Frequently asked questions about wind turbines and wind energy

Are wind turbines noisey?
The “swish” sound of the rotor blades passing the tower of a wind turbine primarily arises at the tip and the back edge of the rotor blade. The higher the rotational speed, the louder the sound.

Aerodynamic noise has been cut dramatically during the past ten years due to better design of rotor blades (particularly blade tips and back edges), as a consequence the new Air Breeze has been found to emit the same sound levels as background sounds (wind and surrounding ambient noises) in third party testing.

Is wind energy expensive?
No. Wind energy has become the least expensive renewable energy technology in existence.

Is wind energy environmentally safe?
Yes. Wind energy leaves no harmful emissions or residue in the environment.

Are wind turbines reliable?

Wind turbines only produce energy when the wind is blowing, and energy production varies with each gust of wind. The variable forces acting on a wind turbine throughout its average lifetime of 120,000 operating hours could be expected to exert significant wear and tear on the machine. Turbines therefore have to be built to very exacting industrial standards. High quality modern wind turbines have an availability factor above 98 per cent, i.e. the turbines are on average operational and ready to run for more than 98 per cent of the hours of the year. Modern wind turbines only require a maintenance check every six months.

Will wind energy work on a small scale?
Wind energy can be used in all sorts of applications – from small battery chargers in lighthouses or remote dwellings to industrial scale turbines of 1.5 megawatts capable of supplying the equivalent of the electricity consumption of one thousand families. Other interesting and highly economic applications include wind energy used in combination with diesel powered backup generators in several small, isolated electrical grids throughout the world.