Wind Power FAQ

What is a small wind turbine?

A small wind turbine is a type of wind turbine that produces less than 100kW of power.

Where are small wind turbines typically used?

Small wind turbines are used by off-grid and remote communities, businesses, and rural landowners who are looking to decrease dependency on unsustainable energy sources while reducing the cost of power. Generating power to provide electricity for individual homes, farms, schools, and businesses are examples of where small wind can be used–but the applications are numerous.

What if I have a couple of days without much wind?

Many small wind turbines are designed with this scenario in mind. When researching small wind turbine manufacturers, be certain that the turbine is capable of generating power at very low wind speeds and is able to store a portion of the generated power in batteries for later use. A proper site assessment can help determine where on your property a small wind turbine is best situated—be sure that your vendor provides this service.

Are wind turbines noisy?

Today’s small wind turbines are designed for minimal noise and to produce only “white” or ambient noise, even at increased rotation speeds.All small wind turbine installations must adhere to strict municipal, provincial, and federal requirements for sound pressure levels.

What is shadow flicker and should I be concerned about it?

Shadow flicker is a fluttering effect that occurs as a result of the sun hitting rotating turbine blades. It results in a brief shadow that may cast through building windows and cause annoyance. You should not experience shadow flicker with a small wind turbine,provided that you have conducted a proper site assessment and that the installation meets municipal safety requirements.

Are wind turbines a danger to human health?

There has been much debate about the issue of wind turbines and human health, particularly concerning large wind turbines and wind farms. Small wind turbines are not used in the same capacity as large wind turbines and many of the same concerns about wind farms do not apply to small-wind installations. Many organizations continue to study the issue but no conclusive evidence has been found to suggest that wind turbines are a danger to human health.

Are wind turbines a danger to birds and bats?

On occasion, birds and bats will make contact with a wind turbine and this may result in the death of that animal. Lattice-framed turbines are a particular risk to various species as some birds are attracted to the lattice for nesting. A site assessment will help determine the proper placement of a small wind turbine to avoid migratory routes and to help minimize the impact on birds and bats in your area.

Are there organizations that can provide me with more information about small wind, distributed wind power and wind energy solutions?

There are many resources available. We’ve compiled a few for you on our Wind Power Links page.