It is possible. However, anyone who is thinking of going down that road would do well to keep some things in mind:
1. Wind turbines perform best in conditions where there is what is called a smooth, laminar flow. This means minimal turbulence and an easy flow, like driving your car down a newly paved highway. A laminar flow tends to be found higher in altitude than one’s roof, and away from anything that can cause turbulence, like trees, electric and light poles, other buildings, etc. In fact, the best wind is 30 feet above anything within 300 feet. So if you are going to install a turbine on a roof, instead of being exposed to laminar flow, it will be exposed to turbulent wind, which is harder on the turbine and will reduce the performance. Having said this, many people still install turbines on the roofs of buildings because they have a significant wind resource and the energy the turbine produces is still worth the investment.
2. Noise. Have you ever had a critter in your attic? Were you relieved when you finally got rid of it or when it finally went away? A turbine can be like that – random noises at times that may not be so convenient. The level of sound generated by a wind turbine will vary from model to model, but generally speaking the homeowner will notice a difference. So if you’re sensitive to noise, this is something to take into consideration. Read the turbine product literature and ask questions about different models to see which one has the lowest sound impact. Consider installing on a barn or a detached garage – a place with a roof you aren’t sleeping under.
In the long run, you are better off installing a turbine where the quality wind is; as high in the sky as is possible. Your turbine will produce more energy and last longer. Sometimes it can make sense to install a small turbine on a roof. Just beware of the sounds turbines generate, and don’t be surprised if the turbine doesn’t produce as much as the performance charts say they will.