Off-grid living and sustainable energy sources are becoming increasingly mainstream goals. Many people resigned from the idea of solar, wind, or geothermal energy to large-scale projects, far outside the control of the average consumer. However, the market for home-scaled alternative energy is growing rapidly.
While the most common venture into off-grid power sources is solar energy, it is not necessarily a comprehensive solution. For this reason, consumer wind-turbines are a fantastic addition to any power system to allow power generation regardless of sun exposure.
Here are the five products that we will be reviewing in this article:
Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- 1 Wind Turbine Reviews
- 2 Automaxx Windmill 1500W 24V 60A Wind Turbine Generator kit
- 3 Windmax HY400 500 Watt Max 12-Volt 5-Blade Residential Wind Generator Kit
- 4 Tumo-Int 1000W 3 Blade Generator Kit
- 5 2000 Watt 11 Blade Missouri General Freedom II Wind Turbine
- 6 Nature Power 70701 Wind Turbine – 2,000 Watt
- 7 Let’s Look at Why You Should Choose a Wind Turbine?
- 8 What Do I Need to Start Generating Power
- 9 What are The Key Features
- 10 Are There Any Downsides
- 11 Conclusion
Wind Turbine Reviews
The Automaxx Windmill is a fantastic option for anyone who is looking to use wind power as their primary or long-term source of energy. There are essentially no features that this powerhouse does not have.
The initial draw to this model is its capacity. At 1500 watts, the Automaxx is at the top of the available options for home users. This allows this model to produce enough power to serve as a primary source of energy for even a high-demand user. It includes a built-in controller, allowing the power from this model to be fed directly into a battery bank. This not only simplifies installation but also reduces cost.
Investigating the model further, it is clear that the designers took a great amount of care in making sure that this turbine would provide reliable power for years to come. The blades are UV-coated to withstand harsh exposure and are replaceable with only a few simple screws.
The Automaxx is well equipped to function in essentially all conditions. It can begin producing power in wind speeds as low as 4.5 miles per hour. On the other end of the speed spectrum, the Automaxx provides an automatic braking system to protect the device if the wind speed ever exceeds 46 MPH. This brake can also be activated manually for maintenance.
Lastly, a nice inclusion by Automaxx is the generously sized directional rudder. The size of the rudder ensures that the turbine will always aim itself into the wind for maximum power generation. This is a subtle detail, but one that is often overlooked by makers.
- Highly featured
- Automatic wind brake
- Built-in controller
- Somewhat costly
- Heavier than some models
There is no question that a residential wind turbine is an incredibly economical solution over the long-term. However, the relatively costly initial investment may deter some prospective users from taking the next step towards sustainable power generation. For those looking for a lower barrier to entry, the Windmax HY400 is a fantastic option.
Compared to many other options, the HY400 is extremely affordable. The price point does not preclude it from having numerous key features. The power capacity of this model is lower than some of the larger competitors, producing 500 watts. While this lower output levels may limit the HY400’s use as a primary power source, it is nonetheless an excellent option for anyone looking to supplement their power needs or to have a portable turbine setup.
On that topic, portability is an aspect where the HY400 shines. It utilizes a very user-friendly universal mounting system, and the small form-factor of this model makes it surprisingly light. Anyone looking for an ideal camping or boat setup should put serious consideration into this option.
The only notable omission is the lack of a power controller. Thus, anyone looking into this Windmax will need to provide their own. However, a controller for the output capacity of this generator can be cost effective, making the oversight fairly insignificant.
- Small size
- Extremely affordable
- Less power output than larger models
- No included controller
Shopping for turbines can sometimes feel like an exercise in compromise. Some are too large, some too expensive, and lack the capacity. In this context, the Tumo-Int 1000W feels like the goldilocks option for many: it’s just right.
In a simple battle of specifications, the Tumo-Int is unlikely to win many battles. But that is actually the advantage of this unit. In terms of power output, size, durability, and price, this model fits neatly into the sweet-spot for the needs of most users. As suggested by the name, the Tumo-Int is capable of generating 1000 watts of power, meaning that it should provide enough capacity to serve as a primary power source for all but the most power-hungry users. Further, the easily replaceable blades of the Tumo-Int are very large for a unit of its size. This high blade surface area means that it will keep producing power even in low-wind conditions.
Another key advantage is that the kit includes everything you need to get started. From the controller to the mounting hardware, it is clear that a lot of care went into the design of this package. For anyone who needs an extremely functional turbine at an exceptionally reasonable price, the Tumo-Int 1000W is a must to consider.
