As a source of renewable energy, wind turbines convert energy from wind into electricity, which is environmentally clean with zero emissions to worry about. If you are in the market for a home wind turbine, we have found the top five home wind turbines for you to consider. Here are our reviews of each of these units so you can make a well-educated choice when choosing a home wind turbine.
Reviews of the Best Wind Turbines for Residential Homes
When it comes to choosing the best wind turbine for your home, there are certain factors which you must consider. We have listed these as:
- Ease of use
- Power output
- Build quality
Here, we’d like to make one very important observation. Always choose a wind turbine size larger than you think you’ll need. Remember, wind turbines are only as effective as wind speeds in your area and so there will be times when winds are slower than anticipated. Home wind turbines can only convert winds to useable electricity if those winds reach a certain velocity. Also, be aware of the fact that the power output listed is going to be the MAXIMUM output so, as mentioned, winds in your area will not always be strong enough to give you maximum output. Keep this in mind and you should do well.
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Individual Reviews of the best home turbines
- 1. Missouri General
- 2. Tumo-Int
- 3. AutoMaxx
- 4. VEVOR
- 5. Primus
1. Missouri General Freedom II
We have chosen the Missouri General Freedom II as our number one choice for a number of reasons. What we found most important in wind turbines is the quality of construction and this wind turbine for homes is at the head of the class. It is built with carbon filter blades and comprised, for the most part, with weather-resistant components.
We found the blades to be especially superior to other wind turbines we’ve reviewed because they are so hard-wearing that the manufacturer has no problem guaranteeing them for life. This is a feature you simply will not find on those models manufactured in China. These are American sourced and constructed.
The Missouri General Freedom II has eleven blades in all with a large surface area designed to obtain the fastest spin when capturing winds, even at low wind speeds. Being heavier than other models, this system takes a lot longer to stop spinning once wind velocity abates and it is built with a cam lock to prevent blades in high winds from spinning loose from the assembly. It is a self-regulating wind turbine made in the USA!
As a renowned American brand, you can expect excellent customer service with high-quality parts and construction. Expect only the best from Missouri.
2. Tumo-Int 1000W 3Blades Wind Turbine
This particular unit is actually a part of a wind turbine kit for homes. Advertised as being good for areas that have low wind speeds, the Tumo-Int is built with patented blades with an aerodynamic design that ensures maximum power and minimum noise and vibration. The blades on the Tumo-Int are made from reinforced fiberglass, which is lightweight and designed to reach a low cut-in speed rated at 2.5 m/s.
We especially like the fact that this model also has an MPPT controller. The monitor is used for real-time monitoring of the turbine and gathering the voltage and current at peak generation. The purpose is to ensure maximum output during the battery charging phase. The MPPT is listed as a “wind boosting” controller.
Included in the kit along with the generator are blades, a nose-cone, and the MPPT controller. Dump loads of Tumo-Int wind turbines vary from 300w to 5kW.
3. AutoMaxx Windmill
Although we are ranking this in the third position of all the home wind turbines we’ve reviewed, this is a highly popular model among homeowners in the US. The AutoMaxx 1200W also comes with an MPPT controller complete with an auto-braking feature. This is included to protect against those surges in voltage, high wind speeds and strong gusts of wind.
The reason this particular unit is so popular today is that it was originally designed for off-grid living, which is huge in the United States in recent years. This kit just about anything and everything you’ll need to construct the turbine as a stand-alone unit for the generation of electricity from wind.
The AutoMaxx is manufactured of the highest quality fiberglass and polypropylene. All components have been specially coated with a UV resistant coating to protect it from the elements. Included in the kit are the amp meter, brake switch, and the above-mentioned MPPT controller.
Kits from AutoMaxx range from a 300W to 1500W maximum output. This particular model is as popular with us as it is with consumers, who have had the pleasure of reviewing and installing this wind turbine from the AutoMaxx 1200W kit.
4. VEVOR Residential
Here is another home wind turbine kit that comes with an MPPT controller, along with the accompanying braking system. What we particularly like about the VEVOR 1200W Residential Home Turbine Kit is that it you can add it to solar panels to provide maximum output, especially at times when winds are unfavorable for the production of electricity. Sometimes this unit is referred to as the NE-1200L, but no matter what it’s called, it’s manufactured from die-cast aluminum with blades made from reinforced glass steel.
