Wind Energy Guide

Residential Wind Power EXPOSED

Although people were aware of wind power being harnessed to run large windmills that were part of the classic American Western landscape, few could think in terms of utilizing residential wind power to generate electricity at home. Even during the latter part of the year 2007, British critics thought “small wind wasn’t ready for prime time”.

Residential Wind Power

However, residential wind power got a shot in the arm as more and more newspaper columnists in theUnited States portrayed a bright future for electricity generated by residential wind power. In fact, the first eye opener came through a story published in The New York Times during late 2007 in which a correspondent had described how one Rena Wilson and her husband had successfully utilized strong gusts of wind blowing through their estate near Urbana, Illinois by installing a residential wind power turbine there. The devise, according to the couple, had helped drastically reduce their electricity bills from $90 to an unbelievable $10 in a single stroke. By then global wind power electricity generation had also increased considerably with Denmark producing 19.5%, Spain and Portugal each credited with 9% power generation while Germany and the Irish Republic showing a growth rate of 6% each.

However, the wave of residential wind power generated electricity had by then opened a floodgate of numerous home wind machines or turbines that catered to the needs of small households who started installing them at a feverish pitch. This turn of events unfortunately, created some problems. The vibration and hum of the turbines running at full torque disturbed the tranquility of the residential areas in most US cities and towns, forcing the local authorities to put a curb on unauthorized installation of residential wind power driven turbines.

Incidentally, residential wind power generated turbines are ideally suited to homesteads or farms that are remotely located where either grid or utility power is not available or are accessible only through installation of power poles with power cables laid on them – both operations becoming highly expensive. Besides, the turbines work better in far-off areas where there are few obstructions and installation at a considerable height poses no problem. But this did not deter townsfolk from installing small residential wind power driven turbines provided they agreed to abide by certain norms that are listed for their convenience. 

To begin with, one should check with the local authorities about the regulations imposed by them on installation of residential wind power driven turbines in the area. The other option will be to enlist the help of local dealers who could provide all the necessary information on the subject.

In the event of the first phase proving in favor of an installation, one should find out the average wind speed prevailing in the area for most of the time, taking into consideration various impediments like tall structures in the immediate neighborhood, trees or other obstacles standing in the way of free flow of wind. If the installation is for an area within the United States, the assessment of average wind speed is comparatively easy since Wind Resource Maps from Windpower America will reveal the data at-a-glance. Fore people living elsewhere, where no such data is made available to the public, the local airport may prove helpful.

And then comes the most significant part of the research work that involves matching a product’s optimum output with the requirement of electricity for the home or the farm. Once again, the exercise is easier with US citizens as AWEA compiled Small Wind Turbine Equipment Providers list will give all the relevant information in detail.

Armed with all the relevant data so far collected from different source, the beginner intending to install a residential wind power generator may compute the break-even point to see whether the project can be a viable one.

Residential wind power generated electricity, when tagged with the grid often becomes economically feasible since in one hand the user can draw current from the grid when wind abruptly ceases to blow while on the other hand, sell it to the same grid through special metering system when surplus electricity is generated. This way it may balance itself against high billing that would have happened if such two-way traffic was not arranged.

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