish has a new home in North Wales where he will be bolted to a barn wall on a windy hillside where he can rattle away to his hearts content. Also I now have first hand advice for anyone else considering installing a Windsave turbine.

The other good news is that our extension is nearing completion and on the roof is a Photovoltaic (PV) solar array the same as we had on our last house. We know the technology works, it will generate some 60% of our electricity and will not damage any part of our house.