The tail provided with the kit is another great feature. This ensures that the unit is self-tuning so that it adjusts automatically to capture the winds from the direction they are blowing. The VEVOR 1200W is built with a 3-phase AC magnet for the permanent generation of smooth power production.
Included in the kit are easy to follow instructions for DIY assembly. The parts consist of the generator, wind turbine, charge controller, and that all-important DIY assembly and installation manual.
5. Primus Air 40
The Primus Air 40 Home Wind Turbine Kit ranks 5th among the wind turbines we’ve reviewed. We find that the design is lightweight and thus easy to assemble and install. We especially like the controller, which is very user-friendly.
If you want to know just how much energy you can capture from wind, the Primus Air 40 is able to produce a maximum of 40kWh/month with wind speeds that average just about 13mph. Wind capture is maximized due to the design of the durable blades, which are also designed to offer quiet operation.
The advanced features we loved about the Primus Air 40 are the electronic torque control for protection against overspeed and we also like the smart microprocessor controller.
This particular home wind turbine kit from Primus is ideal for off-grid power production, as the body is cast aluminum with a total of three composite blades. Last, Primus wind turbines are manufactured in the United States of America. As an American-made wind turbine, you can expect the highest quality in materials and craftsmanship and we are proud to list another totally American made product within our top five best home wind turbines.
Videos - the best home wind turbines
We went out and found the most relevant videos we could - give us some feedback if you can about the quality.
Video - Missouri General
Video - Tumo-Int
Video - AutoMaxx
Video - VEVOR Residential
Video - Primus Air 40
What You Should Consider When Researching and Buying Home Wind Turbines
Of all that there is to consider, two of the most important factors are power output and wind production. Although we recognize that physical size, performance, quality of build and materials along, with ease of use and price, are important, unless you can rely on wind production and power output, you will not generate the electricity you need to power your home. Now, let’s take a look at some other factors to consider when choosing the right wind turbine.
Can You Use a Wind Turbine in Your Geographic Location?
Obviously, the first thing you need to consider is wind. Unfortunately, some areas simply don’t get sufficient winds sustained over time so a home wind turbine standalone unit may not be your best option. Perhaps you should consider a solar/wind combination like the VEVOR 1200W, which is designed specifically to work in conjunction with solar panels.
When it comes to wind, you may be asking what speeds will you need for the generation of power. This is where you need to understand what a cut-in speed is. This is the minimum wind speeds required to generate power. Most home wind turbines require winds at 5 to 6 mph before they can even begin generating power. Even so, that would be a very low and limited amount of power being generated!
When it comes to your locale, be realistic. While home wind turbines are a great way to generate clean and sustainable power, they may not be well suited for your area – again, unless used in conjunction with other systems such as solar and/or hydro. We have found that this is the biggest complaint among homeowners and, unfortunately, there is little that can be done if the unit is functioning properly but installed in areas with insufficient winds to power them!
The following equation will help you understand the relationship between wind and the resulting energy produced. It is written as:
(Wind Speed)3 = Energy Produced
So, the relationship is cubic. To better understand this relationship, consider the fact that winds at 10 mph will generate only about 2/3 the power of winds at 15 mph. This is a vital relationship you must take into consideration before looking for the best (or any!) wind turbine stand-alone system for your geographic location.
One mistake which many homeowners make is to predict winds based on local weather stations or NOAA. It would be far wiser to install a home weather station so that you can accurately log winds in your specific location. Such things as hills, trees, tall buildings, and other variables can, and will, affect the winds you receive.
You will also need to take readings at the same height as you expect those blades to be situated. Winds will never be at the same speed at ground level as they are 10, 20, 30 or even 40 feet in altitude. Finally, never forget that you may not be zoned to use a wind turbine in your area, so don’t forget to research codes!
What Size Wind Turbine Will You Need for your home?
