How to Determine Your Home's Wind Energy Potential
The best areas for wind energy are coastlines and in hilly terrain.
But in the US unless you live in a gully most sites have the 8 to 10 mph breeze required for wind power
Your potential to use wind power is therefore more a philosophical decision based on whether you want less
reliance on non sustainable energy and the opportunity for self reliance.
Wind is truly renewable as long as the sun stays with us!
You should also look closely at how you can make your home more energy efficient before embarking on plans to
provide your own energy.
This will then determine how much capacity you really require.
If you consider combining your generator with a solar power source then you have the best of both worlds and can
avoid the less predictable effects of wind power.
Such hybrid systems are obviously the best but most wind systems will work very well in winter which is the time
when demand is greatest.
You can check out the region's potential for wind by referring to the US Department of Energy Maps online.
The best advice I can give you is to purchase a small recording anemometer for your site and track the breeze
for 6 to 12 months.
This will give you the most accurate picture of your homes potential.
Your site will offer better performance if you can reduce the effects of turbulence with little interference
from other structures or small hills in the direction of the prevailing winds.
Wind speed increases the higher you can mount the turbine off the ground so if you have a large area a tower
will allow you to get both a better wind and permit a larger turbine to be installed.
The bigger the turbine the better the performance and the greater the savings.
For many home owners the consideration
of wind power systems comes when all other avenues of energy conservation have been exhausted and efficiencies
have been made.
For some people the demand for an alternative supply to the grid may be forced by isolation and the costs of
connecting to the grid or its unreliability during different seasons.
The curious irony is that 100 years ago wind power was the first choice for pioneers until the government
sponsored utilities using cheap fossil fuels meant wind power fell into disuse!
If you are constructing a new home then look carefully at where you site the building in relation to the
prevailing wind as well.
This is not only to mitigate the effect of turbulence on your potential system but also to see if the building
itself can support the structure of a turbine.
Early generators suffered from too much vibration for use on domestic structures and old metal blades were very
noisy as well.
The use of lightweight blades has improved the function of latest designs to the point where they are both
functionally and aesthetically more attractive.
While the start up cost may seem a little high you should also consider the rapid increases and difficulties in
the grid supply in past years for your area.
The greater potential for increases in grid power and regular threats of outages may mean wind energy is
something you cannot ignore for your future.
The cost of the wind turbine kit system is after all only one
Your home's potential should be examined not just for the immediate rewards but as part of future proofing your
family against energy demand.