The shift towards green energy is giving more relevance to alternate energy sources like wind. Although an increasing number of people and businesses are adopting wind turbines, those who are still undecided often raise concerns about the noise they generate.
Are you interested in installing a home wind turbine? If so, you may be wondering how much noise small wind turbines create.
In this article, we’ll go through how much sound they make, considerations for installation, and a few product recommendations to get you started.
How Much Sound Does a Small Home Wind Turbine Make?
A small wind turbine’s estimated sound level is 43 decibels (dB), which is lower than an air conditioner (50 dB) but slightly higher than a refrigerator (40 dB).
While both appliances are typically installed inside the home, the wind turbine is placed outside, where it is almost silent.
So, if the noise from your air conditioner or refrigerator doesn’t bother you, you’ll have no problems with a small home wind turbine.
The table below compares wind turbine noise levels with other common noise sources:
|Noise Level (dB)
|35 to 45
|75 to 85
|55 to 80
|40 to 60
|Rural night-time background
|20 to 40
|Busy general office
Apart from a comparable noise level, installation distance is another factor that erases concerns about any potential noise.
Since small wind turbines are usually installed 1,000-1,600 feet (300-500 meters) away from a house, the distance can help lower the noise level to about 38 dB, so it shouldn’t cause too much disturbance.
According to the Department of Energy, wind farms and turbines, whether small or large, will have noise levels of between 35 and 45 dB at the closest range of 300 meters (984.25 feet).
In addition, external sound from construction, car horns, and other human activities can completely bury the sound from a small wind turbine.
How Manufacturers Managed to Reduce Wind Turbine Noise
Modern wind turbines have low noise levels thanks to some modifications. To make these devices ideal for a residential setup, manufacturers have incorporated the following modifications that have lowered their noise levels significantly:
- Upwind rotors: Wind turbines with upwind rotors have their rotors facing into the wind, reducing impulsive noise due to wind shadow.
- Streamlined towers and nacelles: Modern nacelles and towers have an aerodynamic shape that reduces wind noise.
- Soundproof nacelles: Modern wind turbines have their nacelles covered with sound-dampening buffer pads that reduce mechanical noise from the gears, generators, and other moving parts.
- Efficient blades: Designing wind turbines with more efficient blades creates less aerodynamic noise while generating more wind energy.
Factors To Consider Before Installing a Small Wind Turbine
If current trends are anything to go by, fossil fuel-based energy sources will continue to drop in favor of cleaner energy.
Many countries have even passed legislation to reduce carbon emissions, the primary byproduct of fossil fuels.
Small wind turbines provide a cleaner and more cost-effective alternative energy solution. However, there are certain factors to note before installing a small home wind turbine. They include:
- Zoning laws
- Wind strength
- Installation location
Let’s consider each point more closely.
- Zoning laws – different zones have laws that regulate residential wind turbine installation. Before you buy one, double-check the requirements for your zone. For example, check whether your area has a law limiting the height of a wind turbine.
- Wind strength – ensure your area has strong winds. If the winds are not strong enough, your turbine will have low power output, which will seem like a waste of money. Additionally, check if you have a suitable location for the turbine to work optimally.
- Installation Location – you will need to place your small wind turbine in an adequate location – ideally, somewhere it can experience enough wind to function. It should be away from any obstructions for the best results.
- Capacity – wind turbines vary in ability. So, before purchasing one, determine the amount of electricity your home requires so that you may choose one with a similar capacity that will serve you well.
- Cost – factor in the purchase, installation, workmanship, and other costs to ensure you can handle it.
This YouTube video provides an in-depth analysis of all you need to know about buying and installing a small wind turbine:
Pros and Cons of Small Wind Turbines
Small wind turbines provide a cleaner and cost-effective alternative energy solution. However, they come with a few challenges.
If you plan to install wind power in your home, it will help if you weigh the pros and cons so you’re clear on what to expect.
