Home Wind Turbine
There are a few ways to go about harnessing the power of the wind in order to create electricity. Engineers have recently been designing many creative new wind turbines that are efficient and look sleek. Among these are many smaller turbines intended for home and residential use. Here is a quick list of a few of the prominent home wind turbine designs.
Propeller Turbine: this is the “classic” wind turbine design. It features a propeller on top of a large pole, and can be found in many different sizes. The largest at the moment has a rotor diameter of over 400 feet (this size is obviously not ideal for home use). There have been many variations on this design, usually involving altered blade styles (many include curves and bends that are supposed to increase efficiency).
Vertical Axis Wind Turbine: intended for urban areas with less predictable wind patterns, a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) employs the use of an upright rotor. This allows wind coming from any direction to turn the turbine and produce power. Along with rotating on an upright axis, VAWT’s are generally less noisy than standard propeller turbines, and they take up less space.
Loopwig: designed in Japan, the Loopwig is a sort of redesign of the classic propeller turbine. However, instead of having blades with exposed tips, they are bent back around to the shaft of the propeller. This results in an extremely quiet turbine.
There are many other designs available, as these are just a few of the most prominent ones. It is difficult to judge which one is the best for home use, they all have particular advantages and disadvantages. Compared to solar power, home wind power is still a relatively new and small niche. In many cases, especially in residential areas, it is easier and more effective to put solar panels on a roof. However, there are many homes that can benefit from the installation of a small wind turbine. As I am a large fan of doing things myself, I think a reasonable option for many people would be to construct their own wind turbine. It is in many cases a lot easier and more affordable than purchasing a pre-made turbine and most if not all the necessary parts can be found at a local hardware store.
Want a jumpstart guide to building your own turbine? Look no further than the Earth4Energy Wind Power guide!