How to Reduce Energy Costs With Do-It-Yourself Wind Turbines


With energy costs on the rise, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their dependence on the electric grid. Installing small wind turbines is one way to generate your own renewable electricity and slash your energy bills. DIY wind turbines are an affordable option that can be customized to suit your needs and work with the wind speeds in your area.

In this comprehensive guide, I'll cover everything you need to know about designing, building, and installing your own wind turbine system. I'll provide tips on how to determine if your property is suitable, choose the right turbine size, select optimal materials, and safely mount your turbine. I'll also share advice on integrating wind power into your existing electrical system to get the most out of your investment.

Whether you're a beginner or have some prior wind power experience, you'll find all the guidance you need to successfully harness wind energy for residential use and take control of your energy costs.

Assessing Your Property's Wind Resource

The first step in any wind turbine project is determining if your property has adequate wind speeds to generate sufficient electricity. You'll need consistent annual wind speeds of at least 10 mph for a grid-connected turbine system. For off-grid battery charging, 5-8 mph may suffice depending on your power needs.

To find out your average wind speeds:

You'll get the most accurate wind resource assessment from onsite measurements. Compare wind speeds at different times of day and different seasons to see when wind peaks at your location. Focus on the windiest months when sizing your system.

Ideally, choose a site with few obstructions and turbulence. Elevated, open areas almost always have better wind flow than sheltered valleys or heavily forested land.

Selecting an Appropriate Turbine Size

Once you know your site's wind speeds, you can select a turbine rated for those conditions. In general, faster winds allow larger turbines that can generate more electricity.

Small turbines (1-10 kW) are best for residential use in areas with average wind speeds of 4-6 m/s (9-14 mph). They typically have rotor diameters up to 24 feet. These turbines can directly power appliances or charge batteries when used off-grid.

For sites with excellent wind resources (6-7 m/s or 15-18 mph), medium turbines (10-50 kW) may be suitable. They can have rotors up to 40 feet across and produce enough power for multiple houses.

Always match the turbine size to your particular wind speeds. Undersized turbines won't generate as much energy. Oversized turbines may not function well in speeds lower than their rating.

DIY Wind Turbine Design Types

There are two main design options for homebuilt wind turbines:

Horizontal axis turbines generally produce more power for a given size. But vertical designs have advantages like omnidirectional operation that make them worth considering for DIY builds.

Research both types or consult wind energy experts to pick the right model for your project goals and site. You can also explore hybrid vertical/horizontal designs.

Choosing Reliable DIY Wind Turbine Kits

Purchasing a DIY wind turbine kit with prefabricated parts is the easiest route to take when building your own. Reputable kits include everything you need like blades, generators, towers, and wiring.

When comparing kits, look for:

Kits that meet certification standards offer proven designs that will hold up over many years of operation. Investing in quality parts saves headaches down the road.

Key Wind Turbine Materials and Components

If you want to build a wind turbine from scratch, you'll need to source many specific materials and components. Here are some of the main items:

Mounting Your Wind Turbine Properly

Proper turbine mounting is critical for safety and performance. The tower must elevate the turbine to get it clear of wind turbulence:

The tower must withstand the turbine's vibrations, weight shifting, and thrust forces. Guy wires help stabilize freestanding towers.

Most residential turbines are mounted on:

Proper siting and a stable foundation are also critical. Position the turbine upwind of buildings or trees and anchor tower footings below the frost line.

Integrating Your Wind Turbine With the Electrical System

To utilize the power your wind turbine generates, it needs to connect to your electrical system properly. This includes:

Consult with an electrician for proper installation and permits. Never connect your turbine directly to the grid without an inverter and interconnection approval.

Obtaining Proper Permits and Approvals

Most residential wind turbine projects require some form of permitting or approval from local authorities:

Submit applications early in your planning process. Getting permits can take weeks or even months.

Practicing Proper Safety During Wind Turbine Operation

Correct turbine siting, engineering, and installation are vital for safety, but you must also operate and maintain the system properly:


Installing your own wind turbine is an involved but rewarding project that lets you take charge of your energy supply. With proper planning, design, component selection, installation, and maintenance, a residential wind turbine can provide clean power and energy bill savings for years to come. Use this guide to make your DIY wind project a success!