Advantages of Small Wind Turbines
Do you need reasons to invest in a small wind turbine? Look no further. Here are some advantages:
- Small wind turbines are environmentally friendly – unlike fossil fuel power plants, they don’t generate any environmentally destructive byproducts. Instead, wind turbines produce pure energy from the natural wind.
- Wind energy is renewable and dependable – although the intensity may vary in different locations, the wind is a natural phenomenon that will remain available as long as the earth exists. This benefit implies that we can always rely on wind turbines to generate electricity.
- Wind turbines have a long lifespan – they can last for up to 20-30 years. So, you can be sure you’ll enjoy your money’s worth.
Disadvantages of Small Wind Turbines
Here are some challenges of using small wind turbines:
- Weather reliance – even if the wind is always present, it does not always blow strongly. When the wind is not strong enough, energy production will be low. As a result, you’ll be unable to use some appliances. These turbines rely heavily on wind conditions and are perfect in rural areas with few obstacles.
- High installation cost – installing a residential wind turbine can be relatively pricey compared to other energy sources.
- Restrictions – some residential areas may be designated as wind turbine-free zones. Always double-check with your building’s management department.
- Threat to birds – whirring blades of a wind turbine can kill birds and bats if they run into them.
- Lightning effect – when lightning strikes a wind turbine, it can cause significant damage. Since you must keep a turbine outside and as high as possible, you must be willing to take this risk to trap enough wind to generate power.
Choosing a Small Wind Turbine for Your Home
Small wind turbines generally range from 400 watts to 100 kilowatts. You must first know the electricity requirements of your home before purchasing a turbine.
Check all appliances in your home or office and calculate the total power rating requirements. This calculation would help you choose the wind turbine with sufficient capacity to meet your energy needs.
However, if you don’t know how to determine the energy requirements of your home or office, consult experts to help you.
Best-Selling Small Wind Turbines
This section contains a few affiliate links to help support our blog, writers, and editors.
Home wind turbines vary in cost and capacity. Need some ideas to select yours? Here are some of the top-selling small home wind power generators.
Hilitand 800W Small Wind Generator
This small wind generator has three blades and pushes about 800W. It has a high wind energy utilization rate and a slow start-up speed.
It guarantees excellent performance thanks to its optimized aerodynamic design and accurate injection‑molded blades.
The generator is also water, corrosion, and sand-resistant.
Dyna-Living Wind Turbine Generator
This product is another relatively inexpensive yet effective wind turbine generator. It can produce up to 400MW of electricity. With three blades and a charge controller, this wind turbine is perfect for small homes and boats.
In addition, it can function well, even in extremely low or high temperatures.
NINILADY Free Energy Vertical Wind Generator
This small turbine can generate up to 600MW of power. It has three blades and makes little noise.
A controller in this package helps you conveniently monitor how much energy your turbine is producing.
PIKASOLA Wind Turbine Generator Kit
This wind turbine has an automated rotor that adapts to wind speeds.
Its long blades help generate more power, and it’s suitable for home use and with boats and RVs.
Nature Power Wind Turbine Generator
This small wind turbine has three blades and produces 500MW of electricity. This product is nearly infrangible, with high resistance to extreme weather conditions.
Although it’s relatively more expensive than its counterparts with the same power generation capacity, you can rely on it to deliver long-term.
In addition, it requires little maintenance and produces less noise than other wind turbines in its class.
Residential, small wind turbines are clean, accessible, and reliable electricity generators.
Though some people are concerned about the “swishing” noise a turbine makes, the background noise will be barely audible amid everyday noise like cars and human activities.
The up-front cost of a home wind turbine is worth it since it will save you on electricity bills in the long run.
As with all pieces of tech, we understand that maintaining small wind turbines can seem intimidating. Just imagine the costs!
Lucky you! We broke down Small Wind Turbine Maintenance from frequency to warranties you may be eligible for.
If that doesn’t get you on the small wind turbine hype train, then these Small Wind Turbine Tax Credits You Can Apply For Right Now will surely change your mind!