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If you're thinking about installing a small or medium-sized wind generator at your home or business, it makes sense to find out as much as possible about the wind conditions at the proposed generator site, so as to have some idea of how much power you can expect.

Wind turbine manufacturers usually quote a figure for expected annual power output or expected payback period. As you'd expect, the figures tend to be optimistic, but there's usually a rider along the lines of "based on average wind speeds".

For the UK, average wind speed data is available from the UK government's DTI wind speed database, but it suffers from major disadvantages. Click to find out more about average wind speed data.

A better option is to carry out a local wind survey, using anemometers (wind speed meters) and a computer to record the wind measurements and calculate the amount of power which would be generated by various types of wind turbine. Click to find out more about local wind surveys using wind measurement equipment and software supplied by Windsurvey.co.uk.