Having being around in the industry for well over a decade, we have had direct and indirect experience of a lot of different wind turbines, of various sizes and from different manufacturers.
One thing stands out as a golden rule: only buy good quality wind turbines from leading manufacturers with a good track record. If you don’t, your turbine will be less reliable, causing you problems and ultimately cost you more.
Arguably the very best medium scale wind turbines available for onshore applications are made by Enercon of Germany. Their turbines are generally the most efficient, the quietest and the most reliable.
However, at the 500 kW-scale Enercon can only offer de-rated versions of their 800 kW turbines, whereas EWT can offer a genuine 500 kW wind turbine, albeit based on its 900 kW big brother. EWT are nowhere near as large as Enercon, but they are still a significant player in the European market, particularly in the UK 500 kW market. EWT are a very professional company and to date their growing number of installed wind turbines are operating reliably and efficiently.
The UK feed-in Tariff banding has a 500 kW – 1.5 MW band which is quite attractive, but there aren’t many 1.5 MW wind turbines available, with one of the few good quality turbines coming from GE (General Electric). EWT are planning on introducing a 1.5 MW turbine into the UK market in the near future which could also be a good option.
At the smaller medium-wind end of the market only the Endurance E-3120 55 kW wind turbine has a long enough track record and good enough reputation for Renewables First to recommend it. This part of the wind turbine market is a minefield of poor quality products, many of which will struggle to last 5 years let alone their 20 year design lives. Only the Endurance E-3120 stands out as a good quality and reliable wind turbine produced by a manufacturer that has a long-term commitment to the product and this scale of wind turbines.
The Norvento nED-100 100 kW wind turbine is a high quality, reliable wind turbine at the slightly larger 100kW scale, and is highly recommended by Renewables First.
Want to install a wind turbine?
If you are in the UK then take our Wind Site Self-Assessment - Step 1 of our modular Windpower Feasibility Study. It takes about 20 minutes to work through the basic checks to see if your site might be suitable, including:
- Estimating wind speed
- Checking proximity of nearby properties
- Checking site access and approach roads
- Investigating connection with the grid