- Very affordable
- Excellent low-speed power
- Included controller
- Other units have higher output
- Construction is primarily plastic
Different turbines have different goals. Some strive to be compact. Some strive to be user-friendly or affordable. The General Freedom II has a simple but admirable goal: produce as much power as possible for the lowest price imaginable.
The General Freedom II packs a truly impressive spec-sheet. At 2000 Watts of peak output, there are few turbines which can match its capacity. Further, while most turbines must be slowed down or stopped above 50 MPH, the carbon-fiber “raptor” blades of this unit can keep producing power up to a staggering 125 miles per hour of wind speed. In other words, if this turbine is spinning too fast, you have bigger problems.
Despite these impressive stats, the cost of the General Freedom II is comparable to many units of half the capacity. Thus, if your top priority is power and price, look no further.
However, beyond the value and output, the Freedom II begins to lack polish. The construction is primarily sheet-metal, which can make the unit look more DIY than a manufactured product. Further, the kit can best be described as sparse. There is no controller included, and the mounting hardware will likely require additional effort.
Despite these slight shortcomings, the General Freedom II is a truly impressive unit. If you need the most power for the least price, give this option a serious look.
- 2000W Output
- Extremely high-speed capacity
- Good price
- Kit lacks polish
- No controller included
As we’ve discussed, certain turbines optimize price by reducing capacity. Others manage to output the most power possible but seem somewhat simplistic from a construction perspective. However, if your goal is to invest in the highest capacity turbine available and you demand the ultimate in fit-and-finish, the Nature Power 70701 should blow to the top of your list.
There is no question that the 70701 is a premium product, but its impressive list of features justifies its slightly higher-than-average price. As the name suggests, this is a very high-output unit producing an impressive peak of 2000 watts. Beyond this high capacity, the Nature Power is unwilling to compromise on build quality. The staple feature here is the marine grade construction. The 70701 is designed with the harsh rigors of saltwater and high winds in mind. But even if you decide to use this model in a land-locked capacity, the high-grade finishes will be certain to insure reliability beyond compare.
The 70701 is more than just a pretty face. The kit covers all of the key features discussed: the controller is included, there is an automatic or manual braking system, the mounting system is simple and elegant, and blade replacement is a simple and easy job.
If you intend to use a turbine as your main source of power and you demand the height of development, give the Nature Power 70701 strong consideration.
- Marine-grade construction
- High output capacity
- Full list of features
- More expensive than some options
- Slightly large
Let’s Look at Why You Should Choose a Wind Turbine?
The ability to generate your own power has innumerable benefits. Not only does generating your own power via a home wind turbine save you money, but it also ensures that your power is sourced from a renewable and reliable source.
Following the initial investment in equipment, an average wind generator will provide free power for decades to come.
There Isn’t a Simpler Way to Produce Power
One of the most appealing aspects of a residential wind turbine is its simplicity. At their essence, a turbine is nothing more than an electric motor, a set of propellers, and some wiring. Thus, compared to the dozens of moving parts of a wear-prone fossil-fuel-powered generator, there is essentially nothing to fail on a turbine. As long as there is wind, you will have power.
They’re Cost Effective
Cost is another reason why wind energy is becoming an increasingly popular choice. The amount of power produced by a given source is measured in “watts.” A small fridge typically draws around 100 watts, while an LED light may draw only 5-10. Thus, when investing in off-grid energy sources, the key is to maximize the number of watts produced while simultaneously minimizing the cost.
A small turbine is typically capable of producing over 1,000 watts (a kilowatt) on a blustery day. Compared to the cost of solar panels or running gasoline generators, this is an exceptional deal.
What Do I Need to Start Generating Power
While turbines are exceptionally simple machines, there is some associated equipment required to get a system up and running. This is not intended to be an exhaustive guide, but rather a brief overview of what you may need to research further.
The speed of the wind is not consistent. Because of this, a turbine left unregulated would produce an unpredictable and inconsistent power output. To be used effectively, a source of power must be controlled so that the voltage it outputs is a known quantity. This is achieved using a device known as a controller. Most kits come with a controller built-in or included, but make sure that is the case.
A Way to Store the Power
Once you have a turbine and a controller, the next step is to develop a system to store the power. The most common and practical solution for this is to have a bank of batteries.
Depending on your power consumption needs, this can range anywhere from one car-sized battery to a very large grid of industrial batteries. Luckily, the research needed to ascertain your power needs is very simple to conduct.
