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I live in a VERY windy place. My neighborhood is a new development of your typical suburban single family homes. There isn't really room for a full windmill, nor would it look very well. But there has to be some way for me to harness the constant winds the same way I could buy solar panels. Any ideas? Maybe attaching some small spinners or something around the perimeter of my roof? Has anyone seen anything like this?

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Make sure you check the maximum operable wind speed, if you decided to buy anything. Some wind turbines will stop completely in order to protect themselves, whereas some, like this Bergey ( bergey.com/pages/bergey_xl1 ) will turn away from the wind in order to slow the blades down. –  Michael Jul 27 '11 at 17:50
    
How much power are you looking to generate? –  Tester101 Jul 28 '11 at 12:33

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Here are a couple companies that make rooftop wind turbines

Not sure if these things would require special zoning, permits, etc. or if they would even be allowed in all locations. A call to your local government would be the easiest way to find out if something like this would be permitted in your area. You may also have to check with the homeowners association; if that applies for you, as there may be noise or other issues with installing a wind turbine on the roof (Those homeowners folks can be awful finicky).

EDIT

Here is a site with loads of "small" wind turbines allsmallwindturbines.com, you may be able to find an appropriate one from this list.

Finding a very small (< 6 ft./ 2 m) turbine may be difficult, as the blades have to be of adequate size to be able to harness enough energy to generate power.

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Nothing is louder than the wind already whistling between the homes. I've even thought about renting my side yard for windtunnel testing. –  Eric Falsken Jul 28 '11 at 0:31
    
All of these are much larger than I was thinking of. But I'll give you a +1 for good suggestions. –  Eric Falsken Jul 28 '11 at 0:32
    
@Eric: I'm not sure you are going to find much smaller turbines. Unfortunately you are not going to generate much power from a pinwheel sized turbine, the cost to output ratio would be too small and would not make sense for manufacturers to produce them. –  Tester101 Jul 28 '11 at 12:46
    
No doubt about it, you've certainly answered my question! I was hoping for something narrower and taller that could mount to the side of the house. Maybe in the shape of the helix-type ones. I'll keep my eye on these sites. Thanks. –  Eric Falsken Jul 28 '11 at 14:34

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