Is residential wind power a viable alternative?
Wind power has been used to provide power to machines for a long time. It was not unusual to see windmills on farms to help mill the grains. Now wind power is being utilized not just for these simple farm endeavours but also to provide power to even large cities by creating electricity. The U.S Census indicated that more than 17 million homes in the United States are located in area that is suitable for a small wind system. If these homes were to actually put wind systems to use, there would be a lot of savings in the consumption of electricity from the normal means.
Wind for Fuel?
Wind is the source for your home wind power generator. A minimum of 9 MPH wind velocity is required to run a small wind generator and you can determine if you are located in area like this through wind maps. These wind maps are available through the internet or your local weather station. To determine if you are suitable to make use of wind generator system you would want your home to be found in a Class Two site or better.
Basically, the way this all works is a wind turbine is placed on a high tower to gather wind energy and transform it into electricity. The electricity produced by the turbine is then made compatible with the utility and then transferred to your home wiring at the breaker panel. Your home is then powered by both the utility company and the wind turbine generator.
Your utility electricity consumption will be determined by how much electricity is produced by the wind turbine. If the wind speed decreases to less than 7mph, your turbine will not be producing any current and all your electric needs will be provided by the utility company. If there is a lot of wind, then the output would also increase and your utility consumption would decrease proportionately.
Any excess electricity produced by your home wind system will be sold and diverted to the power company. Currently there are no available batteries to store the excess electricity for the modern wind system for residential use.
Sizes and Prices of Wind Systems
Wind turbines can be really big. The bestselling residential wind turbine unit in the United States has a rotor with a diameter of 23 feet and need to be installed to an 80 to 100 foot tower. This type of turbine is not what you need for residential wind power. However, there are now wind turbines that are available that are quite small and can be installed on your roof if you have a small home. This however can be hazardous to small birds and other animals like bats, that may venture through the blades of the rotor. Usually, when using a home wind power system, it is recommended you have a property size of one acre or more. ( By the way, developments have been made recently in rotor designs that help to solve some of the bird/bats problems.)
The prices on these residential wind power systems may vary depending on the size that you would need for your home. Usually a small turbine can cost you about $6000 to $22,000 to install. This will already include application and service agreements with the product manufacturer. You need not worry about maintenance of the turbines because they are usually designed to last for a long time and they automatically operate.
However, there are cheaper alternatives available today. GoGreenSolar.com offers several great, less expensive options. Check these out!
Investing in Residential Wind Power Systems
A residential wind power system can be a good long-term investment for your home. Though you may not initially see its benefits, in the long run it will still save you a lot of money. The investment cost you made on the wind system is earned back based on the amount you save in utilities. Long term benefits of installing a home wind turbine is that it also increases your home value, which is very much similar to having your house remodelled. People would also invest on these wind turbines for preparation when they retire due to the fact that they would like to prevent themselves from being subjected to the unforeseeable increases in utility costs.
Usually, when you invest in a residential wind power system it comes as a package. Everything that you need will already be included. The tall towers are most often supplied with the wind turbine. There is also no need to concern yourself about changing the wiring in your homes as the turbines can easily be fitted to virtually any kind of home. In most cases when you have the wind system installed, the utility company will connect another utility meter to calculate the surplus amount of electricity it will be purchasing from you.
Remember you not only save money on you the amount you purchase from the utility but also anything in excess that is produced by your turbine is bought automatically by the utility company. So in cases where you have very little energy consumption and you have high winds then you will actually be earning money. The utility company will be paying you instead of you paying them.
Buying and Installation of Wind Turbines
When you choose to install and invest in a home wind power system, you have the option to buy directly from the factory and connect the system yourself or you can buy from the dealers where they often offer systems that are ready to operate. If you install the system yourself, you get better understanding of the system and less dependent from the company. If you can’t decide what option is best for you, you can always consult with manufacturers about your options that would best fit your technical knowhow and budget.
Helping to Protect the Environment
Aside from the financial benefit of having your own source of electrical energy, having a wind system actually helps preserve the environment. It does not produce any harmful substances to the environment. You also off set whatever pollution your utility would have made to produce power. The entire life service of your small wind turbine can offset an approximated value of 1.2 tons of air pollution and 200tons of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. So this system of energy production is beneficial to you and your family in more ways than one.
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