Can I put a wind turbine on my rooftop and therefore avoid the cost of a tower?
Winds are more powerful and less turbulent higher off the ground, thus the taller tower, the greater the turbine's energy production. In addition, the presence of ground clutter greatly reduces the wind resource and increases wind turbulence. One rule of thumb is that the bottom of the blade swept area should be a minimum of 30 feet above any trees or buildings within 300 to 500 feet. While a wind turbine can be placed on a roof top, it will operate more efficiently higher off the ground.
Cole Gustafson, North Dakota State University
Irene Shonle, Colorado State University