Home Wind Energy
The small Wind Power Generator
picture attributed to Ryan Somma
Home wind energy generation is not a new concept, windmills were serving well our ancestors. It was a natural development to harness the wind to produce electricity and this is the way the wind power turbine was born
The principle of operation
Wind is a stream of air moving from a higher pressure location to a lower pressure location. Wind is moving a substantial mass of air that blows at a substantial speed; therefore it can do useful work. It can push and lift or if it hits the turbine’s blades it can cause the turbine to rotate fast. If a power generator is driven by this rotation, it can produce electricity.
A word of caution, home wind energy and water stream turbines can't work into an open circuit, large enough current must be drawn to prevent a damage. A dump load is needed to draw current at times when the household current consumption is too low
Can I install a home wind energy turbine where I live?
The wind power turbine is relatively big and it must be installed on a fairly high tower. Therefore if you live in an urban home or a small-yard sub-urban home installing a wind turbine is not feasible, unless you go on a very small turbine mounted on a low tower with lower power generation capability. An interesting concept is to pool together your community and build a community wind turbine.
If your property size is 1 acre (4000 square meters) you can install a big enough turbine on a taller tower that will be sufficient for your needs
Wind velocity is different in different regions and changes with seasons and time of day. You don’t need to take wind measurements; data is available from data bases (refer to the US department of Energy data base). Wind turbines power output is dependent on wind velocity. It starts to deliver power once the wind velocity is greater than a minimum; it delivers more and more power with increased wind velocity up to an optimum velocity, above that velocity it delivers slightly less. You know where you live and you know intuitively whether the area is windy. However, talk to a local contractor and check in the data base before you decide to go on a small wind turbine
In most cases rural homes and ranches have the required land size to accommodate a Wind Turbine and are remote from the grid. A off grid wind turbine can be a companion to a off grid solar system and share resources (the deep cycle batteries and other components) with the solar system. It is usual to see a hybrid wind solar with tower (the solar system and the common off-grid DC to AC pure sine inverter are mounted on the wind turbine tower)
On-grid Wind Power Turbine
If land size is big enough to accommodate a wind turbine, small wind turbine on your site (not to be confused with giant size wind turbines owned by utilities) can generate electricity that is compatible with the grid (same voltage and same frequency) and it can be connected directly to your home main supply without any modification to the existing wiring. The utility is obliged by Federal regulations to buy your surplus electricity. Practically you need to:
- Comply with the utility requirements for connecting generators to the grid
- Comply with local planning requirements
- Have a net meter, that can meter power going from the grid to your home and vice versa
Roof Mounted Home Wind Energy Generation (on grid)
There is a technology progress in roof mounted wind turbines.There are pros and contras that you may want to view in my micro roof wind turbine page
What is the correct wind turbine size?
The wind turbine need to supply the household electricity needs. The correct wind turbine size is the size that is big enough to provide the needs. On the other hand, it shouldn't be over-sized. Over-sized wind turbine will be unnecessarily more expensive than what it should.
Cost, Installation, Maintenance
Please take a moment and read my page on reading the wind turbine specs sheet before you proceed
Cost depends on power delivery capability and system specific details; it breaks down to equipment cost, installation cost and service agreement cost; you can recur at least 30% of the investment by resorting to federal and state tax credits. Additional financing can be obtained for clean energy installations.
A good store to buy the turbine is GoGreenSolar.com - #1 online destination for solar panels & wind power!
You can bring a contractor for a turn key job or consider building the system yourself. Take into account the high rising wind turbine tower, 80 to 120 feet (24 to 36 meters), the size and weight of the turbine and the electrical aspects
Maintenance is minimal and life expectancy of 20 years is normal.
You may expect the value of your property to raise after the capital investment in the home wind energy system
click to view the home wind energy facts page
click to find out the feasibility of a residential wind power for you
click to view tips on residential wind turbines
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