Wind Turbines for Home

Wind Turbines for Home

Wind turbines installed at homes to generate electricity might seem futuristic, but they quickly become a reality. Not only can they be seen in the European rural landscape, but they’ve also found their way into urban homes. The reasons for this are many.

Wind turbines are being widely used in the industrial sector in developed nations. This has also encouraged many people in the West to go for tapping this cost-effective green energy source in their homes.

While industrial wind turbines produce 6.5% of America’s electricity, small wind turbines for homes are enough to meet the daily needs. They reduce a family’s carbon footprint by producing clean and green electricity.

Why harness wind power?

Why harness wind power

In today’s age, humanity stands at the brink of a severe environmental catastrophe, the signs of which such as climate change and global warming are already visible. Thus, we must tap renewable resources as much as possible. Turning to eco-friendly, sustainable energy sources is the need of the hour, and wind turbines are one such great alternative.

Also, turning to wind power would reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and the national grid.

Tapping wind power is not a modern idea as it may seem but dates back to 5000 BCE. A modern windmill, as we may call it, was first made in the 1850s, and today they have surely come a long way. They stand tall and produce sustainable power or electricity for 35 million American families.

Wind power is becoming popular, and the U.S Department of Energy has even decided to replace about 20% of the country’s electricity with wind turbines’ produced electricity by 2030.

How much wind power is required to meet daily residential needs?

How much Wind power is required to meet daily residential needs

There cannot be a fixed answer to this as it depends on the size of the house, its electricity needs, the number of electronics used every day, etc. However, an average American family needs around 10,932 kilowatt-hours of electricity every year.

What is the electricity generation capacity of residential wind turbines?

The Energy gov guide states that a 1.5- kilowatt wind turbine produces around 300KwH every month in a region with an annual average wind speed of 14 mph.

The wind speed depends on the region and altitude. National Wind Watch has found that wind turbines work above their average capacity of 40% but generate minimal electricity 60% of the time. This would mean that all the electricity needs of a household cannot be met by wind turbines alone, and it is essential to have a second power source as a backup. This is true for urban areas, which are crowded with many buildings that restrict wind flow.

Types of residential turbines

There are mainly two kinds of wind turbines that are suitable for homes. Horizontal axis turbines and vertical axis turbines.

Horizontal Axis Turbines are designed to produce higher amounts of electricity and are pretty standard. They have three blades that rotate upwards with the wind to maximize their electricity production capacity. They are heavier compared to vertical-axis turbines.

Vertical-axis wind turbines function on a rotational axis, installed perpendicular to the ground. They are used for meeting residential electricity needs but also in industries. They can capture wind blowing at any angle or direction, making them the best option for people living in stormy regions.

How to choose the wind turbine for your home?

Suppose you are planning to get a wind turbine installed at your place. In that case, you should do a lot of research because many options are available in the market—different sizes, different materials, features and capacities, and so on. You have to consider the size of your house and where you live before making a decision. Also, instead of getting a wind turbine yourself, it is better to contact a well-known supplier to get the wind turbine installed. So if there are any technical issues later, you’re covered.

Benefits of installing a wind turbine at home

A sustainable source– Non-renewable sources such as coal are used to meet most of the world’s energy needs. Today, however, they cause not only pollution but also resource depletion.

Clean and renewable energy sources such as solar, water, and wind energy are abundant and do not harm the environment but add to its conservation.

When you opt for getting a wind turbine, you significantly reduce pollution and slow down climate change. It is a mindful decision that can have a significant impact if taken by many. You can be among the environmentally conscious global citizens striving for a better future.

Renewable and abundant

Wind power can be harnessed freely and is entirely renewable. The wind blows in all regions; hence you never have to worry about scarcity.

Financial benefits

Installing wind turbines might prove costly at first, but there are numerous ways in which people can get financial benefits from wind turbines. Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE financing, is an instalment plan for those who want to finance their wind turbine through a specific tax levied on their properties.

Some drawbacks of residential wind turbines

Dependency on wind conditions

One of the biggest setbacks of having a wind turbine is its dependency on the region where you live and its climate conditions. If you live in a region that has strong winds, then harnessing wind power would not only reap environmental benefits but financial as well.

However, if you live in a place with irregular and inconsistent wind conditions, then harnessing wind power might not yield you many benefits. It would not be possible to meet all your electricity needs from wind power.

Noise pollution

Wind turbines can be quite noisy, which might be irritable for some people. They can produce 50 to 60 decibels of sound that can be a lot of noise for quiet neighbourhoods. If it is installed in a rural region, then houses are far from each other, but in urban areas, that is not the case.

Zoning regulations

Before deciding to install wind turbines, you should also check with the local authority as some places might have laws, HOAs, and other zoning rules that may not allow wind turbine installation.

How much does a wind turbine installation cost?

The cost of installation depends on many factors. For instance, if there is not a grid connection nearby and there is a need for an extension, then installation can be costly. The average cost is around $15,000 – $50,000 per mile, which varies from region to region. So it is a big investment initially.

 Windustry has said that a 10-kilowatt wind turbine, which can power a decent home, costs $50,000-$80,000 or more to install completely.

People can claim Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) payments for any extra electricity you transfer to the national grid. A 5kW wind turbine mounted on a pole could help you earn about £235 every year in SEG payments.

How long does it take for a wind turbine installation to be financially beneficial?

This is difficult to estimate due to the differing electricity needs of different homes. On average, it would take quite a long time, about decades, before a residential wind turbine saves enough to pay for itself. It is not a quick process.

 Usually, wind turbines spanning hectares give fast returns because of their size, capacity, and location; however, home turbines do not give quick returns. Wind farms also decrease the amount of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen particles that cause air pollution. This decrease in air pollution has saved a lot of spending on medical bills.

Savings

If installed in a windy place, a 5kW wind turbine can produce about 9,000kWh every year and help you save £280 annually on your electricity bills. The electricity generated from this renewable source can save 1.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Maintenance of home wind turbines

A wind turbine needs maintenance twice a year and would cost around £100 to £200, according to the size of the turbine.

If a turbine is maintained and repaired timely, it should last for at least 20 years, but there might be a need to replace the inverter during these years. This would usually cost not more than £1,000 to £2,000.

For the systems that are not connected to the grid, there would be a need to replace the batteries every 6 to 10 years. Also, if you are getting a generator, it will have its own fuel needs and maintenance cost.

Thus, if you live in a region with good wind speeds, you must go for wind turbine installation at your home. It will not only cut your carbon contribution, save up money on electricity bills, but also be beneficial for the environment. It is a clean, sustainable source for producing power and should be encouraged by the governments. While many initiatives have been taken by the developed world, wind turbines have become popular in developing countries.