Wind energy for the home

Wind energy for the home
by Ermine James

With the current state of our environment today, now more than ever do we need to turn to using such renewable energies. In areas like farmlands and other open fields unobstructed by trees and hills, a large number of residential homes have in homes with their own wind turbines, some of which had no outside power lines at all.

The first thing to consider in installing a wind turbine generator in your homes would obviously be the wind source. Your area should be nowhere near tall buildings and structures, as it will have a distinct effect on the wind turbines’ efficiency to produce electricity. American Wind Energy Association states that it is best if the home is located on one acre or more due to the size of a small wind turbine. It should rise high enough above objects on the ground to lower wind turbulence. With an average home requirement of 9,400 kilowatt-hours per year, a turbine should be rated 5 to 15 kilowatts.

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Wind turbines vary in size and power output from a few hundred watts to two or three megawatt, the typical domestic system would be 1 – 6 kilowatts. It can be installed into any homes without the need for re-wiring. There are two basic types of wind turbines: the horizontal and vertical axis. The horizontal axis needs to be directed towards the wind. The vertical axis, although it can face any direction of the wind requires more ground space than horizontal axis turbines.

Neighbours must also be considered when installing a wind turbine. Notify them of your plan and keep the turbine away from neighbouring houses as much as possible to avoid arguments.

As any other products, wind turbine generators have its advantages as well as disadvantages. Other than providing a clean, limitless energy source, other advantages include low expenses. After equipment and installation expenses, wind turbines will last for about 20 years and requires very little maintenance. This typically lowers electricity bill by 50 to 90 percent. A disadvantage however, is that the electricity generated at any one time by a wind turbine is highly dependent on the speed and direction of the wind. Wind energy cannot be stored with the use of batteries, thus may not meet timely electric needs. Users also listed that the noise produced by the motors as a disadvantage and that it interferes with TV receptions, but modern technology today enables home turbines to make less noise than an average washing machine, and does not, in fact, affect TV signals.

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