Home Wind Power
Although it is the most developed form of alternative energy, the potential of home wind power has still not been fully realized. Since larger turbines result in the production of more energy, it is only natural that turbines will continue to grow in size. With that said, manufactures are also busy creating and designing new smaller turbines that are intended for home use.
For those of you who are new to the subject, here is a basic description of how wind turbines work:
- After the turbine is constructed, it is placed in an optimal location (usually on top of a large pole). Through the kinetic energy of the wind rotating the propeller, electricity is produced. This energy can be used to power anything in your home. Generally, in a home installation, the house will remain connected to the grid in order to obtain power when there is no wind. This way, the if the home owners wind turbine produces more electricity than can be used in the house, it is automatically sold to the local utility company.
Is wind power right for you? In order to determine if the installation of a wind turbine is beneficial for your home use, some questions are raised concerning your location and working area.
- The most essential item needed for a home wind turbine is obviously the wind itself. There must be enough present to rotate the propeller. On average, at least a ten mile per hour wind speed should be regularly present.
- A wind turbine can be a fairly large device (generally, a normal propeller type system can have blades ranging from 8 and upwards). In addition to this, they need to be placed high enough in the air that they will not be strongly affected by ground turbulences. Wind velocity increases by altitude, so the higher up a turbine is placed, the better it will perform.
- In some residential areas, it may be necessary to acquire a permit for home installation. It is good to have the consent of neighbors, since turbines can be considered by many to be an eyesore. Smaller turbines, while mostly inaudible, can create small amounts of noise.
- Although commercial home wind turbines are designed to last a long time, they do have moving parts, and therefore are susceptible to break down. However, they should be reliable enough to make regular maintenance not necessary.
- Finally, wind turbines are expensive if you purchase them from a manufacture or in a pre made kit. The price can range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of twenty thousand dollars.
Since price is a factor for many people these days, I have found a few handy online resources that give clear instructions on how to construct your own home wind turbine. These yield simple propeller style systems, that when implemented correctly can have a sizable impact on your electric bill. I recommend building one of these smaller wind turbines to see if wind power is actually for you and your home, and then from there consider installing a more professional system.