This may take a few advanced calculations to determine what size home turbine you need to power your home, so it has been suggested that you visit the energy.gov website. They state that the ‘average’ home will use approximately 10,766 kWh per year. However, as you know, no two homes use the same amount of electricity. While your neighbor’s electric bill might be a mere $100 a month, yours may tally to over $400! It’s all about the application of the energy used.
Some homes require greater amounts of electricity based on the appliances and equipment in use, along with other factors such as the number of residents and the energy star rating of appliances in use. Perhaps the easiest way to assess what size wind turbine you will need would be to analyze the previous one or two years’ power consumption. This you can usually find on your provider’s website.
Next, look at the maximum output of the unit you are looking at and if that comes even close when adding the max per month output, you know you need a larger unit. Remember, those ratings are based on the maximum output based on favorable winds. You can’t always count on the weather as it has a mind of its own!
Ratings in Performance and Speed for choosing the best home turbines
All things are not equal from wind turbine to wind turbine. Obviously, quality and performance are key issues here so what you need to consider are those three essentials:
- Rated speed
- Cut-in speed
- Survival speed (maximum speeds it can survive without failing)
Quality of Build and Materials
You have seen us make much of the “Made in America” label we are so proud of. This is because our materials are rated highly and the quality of craftsmanship is also well-regarded on a worldwide basis. Even then, you must consider the types of materials your wind turbine is manufactured with such as steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and UV coatings. Superior materials yield superior performance and that is what you must remember.
Ease of Use and Assembly
Home wind turbines can be installed but most people opt for DIY assembly because of the high cost of labor. If you are looking at installing a home wind turbine, always read the reviews to see if there are adequate and easy-to-follow instructions. This is paramount to performance! If you can’t install it, you can’t generate power. It’s as simple as that.
Bottom Line Costs
Again, the reason most people opt for a DIY home wind turbine kit is because of the bottom line cost. Labor is always going to be equal to, or greater than, the cost of the kit, so that is something to be cognizant of. However, cost should never be your ultimate concern because as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for.” A highly ranked wind turbine kit is probably the result of quality and performance. Add these two things up and you will see that the cost may be more than another kit that promises like performance, but the quality and endurance just aren’t there.
In the long run, you will be saving tens of thousands of dollars over time when you generate your own power from renewable energy. Keep this in mind and a few hundred dollars will seem like a drop in the bucket. Always opt for quality and performance over cost.
If you're interested in this, you may be interested in our home weather station breakdown.
FAQs relating to home wind turbines
How big of a wind turbine do you need to power a house?
When it comes to how big of a wind turbine you need, it is based on the application you will be using it for and the size of your house. In general, a standard home uses about 10,932 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each and every year. What this means is that you would need a wind turbine that is 5 to 15 kW in an area that gets winds of an average of 14mph. If you live in an extremely windy area, this will need to be factored into the equation.
What type of wind turbine is the most efficient?
There are a number of different small wind turbines on the market meant for home use, each with their own list of benefits. Ideally, you want to look for a model that offers high energy output, has a lightweight design, has some sort of UV protection coating so it holds up to the elements, can hold up well to moderate winds and even high winds here and there, and doesn't over-charge the battery.
A great example is the Windmill 1500W Wind Turbine Generator Kit, with an energy output of 1500W and a wind speed rating of 31mph.
How long does it take for a wind turbine to pay for itself?
This answer is dependent upon the price of the wind turbine itself, but in general, a small turbine that is mid-range in quality and meant for home use typically costs around $800. Now, because you will simply be cutting down on your electricity bill, it can take a little while before you consider it paid for. However, some homeowners claim they see that break-even point in as little as six to eight months.
Are wind turbines easy to maintain?
While relatively easy to maintain, there are some yearly maintenance checks and steps that should be performed. Each year you should check and then tighten any bolts, check for any worn leading edge tape and replace if necessary, check for corrosion on the guy wires, check that there is proper tension on the guy wires, and expect to replace the bearings and turbine blades about every 10 years. Like with many types of machinery, maintenance is key to ensuring that it has a long lifespan.
How long does a wind turbine last?
Obviously, this answer depends on a few different factors, such as the quality of the machine, whether proper maintenance has been performed on a regular basis, and the overall design. In general, you can expect it to last anywhere from 20-25 years.