Residential Wind Energy
A tall tower holds a wind turbine on top of it, and as the wind turns the turbine (think “fan”), the kinetic energy is collected and converted into electricity that can be tied in to a home’s electrical system to power appliances, lights, the air conditioner, and sometimes everything in the house.
A home that uses no power from the electrical company is said to be “off the grid.”
In most cases, a home is powered by a wind turbine and the local utility company. If wind speeds drop below a speed of 7-10mph, there will not be enough output from the wind turbine, and the homeowner will have to rely on the utility company.
However, as the wind picks up, dependence on the electric company goes down, sometimes to zero. At times, the wind turbine can even produce more energy than the house needs, in which case the homeowner can actually sell power back to the utility.
Instead of receiving a bill for electricity, some homeowners get a check instead. All of energy transfer takes place automatically, and there are no batteries used in current residential wind energy systems.
Will a small wind turbine save you money? Yes, it will. A wind turbine system will typically lower your electric bill by 50 to 90 percent. Some residents can actually expect to pay $10 to $15 per month for about 75% of the year. It depends what part of the world you live in, of course.
In northern parts of the United States, where air conditioning is used less, wind power can keep energy bills extremely low all year round. The 3 main factors that influence how much money you save are:
1. The amount of electricity you use
2. How much installation cost (maintenance is near zero)
3. The average wind speed at your home
Wind turbines come in different sizes, and a wind system rated in the 5 to 15 kilowatt range is needed to make a large contribution to the typical home, which uses about 780 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.
Are you a good fit for a home wind turbine system? That depends on how big your lot is. Smalled urban and suburban homes will need to use a smaller wind turbine (around 1 meter in diameter), while more rural homes can take advantage of larger systems that produce more electricity.
You can make your own Wind Turbine Blades, or Purchase some similar to these:
The above blades are readily available on eBay
In America, 47 of the 50 States have installed wind turbines, with most of these located in the Midwest and Northeast parts of the country. Massive wind farms can be found in Texas and other parts of the country as well. The positive impact of using wind power for your home is immediate and substantial.
Wind turbines produce zero pollution, and over their lifetime these systems can offset 200 tons of greenhouse gases and 1.2 tons of air pollutants. The reduction in carbon dioxide (and other gases which cause climate change) from just one wind turbine is quite substantial.
While small residential wind energy systems do produce a bit of noise, it can be compared to the noise level of a modern washing machine and is usually not objectionable to anyone. These systems do not interfere with television reception, and can be retrofitted to just about any home without any need to change appliances or wiring.
A small wind turbine system from a major supplier can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000 after installation costs are accounted for. However, there is a rapidly growing movement of home owners that have successfully installed their own home made wind energy systems put together from kits available online.
A wind turbine is an excellent home investment, especially in the face of rising energy costs and dwindling fossil fuel supply. Many people opt to buy or make solar and wind energy systems for their home in preparation for retirement. This removes the uncertainty of unpredictable increases in the rates utility companies charge.
Most of the world is already using residential wind energy to a greater degree than the United States, where energy costs are kept artificially low by government intervention.