A Guide to Commercial Wind Turbines

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Providing your business is located in a windy area – and you have enough space – wind energy has the potential to power your whole business.

The amount of electricity you can generate with a wind turbine is enormous. It mainly depends on the size of the turbine, the quantity of turbines, and the wind speed at the site (higher wind speeds equal more electricity).

Small commercial windmills have a power rating up to 5kW, which at an average wind speed of 6m/s would generate 13Mwh per year. This is enough to cover the energy needs of four homes or a business with an equivalent sized premises.

Large commercial wind turbines have a power rating up to 20kW, which would generate 45Mwh per year at an average wind speed of 6m/s. This is enough power for 12 homes or a large business, such as a warehouse or packing facility.

Wind classes

Because the wind speed of different sites varies, wind turbines are manufactured for a specific wind class. These wind classes are class 3, class 2 and class 1.

Class 3

Class 3 turbines are designed for the slowest sites with an average wind speed up to 7.5 m/s. They are designed for an easier life and have long blades so they can capture as much energy as possible from slow wind speeds.

Class 2

Class 2 turbines sit in the middle. They are for windier sites with an average wind speed up to 8.5 m/s. These are the commonest class of windmill because they are engineered to cope with varying wind speeds while optimising energy capture.

Class 1

Class 2 turbines sit in the middle. They are for windier sites with an average wind speed up to 8.5 m/s. These are the commonest class of windmill because they are engineered to cope with varying wind speeds while optimising energy capture.

Utilising wind energy in your business

Wind turbines are suitable for rural and urban areas with good wind.

One turbine is considered permitted development under current planning law, so long as it stands no taller than 11.1 metres with a swept area no greater than 3.8m. The only exceptions are if you have an air source heat pump installed, or if you are in a conservation area (in which case, you will need planning permission).

The electricity generated by a windmill can be fed directly into your supply to power your operation in whole or in part. Excess energy can be stored in large batteries, or you can sell it back to the grid under a Smart Export Guarantee tariff.

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