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Divya Prabha M.V posted:

Similar to solar panels, is there good scope to have small wind turbines on rooftops in India? 1 year ago Like

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Narasimhan Santhanam Well Divya, good question.

The short answer is: No.

Here's a longer answer.

While solar PV based power plants are truly modular in nature (they work as well in small sizes as they do in large sizes), the same cannot be said for the wind turbines. In most cases, I have seen that small scale wind turbines have very poor CUFs in Indian conditions. Besides, large parts of India are not exactly windy, while most regions of India get at least reasonable, if not very good, sunshine.

Finally, solar panels and solar power plants are a well established, global industry, with quality standards and warranties well in place, ensuring that the retail, distributed energy sector can reliably invest in them. Small scale wind turbine sector, on the other hand, is quite unorganized world over (even more unorganized in India), suffers from lack credible quality standards and benchmarks. All these hinder the small end user in residential or small commercial sector to invest in small wind turbines on rooftops.

While some technological advances such as vertical axis wind turbines are likely to accelerate adoption of small wind turbines on rooftops in India, I do not expect the rooftop wind power market in India to be even a small fraction of the rooftop solar panels market in the foreseeable future.

Aravind Venugopalan A technical limitation for wind turbines is that wind speed is much better the higher you go. Partly due to this reason, wind turbines are getting larger and larger. Like

Narasimhan Santhanam @Aravind - yes, that too. The power generated by a wind turbine is proportional to the cube wind speed (Power = k.v^3). And as Aravind said, wind speeds are higher with altitudes, so you can see that you get a much higher bang for the buck if the blades are a higher altitude. In fact, some of today's largest MW scale wind turbines are 100+ meters high.

Unfortunately for small wind, the converse is true as well - lower the altitude, much lower is the overall generation.

Manohar Namasivayam @Divya @narsi

What about wind from coastal rural areas which can benefit from
such a low cost turbine,

I read about this some time ago.

Is it a viable option >?

Narasimhan Santhanam Hi Manohar - Your idea can lend itself to a slightly different perspective...yes coastal rural areas could have more wind and hence could be more attractive for small wind turbines. Still, I doubt if rural households could afford to invest in small wind turbines (please note that the cost/kW for small wind is right now much higher than that for solar power plant, almost 1.5 times that of a solar power plant).

But as I mentioned, the fact that you have good wind even at low heights in the coastal rural areas could be used for community scale wind power plants, where perhaps with a good amount of government support, there can be perhaps 15 or 20 kW wind turbines for each village, set not on rooftops, but on some common community land. Such a community wind farm does away with rooftop structural issues, maintenance is less of an issue now that the community (and not just a single household) is involved in it, and finally another avenue in the government's Power for All mantra.

A tweak that government can try while implementing this is to have a solar/wind hybrid power plant, as we all know that solar and wind power generation are kind of complementary to each other, thus resulting in a relatively more uniform power generation over a day than solar or wind alone.

Of course, whatever I have mentioned comes under the broad scope of microgrids - though I doubt the government has considered your perspective in terms of use of small wind specifically for coastal rural areas as part of the microgrid energy source mix.

Manohar Namasivayam Link />
This is old news.

The product has not caught on.
@Divya will you be knowing its performance currently.

Narasimhan Santhanam @Manohar, I don't know what you do to your links, but they don't lead anywhere :-), I see a /> after the link which could be creating problems, so am removing it and giving your link that works - Link Like

Narasimhan Santhanam Oh and by the way, on the YourStory link you had given @Manohar, one of the founders, Arun George had contacted me a few months before he launched his firm, as he wanted us to do a survey of the market. I really hope they are able to make some breakthrough here, but my questions and concerns on small wind turbines remain... Like

BALAJI CS First of all Wind power is site specific whereas the solar power ,irrradince level and the expected output can be generalized to a greater extent say for a city/town.

large wind parks need a detailed Wind Resource assessment (WRA) and even for kw rated wind generators we need to have the historical wind speed pattern,elevation etcc so as to arrive the optimal design/feasibility-whereas solar PV System & modules are all standardized and one can source it from the market with ease to meet his power requirement.This factor plays a key role in limiting the spread of smaller wind turbines.However hybrid systems (wind +solar)would be much more effective provided we do the ground work thoroughly

Divya Prabha M.V Thanks for the answers. I also wanted some clarity on how much do these small-scale wind turbines cost. For e.g, a 1 kW solar power plant today costs about Rs.55-60 per Watt. Do wind turbines also cost around the same for such small capacities? Like

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