Wind energy is one of the major clean energy sources, though largely untapped in many parts of the world. Wind is also a form of solar energy, since generation of wind is based on solar energy. Uneven heating of earth, irregularities on earth’s surface and earth rotation causes wind to generate. Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into alternate forms of energy, including wind turbines for the production of electrical wind power, windmills for mechanical power, and wind pumps for water pumping or drainage.
Types of Home Wind Turbines
There are two types of home wind turbines – roof-mounted and free-standing mast or pole-mounted wind turbines. Home wind turbines can generate energy, depending on the size of rotor fan. It comes in various sizes as well as varying power generation. Home wind turbines can generate power ranging from 100W to 50 kW. Smaller turbines are often used to store energy in batteries, or used to generate electricity for homes and business parks/corporate buildings. Roof-top mounted wind turbines generate energy of 0.5kW to 2.5kW while those with pole mounted can generate about 5-6 kW.
Major drawback for the wind power system is availability of wind. If it is below 7mph, there will be no output. Wind power is only feasible where average speed of wind is above 7mph in a particular area. On an average it is estimated, home wind turbines can lower your bills by 50-90%.
Basic purpose of the home wind turbines is to reduce energy consumption and ultimately reduce electricity bills. It require mains power and together with wind, can move turbine and generate considerable amount of energy to reduce bills upto 50-90%. Power supply at home or commercial buildings is run by utility. If wind speed is below 7mph there will be no output from turbine and all the power utilized will be from utility. As wind speed increases, power generated from wind energy will also increase and the amount of power purchased from utility will decrease. When the turbine output is more than the requirement, the extra energy is sold to the utility. All of this will be automatic.
The home wind turbine doesn’t work as a standalone system, one need to have mains power supply to operate the wind turbine. If there is a power cut, it won’t run. The wind power supplement normal power supply and help in reducing utility bills.
Small scale wind turbines are best suited for remote off grid locations. It is best to counter energy supply to rural areas where large open fields are easily available. Best place would be smooth topped hill with clear exposure, without any wind turbulence due to trees, houses or other buildings. Wind speed increases with height, so it is best to have it as high as possible. For urban buildings or homes, integrated wind turbines are suitable but it is observed that performance is generally lower than expected probably because of low wind speed or poor positioning
Good Investment Option
This largely depends on investment, electricity cost and average wind speed available. It usually gives the return on investment through utility savings within 6-30 years and beyond that, the cost of electricity is virtually free of cost. Many people buy wind systems for their retirement because they are concerned about utility rate increases.