How to determine if a wind turbine is a good choice for me?
The most important decision when considering wind power is determining whether or not your chosen site has enough wind to generate the power and is reasonably free of dirty air (away and above cabins, radar towers, etc). Vessels with mizzen masts offer a location with great exposure to winds that are usually clean of disturbance offering maximum power generation.
The power available from the wind varies as the cube of the wind speed. If the wind speed doubles, the power of the wind (the ability to do work) increases 8 times. For example, a 10 mile per hour wind has one eighth the power of a 20 mile per hour wind. (10 x 10 x 10 = 1000 versus 20 x 20 x 20 = 8000).
One of the effects of the cube rule is that a site which has an average wind speed reflecting wide swings from very low to very high velocity may have twice or more the energy potential of a site with the same average which experiences little variation. This is because the occasional high wind packs a lot of power into a short period of time. Of course, it is important that that this occasional high wind come often enough to keep your batteries charged.