Science Energy The 4 Best Wind Turbine Manufacturers of 2021 Lower your energy costs By Lisa Jo Rudy Writer Wesleyan University (BA) Harvard University (MDiv) Lisa has been writing for Dotdash since 2005 and works with a wide range of educational publishers, conservation nonprofits, and research institutions. She has written for science museums, nature centers, zoos, and state parks. our editorial process Lisa Jo Rudy Updated December 16, 2020 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Science Renewable Energy Fossil Fuels Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. AshleyCooper / Getty Images If you’re eager to produce green energy, lower your energy costs, or even get off the grid entirely, a wind turbine may be the perfect solution. However, wind turbines are not for everyone. The decision to buy one will depend on a lot of important factors: the rules surrounding wind turbines in your town or neighborhood, your energy needs, and your budget. There are three sizes of turbines that are generally appropriate for residential (as opposed to commercial) use: microturbines, small household turbines, and large household turbines. And the exact amount of energy produced by any turbine can only be calculated when you know exactly where it will be situated along with the annual average wind speed in your area. Here we’ve rounded up the best wind turbines, so you can choose the appropriate one for your needs. Our Top Picks Best Overall: GowegroupBest Tiny Turbine: Pikasola Wind Turbine Generator KitBest Full-Sized Residential Turbine: AutoMaxx Windmill 1500W 24V 60A Wind TurbineBest Hybrid System: Hybrid Solar Primus Wind Magnum Energy Off-Grid Pre-Engineered Kits Best Overall: Gowegroup Gowe Buy on Gowegroup.com Why We Chose It: Like all wind turbine makers, Gowegroup provides alternative green energy for homeowners. It also provides a wide enough range of sturdy products that are appropriate for homesteaders, small farmers, and families interested in living off the grid. This is important for many Treehugger readers, who go above and beyond the desire to save money on energy costs. What We Like - Solid reputation- Wide range of options including very large and very small turbines- Generally, well built and reliable What We Don’t Like - Can be pricey- Installation can be tricky- May be hard to find spare parts It’s tough to pick an overall best turbine, because each maker creates a range of turbines for different uses and at different price points. The best overall, therefore, is really the maker that provides the most consistently acceptable results and receives the best reviews, and that's Gowegroup. Gowegroup's turbines come in a variety of sizes, are easily available, and do a solid job of providing energy at any level you need. While they’re neither the cheapest nor the easiest to install, they provide reliable performance across the board for 1,000 watts, 500 watts hybrid, 3,000 watts, 400 watts vertical, 70 watts hybrid, and 550 watts. Gowegroup also makes turbines for marine and RV use, and its turbines can be used for water pumping and similar purposes. Pricing for Gowegroup's wind turbines fall on the higher end of the spectrum. You can expect to pay between roughly $500 to $4,000. Best Tiny Turbine: Pikasola Wind Turbine Generator Kit Pikasola Buy on Amazon Why We Chose It: Treehugger users will find this product intuitive; it’s a low-effort way to decrease carbon emissions. In addition, it’s an inexpensive option for those who are eager to make a positive impact but are not able to make a major investment in energy production. What We Like - Low cost- Multiple features for durability and ease of use- A great product for people who are new to wind power What We Don’t Like - Produces a relatively small amount of electricity- May not make maximum use of wind due to lower siting For buyers who want to utilize wind power as part of an overall energy package—and don’t want the expense or difficulty of siting and setting up a tower—tiny or “micro” turbines are a great way to start. The Pikasola Wind Turbine Generator Kit costs roughly $269 and produces 400 watts of electricity in a stiff wind. In the right setting, it can power a boat, RV, tiny house, or cabin. Though it’s referred to as “micro,” this product has 23.4-inch nylon, carbon fiber blades. The material is waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight. It runs a three-phase motor and alternating current (AC) generator and includes a voltage regulator that automatically shuts down when the battery is fully-charged. The wind generator is controlled by a Maximum Power Point Tracking intelligent microprocessor (MPPT), which can effectively adjust current and voltage. The system does this based on wind direction to capture maximum wind speed. Best Full-Sized Residential Turbine: AutoMaxx Windmill 1500W 24V 60A Wind Turbine AutoMaxx Buy on Automaxxwindmill.com Why We Chose It: Whether you select the 1,200- or the 1,500-watt versions, this product can get you off the grid completely at an affordable price. That means you’ll be producing green energy for all your needs without breaking the bank—important consideration