Clean Energy: Power Your Home with Wind Turbines

Know how you can utilize small wind turbines to power your home and save on electricity bills.

Humankind has been using wind power for generations. Throughout history, from sailboats to windmills, wind has been a crucial source of energy.

In recent times, wind energy has become more popular as an efficient and more sustainable substitute for fossil fuels. Wind farms have started dotting coastlines and mountaintops across the globe.

For efficiently and judiciously producing the highest amounts of electricity with wind energy, there's a lot to take into account. 

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How do wind turbines work?

Before we discuss the technical requirements of a wind turbine, it is essential to know the basic principle on which these wind turbines work.

Wind turbines utilize the kinetic energy of wind to turn the propeller-like blades, which in turn powers the motor-generator set to produce electrical energy.

The wind flow depends on the differences in terrain, vegetation, and water bodies. Hence, you’ll often find wind turbines placed at higher altitudes where the wind blows steadily.

Several sizes of wind turbines are designed depending on the power requirements. Utility turbines are capable of producing 100 kilowatts to several megawatts and are often used to power the electrical grid.

Offshore wind turbines are tall and massive structures, capturing powerful ocean winds to generate vast amounts of electrical energy.

Smaller turbines that produce power less than 100 kilowatts are used for residential and agricultural applications. These are often used in remote, off-grid locations.

However, given the benefits of clean and cost-effective energy, small turbines are now increasingly used in grid-connected applications too.

Planning a small wind power system

If you’re planning to capture this abundant energy to power your home, it is important to understand the basic requirements of setting up a wind turbine.

The first and foremost requirement is to check the suitability of your site for an electric wind power system. You need to estimate the wind resource, as it can vary depending on the terrain.

If you live in the U.S., you can estimate the wind source in your area by referring to the wind resource maps provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America Program.

Another way is to use a direct wind resource measurement system to get a clear picture of the available resource.

Clean Energy: Power Your Home with Wind Turbines
Source: Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons

How big of a wind turbine do you need to power a house?

The size of the wind turbine you require depends upon your application. An energy budget for residential applications should be made, and whether monetary incentives are available.

This data will help decide the turbine size you will require. As energy efficiency is typically more affordable than energy production, making your abode more energy proficient will probably be more financially savvy and will decrease the size of the wind turbine you need.

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Wind turbine makers, sellers, and installers can help appraise your framework depending on your power necessities and the particulars of your nearby wind resource and micro-siting.

Depending on the power you need to create, turbines required for residential usage range from 400 Watts to 100 kW (100 kW for very large loads). Small turbines are in the range of 20 Watts to 100 kilowatts (kW).

Every year, a typical residence consumes about 911 kWh every 30 days, which sums up to around 10,972 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power. A wind turbine in the range of 5 to 15 kW, in view of the normal wind speed in the region, would be required to make significantly extra to this demand.

For a home requiring 300 kWh every month, a 1.5-kW wind turbine can suffice yearly in a region with a 14 MPH (6.26 meters every second) average wind speed. The expected annual energy output of the turbine as a function of annual average wind speed can be provided by the manufacturer, dealer, or installer.

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The producer will likewise give data about any maximum wind speeds at which the turbine is planned to work.

To prevent the rotor from turning unstable in very high winds, most turbines have customized overspeed-directing structures. Insights that will enable you to pick which size turbine will best meet your capacity, will be based on the data about your local wind resource, which incorporates wind speed, heading, and your energy spending plan.

How much does a wind turbine cost for your home?

Wind turbine expenditure proportion changes significantly between producers and installers in contrast to other sustainable power sources for private or business use.

Here are the commonly available types of wind turbines you can choose from:

Roof-mounted wind turbines

A roof-mounted turbine might well take the edge of expanding fuel charges throughout the following years. However, it won't give all the power you require.

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Roof-mounted wind turbines
Source: Andol/Wikimedia Commons

You may consider introducing a rooftop mounted wind turbine, on the off chance that you have a high rooftop that gets enough wind speed most of the time. These can be utilized to enhance your power supply and differ in power from about 0.5 kW to 2.5 kW.

The ordinary cost of a rooftop mounted wind turbine is around $3,000, which ought to be kept up and could cost you as much as several hundred dollars consistently.

Free-standing wind turbines

Free-standing wind turbines can be an effective option for those who are genuinely considering utilizing wind as a method of giving renewable energy for a local power source. But, they are likewise increasingly expensive to install.

Cost depends upon the size and the yield that is needed. Depending upon your zone and wind speeds, a 1.5 kW turbine would generally cost $8,000 and $12,000 and give out around 2,600 kW over a year.

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A greater exhibit that has a 15 kW limit would cost in the area of $100,000 and return around 36,000 kW over a year.

You will also need to consider the maintenance cost and if you required to arrange authorization for all wind turbine structures.

Free standing wind turbine
Source: TechnoSpin Inc./Flickr

A lot of significant parts may need supplanting, for instance, batteries or the inverter that change DC current to AC. However, taking everything into account, a wind turbine is made to last more than 20-25 years.

What's the best wind turbine for a home?

Producing your electricity is an efficient way of bringing down your electric bills. While solar energy is usually the go-to eco-friendly option, wind power can also be another alternative for those residing in areas with reliable wind speeds.

Whether you are residing in a rural area and the electric grid is non-accessible or are living in a suburb and wishing to cut-down your utility bill, home wind turbines are a one-stop solution. You just have to have little knowledge, some land, and a high voltage battery bank.

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You can get a mid-range home wind turbine for approximately $700, which will conveniently meet your needs. A bigger one, with a capacity of over 1500W and 2000W, will cost you around $1,500 and $2,000, respectively.

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