Wind turbine being installed
Small wind turbines
New Zealand has one of the best wind sources in the world and a number of large centralised wind farms have been developed to harness this resource. Current large wind farms are part of the centralised electricity generation system.
New Zealand’s geography is ideally suited to distributed generation where electricity is generated and consumed at the source. Small wind turbines are ideally suited for DG and can supplement New Zealand’s centralised generation by exporting extra electricity into the grid.
How small wind turbines work
The blades of the wind turbine, positioned appropriately to capture the wind (top of a secured mastpole, top of a domestic or commercial building) are rotated by the force of the wind which then drives a generator or alternator creating electricity.
The electricity generated by the wind turbine can be stored in a ‘battery bank’ if the building is not connected to the grid (SPS). If the home is connected to the grid and the small wind turbine produces more power than the house or business needs, the extra electricity can, with appropriate agreements in place, be exported into the grid and sold to an electricity retailer.
A number of small wind turbines (also called micro wind turbines) have been developed that are designed to be fixed to a building. However many building locations suffer from turbulent winds from surrounding obstacles which can result in poor energy generation. Various brands and sizes are available in New Zealand so contact a SEANZ designer installer to advise you.