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FAQ - Environmental, Legal and Safety Concerns

By contacting Kestrel Wind Turbines with specific queries or posting another FAQ that you think we have neglected, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

The average wind installation pays back the energy used in its manufacture within months of operation. The low environmental impact contributes to the benefits of wind turbine energy. However, bearing this in mind, Kestrel is using the energy generated by its test farm within the Eveready factory.

Government legislation has set targets for renewable energy in South Africa as well as the world; wind power is one of the most cost effective renewable generation technologies. We, at Kestrel, cannot comment on large wind turbine installations but small wind turbines are subtle and unobtrusive. And will not contribute to countryside cluttering.

There have been incidents on rare occasions with large turbine wind farms with bird strikes. But environmental impact assessments and understanding migratory flight-path has minimised these incidences. Small wind turbines should not adversely affect birds or local wildlife. Kestrel has made the turbines readily detectable to birds through the use of the blue tail and nosecone allowing birds to adjust flight courses in order to avoid incidence.

There is no link between wind turbines and epilepsy. High frequency can trigger epileptic seizures but wind turbines' frequency is not nearly high enough.

Low frequency noise is ever present, and is caused by man-made and natural sources including transportation, sea and wind, even the fridge in your home. The recommended acoustic level that is below thresholds of human perception is 20Hz or below. The low frequency noise emitted by small wind turbines is lower than 20Hz and is below the threshold of human perception. So, there are no problems with low frequency noise or infrasound.

Kestrel's factory and testing facility is right on the coast and is built and maintained in salty, turbulent air. Kestrel's wind turbines are galvanised, encapsulated and protected from the elements. You can consult the particular user manual or a Kestrel dealer for the specifics of each turbine or tower.

Yes, Kestrel's turbines cope well in very high temperatures due to the cooler running alternator that uses axial flux discoid technology.   However, very low temperatures may cause complications so it is best to consult with the local Kestrel dealer or Kestrel Wind Turbines.

Wind turbines have no effect on livestock including sheep, cows and horses as well as poultry. Small wind farms have been erected on nature reserves, farms and in equestrian centres with no effect on the surrounding animals.

Renewable energy usage and changing the electricity consumption behaviour to include renewable sources is a total and holistic system and not solely the responsibility of wind energy. Wind energy's role in combating climate change is not a matter of either or. We need a mix of energy efficient practices as well as new renewable technologies including solar, hydro, biomass and tidal energy. However, wind energy is one of the most cost effective renewable technologies available to generate clean electricity and to help combat global climate change right now. Depending on the renewable resources in your area, Kestrel can advise you if you are interested in such hybrid systems.

Wind energy is a benign technology with no associated emissions, harmful pollutants or waste products. It is also one of the safest energy technologies. In 25 years, there have been no recorded incidents where members of the public were injured in normal operation of small wind turbines.

There is no evidence that small wind turbines have any impact on tourism however, large wind farms are fast becoming popular tourist attractions in countries with developed wind farm systems.

In conventional generation also known as thermal generation, a fuel is burned (or atoms split in the case of nuclear generation) to heat water into steam (or to blow air) to turn a generator. Generation in conventional plants takes an extended period of time, so if its intended use is to provide peak power it is not turned off when the demand temporarily drops. This means that there is the continuous burning of fuel, either idling or redirecting the steam away from the turbine. In this way, it can be instantly switched back to generation mode when demand rises again. In wind-powered generation, it is the wind that turns the generator. It is also the wind, rather than the grid operator, that determines when it produces power and how much.

Wind turbines add value to your home by making it more energy efficient. There is still not a sample size significant enough for the actual value to be quantified by assessors, but hopefully soon there will be an actual realisable value for small wind turbines as recognised assets to the market value of your home or business.

In the event of a blackout or load-shedding, a grid tie system will not interact with the grid or prevent the blackout. However, you will not be affected by the black out as you will still have access to energy from your wind turbine.?

Wind energy produced from small wind turbines requires no additional back-up.

Some argue that wind energy does not contribute to meeting energy demands because of the high levels of fluctuation. But the reality is that one unit of energy produced by a wind turbine reduces a unit from another source. Small wind turbines do not produce a significant enough amount of power on a national scale to destabilise the grid and only reduces the consumption of electricity from another resource.

The renewable energy such as solar or wind begins a process that causes direct current to be generated and transmitted through electrical wiring to an inverter. The inverter converts the current into household standard alternating current. The current is, then, used by appliances in your home or business, a water pump or straight onto the grid through a meter. During times when renewable production is not available, you still have access to electricity through the utility grid.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder? so behold. The fact is that whether you think small wind turbines are attractive or not, it is personal opinion. You can decide for yourself; however we at Kestrel are happy to talk about the practical beauty of small wind turbines. Designed and built to produce clean energy from the wind, and everything about a small wind turbine does just that.

Keep participating in the renewable energy debate. Keeping silent with your views is not going to help anyone. Our energy consumption patterns need to change in order to halt the detrimental effect current consumption is having, and this will only happen with active participation from you. Just remember that change takes time, but you can help by replacing back up generators with more cost effective wind turbine battery charging systems for your home or your business. Will a wind turbine interfere with radar? Small wind turbines do not interfere with radar, however it is detectable by radar. But radars can be easily modified to not pick up small wind turbines' subtle echoes; some installations may even require no change.

Yes, Kestrel Wind Turbines and its dealers have all the relevant information that may need, please feel free to contact us. Do wind turbines interfere with telecoms, radio or TV equipment? Wind turbines create no interference with electrical equipment, repeater stations and there is no radiation or electromagnetic field to affect any kind of equipment or appliances. Kestrel's wind turbines even have the capacity to power communication towers, proving the lack of interference.

Before you do anything, you should consult Kestrel, a dealer or your local council, we or they will tell you whether you require planning permission. In most cases though small wind turbines, as yet do not have comprehensive guidelines, which is why we recommend a little research in this regard.

Wind is a clean, renewable source of energy which has no waste products so of course using a small wind turbine helps the environment, every little bit helps. Wind turbines produce no pollution and the energy used generated by a wind turbine means that you are not using energy that was generated from a source that does produce pollution. Recently, it has been estimated that a small wind turbine, over 30 years, can offset over a ton of air pollutants as well as 200 tons of greenhouse gases (which are the gases that are causing the massive climate change)

Net metering laws help offset some of the cost of a grid-tied wind system by allowing the homeowner to sell extra energy back to the utility at retail prices. According to the <a title="Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency", 41 states currently require at least some utilities to offer net metering for small wind systems. For information on your state. For South African specific information, please contact your metropolitan manager or municipality. If they are not helpful, please send an email to Kestrel.