Wind is free, catching it has been the expensive part. Wind generators are a great alternative to static solar panels, more likely for regions with no strong solar path but rather constant windy weather.
If you are a city dweller, chances that you are limited by your HOA on what you could use to generate your own electricity and solar panels have a smaller foot print; but if you live on the city skirts and into more rural areas, Wind Generators can be a good alternative.
Proven Energy's Proven 35
Proven Energy's small wind turbines have a patented blade assembly, which allows the wind turbines to regulate their speed, maximising output. As the wind gets stronger, the blades pitch and cone to reduce their aerodynamic efficiency. This lets the Proven Energy wind turbine maintain a high output even in the fiercest storms, unlike many turbines which need to be put on brake to protect themselves at high wind speeds. It has an estimated annual output of between 15,000 and 30,000 kWh (based on 5m/s wind speed), enough for about 6 average US houses. All depending on your wind speed of course.
Evance's Iskra R9000
Being the "next generation" of small wind turbines, it fully integrates the very best of existing technologies with major new patented innovations. The result is an cool looking turbine with great performance and reliability. The R9000 is the first turbine to be equipped with Reactive Pitch technology, a unique control concept which is significant advancement of passive pitch technology, guarantees that the blades will capture exactly the right amount of energy according to the wind speed and generator loading conditions. The R9000 also has a patented high-efficiency generator which converts up to 96% of the energy captured from the wind into useful electricity. The generator is specifically designed for the R9000, and is integrated into the turbine's rotor. This eliminates the need for a spinning shaft or 'brush' type contacts. Fewer moving parts means greater reliability.
The Eoltec Scirocco wind turbine is a beautifully designed and engineered wind turbine. It has 18 ft. diameter blades that take the maximum possible amount of energy out of the wind for its size. The Eoltec Scirocco can truly be called the "Rolls-Royce" under the residential scale wind turbines. This turbine is really powerful for its size, and produces meaningful amounts of energy for a household, business, or farm, even for those not lucky enough to live in a high-wind area. Of course, if you have lots of wind this turbine will make lots of energy! The Scirocco incorporates features normally only found on much larger turbines, such as variable pitch blades. The result is a very efficient wind generator, especially at the lower wind speeds typically found most of the time in most places, with an excellent cost/performance ratio.
It has a fail safe design, no power loss in high winds and it's the smaller of the bunch featured here.
For a scaled down fix, and DIY project, you can get this modest plastic turbine from Middlesex University. It has plastic rotor blades and a small generator that produces a low wattage of electricity whenever the rotors spin. The micro turbine will generate enough power to light up an LED or a low power device. $29