This section will help you determine whether and what kind of wind measurements are most appropriate for your small wind project.
Depending on the size of the project you envision, you may want to do a “wind resource assessment” at the proposed site, since wind is affected by subtle variations in landscape and tree growth. On one end of the scale, this wind resource assessment may involve a simple visual inspection backed up by existing wind data (e.g. from the Canadian Wind Atlas, which our Ballpark Cost Calculator is based on). On the other end of the scale you might want to purchase an anemometer that can take precise wind measurements for up to a year. It depends on how much you want to spend and how accurate you want your data to be. Below are some options in order of increasing cost and accuracy:
- No-Cost Options (generally provides sufficient accuracy for installation of turbines up to 1 kW rated output)
- Low-Cost Option (for turbines up to 10 kW)
- Precision Option (for systems larger than 10 kW)
Did you know?... The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that half the land mass in the United States has sufficient wind to make a small turbine viable, provided a tall enough tower is used!
It's probably not worthwhile or cost-effective to measure the wind on your site if you live in an area with low average winds of under 2 m/s (in this case you might want to reconsider using small wind at all). This is a rule of thumb; ask your retailer or manufacturer for details.