for Treehugger readers. What We Like - Plenty of power for an entire home- Price is right- Comes with a warranty What We Don’t Like - Customer service may not be top-quality- Can be tricky to install Automaxx is a well-established brand, and both of its 1,200- and 1,500-watt models are powerful enough to provide off-the-grid energy for any home. The 1,500-watt model costs about $1600, which is a very reasonable price relative to its power. As with any larger turbine, this product must be installed on a tower that is properly sited; installing a turbine tower can be a DIY job, but is often a professional project. The Automaxx 1,500 is made of weather-resistant polypropylene and glass fiber, and is coated with a UV-resistant layer to slow degradation. It also includes manual and automatic braking features to protect against major wind gusts, aesthetically-designed blades that fit into the environment, and a one-year warranty with purchase. Best Hybrid System: Hybrid Solar Primus Wind Magnum Energy Off-Grid Pre-Engineered Kits Blue Pac Solar Buy on Bluepacificsolar.com Why We Chose It: If you’re interested in creating your own green energy, solar and wind both have their drawbacks. With a hybrid system, you’re able to take advantage of both forms of energy to ensure power even when the wind is dead or the clouds cover the sky. What We Like - Hybrid system makes the most of both wind and solar energy- Reviews say this is a solid, well-built system from a stable company- Support available from the company What We Don’t Like - More expensive than two systems and a controller- Requires a tower for the turbine- May be difficult to install Many wind turbines are specifically designed to work in conjunction with solar cells. The idea, of course, is that neither wind nor sun is always available—but one or the other is usually present. If you’re handy (or have money for a contractor), you can buy two separate systems plus a controller to link the two together. Primus systems, however, combine wind and solar energy into a single product. The primus hybrids are available in various sizes, from .9 kilowatts to 5.4 kilowatts, and are priced accordingly, from roughly $7,700 to $11,003. These wind turbines must be sited on a tower away from the home—a project that may require a contractor. Bottom Line There are many brands, sizes, and styles of wind turbines available, and your choice will be based on your specific needs and location as well as your comfort with DIY projects and wind technology. Before selecting a turbine, check that it's allowed in your location, decide how much energy you will need based on household use, and conduct research to determine average windspeed (which will tell you how much energy you can produce with any given turbine). You should also determine where to site your turbine based on access to wind and set a budget for purchasing, installing, and maintaining your turbine. Once you’ve made your choice, select the wind turbine that has enough power to meet your needs. While we made specific recommendations, you may find that a different size or brand is better for your particular situation. What Is a Residential Wind Turbine? A residential wind turbine is a system that utilizes wind power to provide some or all of the energy needed to power your home. Typically, a home wind turbine system consists of turbines with two or three blades made from fiberglass or similar composite material; a tower which must be sited away from your home in a location where wind is strongest; a controller; storage batteries; an inverter (power conditioning unit); wiring; an electrical disconnect switch; a grounding system; and a foundation for the tower. What Are the Benefits of a Residential Wind Turbine? Not only do wind turbines save you a great deal of money in energy costs, but they are also a good way to reduce your negative impact on the environment by producing energy without the use of fossil fuels. In addition, the expenses associated with residential wind turbines are often offset by tax rebates. What Are the Downsides of Residential Wind Turbines? While smaller wind turbines (used for pumping water, powering boats, etc.) may not have many issues, larger wind turbines are visually obvious, take up a lot of space, make at least some noise, and must be maintained. They are not allowed in some neighborhoods because of their visual impact. What Happens if There’s No Wind? Wind turbines generate power that is stored in a battery, so a brief period of calm should not be a problem. A protracted period of calm, however, can be a problem if you have no backup system. That’s why many people who use wind energy also use solar or fossil fuel energy as a backup. How We Chose the Best Wind Turbines We wanted to provide readers with a range of options based on different needs and price points. so we looked for turbines that offered a combination of quality, ease of installation, reasonable price, and positive reviews from users. We also researched companies that have been in business long enough to establish themselves so that users can expect to find replacement parts, customer service, and reliable warranties.