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Does small wind energy or backyard wind turbines make sense? Why do we see so much rooftop solar, but so little rooftop wind?

00:00 Intro – Rooftop solar’s domination in the urban renewables sector
00:38 Why don’t we see more rooftop wind turbines?
01:38 Quality of solar resources – Solar irradiation in different places around the world
02:40 Quality of wind resources – Urban wind effects, wind shear effects, available power in wind
04:53 Available wind power in Kolding vs Canberra
05:40 Other points of comparison – Benefits gained from a rural location, noise and vibration issues, maintenance required
07:47 Applications for urban wind technologies – Off-grid properties, high-wind speed locations, rural farms, non-utility and aesthetic purposes, backyard engineering or DIY
09:54 Outro
10:11 Thanks to Brilliant for sponsoring this video!

In this video I’ll take you through the science and engineering reasons why rooftop solar is much easier than small wind, and show that the same wind turbine on a roof is likely to generate *less than 10%* of the energy a turbine of the same size would generate in a nearby wind farm.

And, because I know most of you found this video because you already know you want to do a DIY wind energy project (they’re fun!) or have an off-grid project that needs wind energy to diversify your energy, I have included some resources (Hugh Piggott’s great books on DIY wind energy and certified small wind turbines if you want to buy one).

Thanks to Brilliant for sponsoring this video! They are offering 20% annual subscriptions for the first 200 viewers to sign up at

Firstlinks – Eraring Power Station
Weather and Climate – Monthly Sunhours
Global Solar Atlas
Global Wind Atlas
My video on the gingerbread wind turbine projec

Micallef and Brussel, 2018 – Urban Wind
DOI: 10.3390/en11092204
Salazar et al, 2016 – Wind Shear
DOI: 10.3390/s17010008

If you would like to help develop the Engineering with Rosie channel, you could consider joining the Patreon community, where there is a chat community (and Patreon-only Discord server) about topics covered in the videos and suggestions for future videos and production quality improvements.

This video was sponsored by Brilliant.

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