Energy: The (Ugly) Truth About Little Wind Turbines

Wind turbines under 30 feet – do they really work? TreeHugger helps us evaluate.

January 22, 2015
Little wind turbines don't work as well TreeHugger Hunan

Photo: Lloyd Alter/Creative Commons

Energy efficiency blogger and architect Lloyd Alter looks back at all the wind turbines he’s ever reviewed, and discovered the ugly truth.
 
Alter cites the words of wind turbine producer Solacity: “Wind turbines need wind. Not just any wind, but the nicely flowing, smooth, laminar kind. That cannot be found at 30 feet height. It can usually not be found at 60 feet. Sometimes you find it at 80 feet. More often than not it takes 100 feet of tower to get there.”
 
What does this mean for the tiny, aesthetically attractive wind turbine product ideas rampant at trade shows? Alter contends that most of them are flawed.
 
Get some tips on how to navigate the wind turbine market at TreeHugger.

 

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