Numerous advances have been made in wind energy technology. Many of those advances have been made in home wind energy options. For homeowners who may be considering the addition of wind technology for home use, this article examines some of the more common issues associated with wind energy.
You can think of residential wind energy as being a wind garden rather than the familiar, and much larger, commercial wind farm. For home use, one single wind turbine can create enough electricity to meet most household needs. That may surprise many people, but it is true.
It should be noted, however, that most homes that use wind energy are still hooked up the local power company. This is often done as a safety precaution. It is also done in some areas because homeowners who produce more wind energy than they need can sell that extra energy back to the power company. How is that for a switch?
Installing wind energy devices can be expensive upfront but those costs are brought back to the homeowner over the long run. In fact, the long term benefits make wind energy very attractive to most homeowners who would love to have a zero-cost power bill. If your local power company buys energy, the long term economic benefits are only better.
In order to better understand wind energy, it is necessary to understand how the power is generated. The electricity generated through wind technology is largely dependent on the amount of wind that is present on a regular basis in the area. This is often called the wind resource. No one should proceed with the installation of a wind turbine until they have completed a wind study.
Like virtually all things, wind turbines come in various models. The exact model that you plan to use should be selected according to your power needs and the amount of wind that is available. In other words, when it comes to wind turbines one size does not fit all.
A rather loose rule of thumb is that homeowners need at least 9 to 10 miles per hour of wind on average to sustain a system. Some models will work with less and some will work only with more.
Many homeowners, at those who are able to do so, elect to install what is known as grid-connected system rather than a stand alone system. With a grid-connected system you and your local utility become, in essence, partners in generating electricity. If your home wind turbine cannot produce the amount of energy you need, the power company makes up the difference. When your wind system generates more electricity than you need, the excess can sometimes be sold to the utility. Whether or not you can sell electricity back to the local utility (an arrangement known as net metering) depends on the state where you live.
A good way to get started with wind energy is consult with a local wind energy expert or professional contractor. There are many issues that you will need to address before you can install your turbine and system, and these professionals can answer those questions.