Wind Power Is a Great Source Of Renewable Energy
The wind is a great sustainable source of energy, The technology is pretty simple, affordable, and not limited only to daytime like solar energy. For that, it’s becoming more and more common, available, and used. Many companies advertise and invite you to try their wind turbine for home. Due to the global fight against carbon emissions and the various zero carbon emission goals of the world, it is surely a great tool we have in hand. When thinking of wind power generation we often think about a big-scale commercial facility with dozens of wind turbines. The questions we will try to answer for you today are can we downscale it?
- will it work efficiently on a domestic scale as well?
- Are home wind turbines cost-efficient when compared with other sources of power generation?
- What are the benefits and disadvantages of such a system at home?
Will Domestic Wind Turbines Work efficiently?
So we decided we want to use a renewable source of energy at home either to save on electricity costs or to save the environment. The obvious question is wind turbines efficient on a small scale? The quick answer will be, that it depends. Most retail wind turbines in the market today offer a power output of 1kw-20kw. The average household consumes about 900 kilowatt-hours of electricity monthly. The US energy department suggests that a wind turbine of 1.5Kw would do the trick if your avg yearly wind speed is above 6.3 m/s. Meaning a home wind turbine could cover your electrical demand only if you live in a windy place.
In more populated areas it is just rarely the case to get 6.3 m/s avg wind speed. Although for farms and suburban homes it might do, what are your urban block options? The short answer is to get a bigger one or one with a lower threshold limit. The second point is the more interesting one, besides power output, each wind turbine also has a different minimal wind speed requirement called cut-in speed. By choosing one with a lower cut-in requirement we can produce energy for longer hours and change the assumption on which this calculation is founded – 42% of the time the wind will be blowing strongly enough to generate power.
Are Home Wind Turbines Cost-Efficient?
When comparing alternatives to any energy-producing system there are a few parameters worth digging into.
Obviously where you would like to install the system has a lot of weight in the decision, for a windy location with long winter and shortage of sunlight the answer will be different than for a sunnier place with less of airflow.
An interesting metric to look into when comparing different systems from the same category is the cost per watt.
Cost per watt is simply the unit cost of every watt of power the system is capable of producing. We bold the capability since between capability and performance there is a difference and you should consider a professional from the field before deciding whether a solar or wind power system is the right choice for you.
With solar systems currently ranging at 3-4$ per watt, the 0.35-0.5$ per watt of wind turbines sure do look appealing. On the other hand with solar, you don’t have to commit to such a large scale of thousands of watts and could settle for just a few hundred. As you understand for every system as you plan it to be bigger the cost per watt drops significantly, and for that, it’s not a fair comparison between the two.
In general domestic wind turbines are considered to be cost-effective. Both by saving on your use and by selling excess power to the local supplier. You could expect to cover the investment in 10-15 years depending on your power rates. Most home wind turbines currently on the market have a life expectancy of about 30 years, so you could find a pretty good deal.
Pros Of Domestic Wind Turbines
- It’s a clean source of energy, you could use it year-round and set a good example for your family and community. Wind differs from fossil fuels by the fact it’s not producing any pollution as a by-product of energy generation. An interesting fun fact is that if you run a Wind turbine for as little as 3-6 months you will offset all of the emissions created while manufacturing it.
- The wind is a renewable source of energy that can be used all day long, that will blow with or without us using it, so we better do so. The supply of wind is unlimited 24 hours a day unlike solar panels
- Domestic wind turbines require low maintenance, the entire turbine module consists of up to 4 moving parts. They are designed to be maintenance-free and require not more than just a little greasing for many years of work.
- Be an active consumer and support developing green technology. By choosing to invest in a wind turbine for your home you also choose to support a technology company that develops clean technology. We believe in the ethics of active consumerism, if you can spend your money at a company that wants to do good for the world it has a big added value for it.
- Tax benefits and financing programs. To support the wide installations of clean sources of energy many countries offer both financing programs or tax benefits. This fact brings even more economical sense to the choice of going green, and besides being right it could also be profitable.
Cons Of Domestic Wind Turbines
- It’s expensive to start with. Most wind turbines for homes currently in the market range in price between 5k$-50k$. This can be a barrier for many people to start with. Although the price per watt is pretty attractive and a few countries are offering few financing options it’s still not cheap enough for everyone to get into. And that is only the price of the turbine itself don’t forget you might need to get some extra power lines installations and maybe an alternator to connect to the grid which will come at extra cost. We expect to see a further drop in prices in the coming years due to the rate of spreading.
- It causes noise. Although it’s not necessarily a big deal especially if you locate it on a part of the roof that is not next to a bedroom window it still can be disturbing. The noise a wind turbine is producing becomes a problem when you have picky neighbors. W recommend asking your municipality before starting what is the regulation to avoid spending so much money on a system that your neighbors might ask you not to use.
- It may take some time to get the permits from your local authority. unlike solar panels when installing a wind turbine in most places you will need to get a permit. Mainly for the building of the pole holding it but not limited only to that. Like any bureaucracy, it takes time and has some extra hidden costs.
- Dangerous to some flying animals. The saddest disadvantage of wind turbines in general is that many species of flying animals do not know how to deal with them. They can not understand what is standing in their way, which often leads to deadly interactions.
- It may not be the best solution for all locations. Not everywhere the wind is sufficient for such a system. Make sure to do your homework before choosing to invest so much money into it. There are many interactive wind maps showing the avg wind speed, often provided by the local meteorological service.
Wind turbines for home could be a great thing. They supply both a renewable source of energy and an environmental statement. These solutions become more available by price and distribution and offer some great benefits that we covered widely. By choosing this source of energy you could bring an environmental statement to your community and save on your electricity expenses. Wind power could have a big contribution to the main cause of eliminating carbon emissions and slowing down global warming. This technology used on a domestic scale is yet another way to build the more sustainable future we wish for.
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