SmallWindPower@Home - Impact assessment of building-mounted small wind turbines on performance, people, building and environment

Within the project SmallWindPower@Home the impact of complex obstacles on the local flow pattern as well as on the inflow and the performance of different building-mounted small wind turbines (SWT) will be evaluated. Furthermore the effects of these building-mounted SWT on the building, the resident people and the direct environment will be analysed.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

According to the EU building guideline and its demand to assure fail safe, sustainable and resilient urban energy supply which does not rely entirely on the environ area, there is an urgent need to make use of the energy resources of cities as efficiently as possible.

Alongside photovoltaics, small scale wind turbines represent one of the few possibilities to yield energy in an environment friendly way in urban areas and thus to get closer to „nearly zero energy" buildings.

Besides the wish for private energy autonomy this has been one of the major factors why more and more SWTs have been built on top of or next to single- and multi-family houses. However, due to a lack of experience in this regards, in many cases the impact of the environment on the SWTs performance has been neglect.

A poor energy yield and frequent faults and failures are the result of these design errors. On top of this, safety aspects as well as the repercussions on the building and the people living in it need to be considered in order not to affect the quality of life.

Contents and goals

In order to keep these aspects in focus, an extensive metrological evaluation needs to be performed. Therefore, the objective of the planed project is to examine three different roof mounted SWT technologies (Savonius, Derrieus-Helix and three blade horizontal rotor) under real life conditions and considering the influence of the roof shape.

The main focus thereby is:

  • An evaluation of the impact of complex obstacles (building with various roof shapes) on the local flow pattern as well as on the flow into the SWT under real working and environment conditions.
  • A metrological evaluation of the effects of roof mounted SWT on its performance as well as on the building, the resident people and the direct environment in terms of noise, infra sound, body-borne sound, vibrations and safety relevant aspects


In order to reach these aims, a building model with variable roof shape is established in the energy research park „Energieforschungspark Lichtenegg". While previous studies relied on simulations and measurements on scaled models in wind tunnels, this infrastructure allows to monitor an SWT directly on the roof of a building under real life.

Therefore the following parameters are measured:

  • Flow pattern around the building (wind velocity and direction, turbulence intensity and frequency)
  • energy yield and selected operating parameters of the SWT (e.g. power, RPM, ...)
  • vibration on the SWT and on/in the building
  • noise and infra sound in proximity as well as body-borne noise in the building

For the purpose of a consideration as a whole, the measurement results are enhanced by a technology assessment (LCA, economical assessment).

Expected results

Based on the measurement results and findings a list of criteria for the implementation of small wind turbines in densely built-up and populated areas on or near buildings as well as a requirement catalogue for testing and certification of building-mounted SWT will be developed. In order to make the results available to the general public, a guideline for the implementation and operation of building-mounted SWT will be published.

Project Partners

Project management

Kurt Leonhartsberger, University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien, Department of Renewable Energy

Project or cooperation partners

  • Energiewerkstatt Verein
  • Solvento energy consulting gmbH
  • Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
  • Sensenwerk Sonnleithner GmbH

Contact Address

University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien, Department of Renewable Energy
Kurt Leonhartsberger, MSc.
Giefinggasse 6
A-1210 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (664) 619 25 86