Building Installed Wind

Building-scale wind power in Rio de Janeiro

Building installed wind turbines are not technically feasible in Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Kevin Dooley, licensed by creative commons.

Building installed wind-generators cannot be feasibly deployed in Rio de Janeiro due to the low average wind speed, which only exceeds 4.5 m/s in the winter months. Most wind turbines require a wind speed of at least 3.5 m/s before they even start generating power. Small scale wind generators require a minimum average speed of 4.5 m/s, reaching maximum efficiency at approximately 10 m/s.

It is possible that non-standard wind turbines designed to operate at lower wind speeds could be sited on the rooftops of commercial and domestic developments in Rio de Janeiro. However, these are unlikely to be economically viable.

Harvesting wind energy from rooftops is fraught with difficulties – even when the average wind speed is sufficient, turbulence and poor wind quality on rooftops degrade efficiency.

The lifetime generating capacity of a roof-mounted turbine in a sub-optimal environment might be insufficient to offset the energy cost associated with manufacture, transport and installation.