Can a Wind Turbine Charge a Battery?

One of the biggest issues with wind turbines is that they only generate electricity when the wind’s blowing! That includes times even when demand for electricity is at it’s lowest. For example, during Summer months, or during the night when most people are asleep.

In an ideal situation, the excess or unused electricity would be stored in batteries, so it’s available when demand is high, but the wind is not blowing.

Which leads to the key question – can wind turbines charge batteries?

The electrical energy produced by a wind turbine can charge batteries. No matter its size or capacity, any wind turbine can be used to charge batteries, and those batteries can then provide electricity during times when the wind is not blowing.

In fact, battery storage of excess wind energy is one of the next revolutions in the wind industry.

Elon Musk already changed what’s possible in 2017, when he installed the world’s largest lithium ion battery, which provides power in an area of South Australia that was struggling with sever power outages.The battery unit is connected to and charged by both solar panels and wind turbines.

It’s so big it can power up to 30,000 homes with electricity for a full hour, and has transformed grid reliability in that part of the world. It’s highly likely this kind of large scale renewable energy to battery storage technology will be deployed to other regions around the world.

In addition to charging batteries for homes and commercial purposes, turbines and their connected batteries can also serve as essential backups during emergencies too.

In 2011, Hurricane Irene left 2 million people without electricity across 14 states in America.

In order to provide relief during such emergencies, small wind turbines are employed. Not only do they help recharge some of the essential appliances, but battery backups also help to maintain energy at the required levels.

However, using wind turbines to charge batteries is not without its problems.

If you use wind turbines as your primary source of charging the connected batteries, lengthy turbine breakdowns could cause your batteries to be depleted. If your batteries are powering critical equipment, you may need a grid connection as a tertiary backup.

Also don’t forget, nothing lasts forever. The lifespan of small wind turbines is usually 20-25 years, although large commercial turbines can go up to 40 years and more. You may need a contingency plan for times during breakdowns, or after a turbine or wind farm is decommisioned.

What Type of Batteries Can Wind Turbines Charge?

Wind power can be used to charge any type of rechargeable battery, including car batteries, cellphone batteries, and batteries within the grid for off-grid storage and signal stabilization.

Obviously it wouldn’t make any sense to connect a cellphone battery to a large turbine!

A small home-size wind turbine could be used to power a home, and in turn the plug sockets in your home work as normal – recharging small items like cellphone and battery-power vacuum cleaners.

A large wind farm with say ten turbines all generating Megwatts of electricity would be more suited to charging the Elon Musk size battery arrays than can power towns and cities.

How Long Does It Take To Charge a Battery With A Wind Turbine?

How long it takes to charge a battery with a wind turbine depends on the size of wind turbine connected to the battery, and the size of the battery—or batteries if more than one is connected, and also of course how much wind speed there is at any given time while the battery is being charged.

Can a wind turbine charge an electric car?

Wind turbines can be used to charge electric cars, provided that the electricity produced in the turbine is sent to the charging stations or, as they are typically known, EV (Electric Vehicle) chargers.

Electric cars are powered by batteries that need to be charged before running out. Although electric cars may have larger battery capacity, sometimes the speed at which they draw power from their batteries is too fast for generators to supply them while charging. Henceforth, even if your location high wind speeds, it’s unlikely that the required amount of energy can be produced in time to recharge an EV (electric vehicle).

I mention that because people are asking if it’s possible to mount a small wind turbine on an electric car so it charges the battery as it moves – but the turbine would offer resistant that drained the battery faster than it could charge it.

As mentioned above, the best solution is for wind turbines to charge up the EV charging stations, which vehicles are connected to overnight.

Can one wind turbine power a house?

Wind turbines can easily provide enough power for residential houses. A single turbine can generate enough energy to power a house for a long period. Large wind farms may also power many houses for one day. As above, the Tesla battery facility that’s charged with solar panels and wind turbines can provide as many as 30,000 home with electric for a full hour.

Wind turbines used in residential areas generally have a capacity of between 20 to 400 watts.

Official statistics state that the average monthly consumption of a normal household is about 877 kilowatt-hours. Using this estimate, one small wind turbine operating in the range of 5-15 kilowatts would provide sufficient energy to power the whole house.

However, it is essential to employ a professional to determine the ideal wind turbine for your home since electricity generation in wind turbines depends on several factors, the primary factor being the speed of the wind.

Does a wind turbine charge batteries on a low-speed wind day?

Yes, they can charge batteries on low-speed wind days. If the battery is charged using small amounts of electricity over time, having wind speed slow allows for a longer charging period. The amount of slower winds needed depends on how much electricity the turbine charges batteries at a time and how long a charge takes. Typically, a wind turbine charges faster than a household uses energy, so having several hours of lower-speed winds would ensure that the batteries are fully charged by the end of the day.

Can a wind turbine charge more than one battery?

Wind turbines will typically be used to charge more than one battery at once. If enough turbines were being used to provide power for an entire house, then the batteries in the house would receive power from several turbines at once. This is because turbine battery charging rates are typically higher than household energy usage rates, so one or more turbines can support an entire home.

How to hook up a wind turbine to a battery?

If you’ve bought a small wind turbine for your home then it’s best to consult with the manufacturer for specific advice.

In my case, the turbines near my home feed power to a sub-station. My home is then fed off the sub-station. So, when I have battery charging units plugged into an electrical socket at home, it’s the wind turbines clean energy which is charging my batteries, and operating all the electrical items in my home.

Edward Rivis

I co-own a fleet of wind turbines, and I'm passionate about renewable energy and it's critical role in helping avoid irreversible damage to our planet.

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