Global energy prices going through the roof and supplies are dwindling. That’s why the focus on wind turbine design and technology has never been greater now.
Fossil fuels are a finite resource and will therefore be gone one day. We have to focus now on improving our renewable alternatives to avoid a future with hyper-expensive or non-existent electricity.
Wind energy can address that issue and be a FREE source of electricity at your home. But, there are few things that you must consider before you decide it’s the time to add it to your portfolio:
1. What is my AVERAGE wind speed?
Perhaps the wind turbine design criteria impacting home use the most is the “cut-in speed” (lowest speed the blades will turn and produce electricity). While it is good to know the information available on wind energy association and government maps, the only thing that really matters is how much wind you have in your backyard.
To find out that information, you need the resources of your local weather station. They will have information about average wind patterns over time.
To drill down to the molecular level – to the wind on your property – you can also buy a palm-sized anemometer. An anemometer costs $25-$50 and is available through Amazon or others online.
That way, you can measure and understand the exact wind conditions your turbine will operate in – at your house. You can place the anemometer exactly where you would anticipate installing the turbine and compare the data you collect.
There are many wind turbines designed for the home that have a cut-in speed of 5-6 mph and operate optimally with 20 mph.
2. Where should I install my wind generator?
Large things close to the ground cause interference with wind flow and conspire to hamper the performance of a windmill. Buildings and trees will therefore disrupt the airflow a turbine mounted on a roof.
Roofs are becoming popular places to mount wind turbines – especially in urban settings where a tower can’t be installed. Keep in mind, you pay a price of diminished performance by installing it close to the ground.
It is much better from an efficiency standpoint to put the device 30 feet above the tree line, as specified by most wind experts.
3. Are their local restrictions that preclude installing a wind turbine on your property?
Frequently, local communities have permitting restrictions to prevent people from putting turbines up on their own property. This is simply because are afraid they will diminish property values.
Therefore, it is a good idea to check with your local zoning office to understand any rules that may apply to installation of your windmill.
Manufacturers are engineering their products to overcome permitting restrictions, so it shouldn’t be all that much of a problem to find a windmill that will meet with approval from your local community.
It is clear that wind turbine design plays a large role in making the technology work in more and more environments and local communities.
Current trends in the design of wind generators favor lower-wind speed systems and those that stand out less to everyone else. As manufacturers include these 3 primary considerations into their products, they will be helping to make wind power a more compelling option for more and more people.