A Way to Convert the Power into a Usable Form
Power from a turbine, and stored in batteries, will typically be low-voltage and direct current(DC.). This is in specific contrast to the high-voltage alternating current(AC) used to power most household electronics and appliances. Thus, you need a device to convert the power from DC to AC, an inverter.
The size and quality of the inverter you need will depend upon your specific needs. For example, if you intend to run sensitive or expensive electronics, look for an inverter that produces a pure sine wave power. Further, find an inverter that is large enough to provide the amount of power you’d need at peak demand.
What are The Key Features
Now that you have the requisite knowledge for setting up a complete wind turbine for home system, the next step is to know what to look for in the best home wind turbine. The process is fairly straight forward, but you must select a turbine that fits your needs.
Here are a few of the key features to look for in a turbine:
Amount of Power Generated
One of the most important things to look for in a turbine is also the most obvious: how much power does it generate? Typically, a home-scale turbine will produce between 500 and 1500 watts on a very windy day. Within reason, the best decision here is to go as large as you can afford.
Often, the cost difference between a small-output turbine and a large one is not hugely significant in the larger scheme. If you go larger than you need initially, then you won’t have to make a costly upgrade later.
Most home wind turbine for home systems are extremely reliable and robust devices. Yet the fact remains that by their very nature, your turbine will be extremely exposed to the elements while spinning at a high rate of speed. Thus, it is important to select a unit that is easily repaired if a failure were to occur. The most vulnerable component on a turbine is the blades themselves.
The best units make the replacement of blades a cheap and simple operation. It is a good practice to keep at least one extra set of blades on hand to ensure your downtime will be limited if something is to happen.
Most of the time, a home wind generator will be installed in one location and remain there indefinitely. However, nothing is preventing a turbine from being a portable power solution. In fact, many boats and boon docking RV users love turbines for their clean and reliable power.
Whether you intend for your wind-power system to stay put or keep up with you on the go, ease of mounting is an important feature to look for. The simplest turbines use a simple pole-clamp, allowing the device to be mounted to any pole and moved easily.
A Manual Braking System
Turbines often spin at an extremely fast rate. This is perfectly safe provided that they are mounted properly and in a safe location. However, there will come a time when you need to service, move, or otherwise halt your turbine on a windy day. Attempting to stop a spinning propellor by hand would be a dangerous or even impossible task. Thus, an extremely helpful feature to look for in a turbine is a manual braking mode.
In some units, this is a mechanical device, while others use an electronic solution. In either case, being able to control when your turbine is spinning is an important matter of both safety and convenience.
Similarly, if you live in an area that often experiences very high wind speeds, look for a model that incorporates an automatic speed brake. In exceptionally high winds, some turbines can spin faster than the device can safely operate. Thus, automatic wind brake slows or stops the unit in these conditions, preserving the safety of the unit and anyone near it.
Are There Any Downsides
A home wind generator provides some of the most economical and reliable off-grid power imaginable, and there are very few drawbacks. However, there are still a couple of factors to consider. First, turbines are not completely silent in operation. The noise is not loud or obnoxious, but if you or your neighbors are particularly sensitive to noise, look for a unit with smaller blades and higher-quality bearings to reduce noise.
Second, a quality that is inherent to a turbine is that they simply cannot produce power in the absence of wind. Thus, if you live in or plan to travel to an area with sporadic wind, consider supplementing your wind generator with a solar array or gasoline-powered generator.
Now that you know the basics of generating power from wind, and what to look for in a device, let’s look at a few great options.
It is a great time to be in the market for a home wind turbine. Never before have more options or information been available. While the best home wind turbine will depend on your specific circumstance, there is a clear leader of this roundup.
The Nature Power 70701 is far from the least expensive option here. However, when one considers the quality of construction and the comprehensive list of features, the logic of making such a robust initial investment begins to show.
Regardless of your choice or needs, there will be a unit that allows you to begin generating renewable and reliable power more easily than ever. Once you take the next step, you will wonder how you ever waited this long.
- All-weather, high-quality marine-grade coating and construction provides versatility in both land and sea environments
- Begins to supply power at a very low 7 MPH wind speed, so even if the wind dies down, your power won't
- Maintenance-free design features an industrial-strength die-cast aluminum body with carbon fiber composite blades that are engineered for low-noise operation
- Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Smart Controller varies voltage-to-current ratio for the most efficient charging
- Overspeed/overcrank shutdown prevents damage in high wind conditions
Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API