How To Buy a Wind-Electric System
It has been your dream for years but now, you’re ready to fork out the cash, lay a concrete foundation into the
ground and erect that tower. You realize that you need to purchase a complete system, not just a turbine.
You also know that there’s a series of steps before you can finally buy a wind electric system. So, how do you move from dream
First off, you need to understand a thing or two about wind power. Although wind electric systems are a clean
alternative, they are neither cheap nor 100 percent reliable.
Setting up a working system is a no-go area for novices. However, with the right homework, quality equipment and
support, a durable system is achievable. Hundreds of homeowners have done just that, and they occasionally glance
upwards to see their turbine spinning away, delivering power from wind.
A lot of preliminary work has to be done before a turbine’s blades can finally spin. It consists of gauging your
energy needs, devising methods for efficient energy use, determining capacity of wind energy at your place, and how
your needs can be matched with your resource. When this ground has been covered, you can then start to ponder which
type of turbine to buy, along with the balance of system components.
Carry out an energy analysis
The first step prior to installing a
wind electric system is to establish how much energy you use. The basic unit for electricity is a kilowatt-hour
(KWH), and somehow, you need to ascertain how many of these you consume in a month. You could either read your
utility meter every month, or contact your utility for a summary of the previous year’s usage, which is easier.
For a new home, the usage will be an estimate, keeping in mind that there might be a big variance from actual
usage. The goal of determining usage is to come up with a number of kilowatt-hours your system will generate in a
year. Without a value, it will be guess work, and eventually you might be disappointed with your investment in a
With your value for KWH in hand, you could straight away dive into shopping for the system components. However,
focusing on energy efficiency first will ensure your time and money are better spent. At the end of the day,
incorporating energy efficiency measures will cut the cost and size of the your wind electric system.
Make a resource analysis
You should start to assess your wind resource right about the same time you’re doing the energy resource
preliminaries. Domestic wind electric systems hardly justify an out-and-out wind resource assessment using wind
data logging and analysis.
However, it’s essential that you get a general estimate
of the amount of wind available in your area before forking out your money. Assuming that ‘its always very
windy’ is an unscientific method to analyze a resource and going by it may result in loss of money.
Select the turbine
Now that you’ve established your needs and resource, you can go shopping. Choose a turbine whose output matches
your energy needs and wind resource. Annual energy output (AEO) numbers for different average wind speeds can be
readily availed by any serious manufacturer or supplier worth buying from. Power or watt ratings for a turbine are
basically a marketing point so don’t sweat over it. For off-grid systems, you will most certainly need an
additional energy source, for instance solar electricity.