Energy Saving Trust field trial of domestic wind turbines


In the UK, the Energy Saving Trust's field trial of domestic wind turbines is the most comprehensive technical monitoring exercise of domestic small-scale wind turbines undertaken to-date in the UK.

The trial was launched in January 2007 to monitor the insitu performance of 57 turbines installed at UK homes for a period of at least 12 months. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) identified participants from a selection of grant recipients and sites put forward by wind turbine manufacturers.

The findings illustrate that turbine performance is highly dependent upon the local wind speed - so, it is vital to accurately predict the wind speed before installing a domestic small-scale turbine. The report also discusses the technical factors that impact the performance of domestic small-scale wind turbines, including installation and proper siting.

As a result of these trials, potential customers should consider the following as they plan their domestic wind turbine installation -

  1. Wind turbines do work but only when installed properly in an appropriate location.
  2. There is the potential for delivering nearly 2 million tonnes of CO2 savings from domestic small scale wind turbines in the UK. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of approximately 350,000 homes.
  3. There is a potential to generate up to 3,500GWh electricity per annum from domestic small-scale wind turbines in the UK.
  4. The highest potential for successful household small-scale wind installations is in Scotland.
  5. Wind speeds are difficult to predict and highly variable. The Energy Saving Trust recommends that potential customers first utilise the best available wind speed estimation tools and then, where appropriate, install anemometry to determine the wind speed distribution.
  6. The introduction of product and installation standards will require that information from specific products is easily comparable.
  7. Customers are advised to only consider domestic small-scale wind products and installers that are certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
  8. The Energy Saving Trust advice network is able to provide advice to customers to help determine if a wind turbine may be the right choice for their homes.
  9. Domestic consumers should consider energy produced from small-scale wind as one option from a potential suite of microgeneration. technologies.

As a result of these findings, the Energy Saving Trust has developed an easy-to-use domestic wind speed prediction tool to help householders to find out whether their property may have a suitable wind speed for the installation of a domestic small scale wind turbine.

Customers may also wish to use the Home Energy Generation Selector to help them identify other technologies that might be suitable to generate heat or electricity in the home.

The Energy Saving Trust's network of 21 UK advice centres are now trained to provide individual consumers with advice on whether small wind is likely a suitable technology for them.

To download the report - Click Here