If you are looking to go green with energy use in your home, a wind turbine could be the answer. Like solar power, the wind turbine is not totally dependent on wind blowing. It can store energy for use when the turbine is not moving.
Wind turbines depend on height to capture the most wind and the “swept” area which determines the size of the wings on the wheel. The larger the sweep area, the more wind captured and the more energy produced. As such, size is important in determining if a wind turbine is appropriate for a small farm or residence.
When looking into wind turbine energy, a manufacturer is best equipped to do a test to determine the amount of energy potential in wind. Get your own energy use from home bills and calculate yearly usage and cost in kilo Watts to compare the two. The US Department of Energy recommends an acre of property as the minimum requirements to make a wind turbine useful for off the grid home use.
It’s likely that a home on property of that size is also in a better position to capture the wind. There will be no wind-breaks of tree lines or buildings nearby. As well, due to the size, the zoning and community civic groups in towns and cities may be more stringent.
The manufacturer should be able to advise if zoning laws allow for a wind turbine in your area. If so, the next step is to consider size and height. The higher the turbine tower, the better chance of capturing maximum energy from wind. This means most wind turbines will be taller than standard telephone poles.
Turbines can also be divided into categories by type. These include the directionality, the generating capacity and other factors. They are also produced with either horizontal or vertical axis.
The generating devices for energy capture also fall into a few categories. They can use magnets in the generator or induction motors.
The tower itself can be free standing, which is the most common, or tilting towers which are easier to maintain but require much more room around the base for installation and support.
All turbines also require a harvesting and conversion system, much like solar panels. This system allows the energy to be directly converted from wind into actual useable electricity.
These factors should all be covered with a manufacturer when you are looking into off the grid energy from the wind. Also remember to ask the length of time the models have been used, success rates and get recommendations. Although you do need to be on a substantial plot of property to use them, a wind turbine once installed can be an effective way to be self sufficient with utility use.