When investing in wind energy, there are many factors to consider. A wind turbine can be a significant purchase, and minimizing any risk you can for your investment is a smart thing to do. Through thorough research and investigation, you can make the best decision possible and choose the best wind turbine to fit your needs.
Here are some key questions you should ask a potential manufacturer/dealer:
- Does the manufacturer have a warranty contingency? Good manufacturer’s will put money aside on each sale of their products to cover potential warranty costs in the future.
- Is the turbine insurable? You should make sure you are able to secure ‘all-risk’ insurance for your significant purchase, including loss of income.
- What kind of maintenance is required for the turbine? Find out how often your turbine is suggested to be maintained, and the associated costs of maintaining it. Ideally, you want to choose a turbine that does not have a lot of ‘moving parts’. For example, a gear box will require more servicing than a direct drive.
- Does the wind turbine have third party certification? You want to make sure that you’re getting what you pay for, as far as rated power and AEP are concerned.
- How ‘safe’ or ‘reliable’ is the system? Are there elements of the turbine that makes it safer than others, or that might mitigate risk, and makes it more reliable and offers more consistent output?
- Does the turbine have remote monitoring? At minimum, engineers or technicians should be able to ‘tap into’ your wind turbine at any given time to be able to monitor different elements, like wind speed, RPM, export power etc.
A manufacturer or dealer should be able to explain and answer all of the questions above. Investing in wind energy can be an overwhelming process, so knowing the right questions to ask, and what to look for in a good wind turbine is the key to making the best choice.
These are precisely the questions we asked ourselves at Orenda when we were designing and engineering our 51kW Skye™ wind turbine system. The idea was to create as risk free a proposition for all stakeholders.