More and more people are now interested in generating their own power and do not wish to depend on the utility. And this is one reason why small wind generators are getting quite popular in US homes. Small wind turbines that generate around fifty watt electricity are also good for boats or caravans. They often have direct drive generators (in contrast to larger units where the generator is coupled to the shaft with the help of gears), Direct Current or DC output, ceroplastic blades, bearings that are lifetime guaranteed and a vane or a tail to point the turbine into the wind. However, most of these turbines are horizontal-axis units.
Although small-scale rooftop home wind generators are capable of generating power (from 900 watts to 10,000 watts) which roughly covers 10 to 25 percent of the electricity that is consumed in the average domestic household, their installation on the roof has raised a debate. A turbine, however small (7 feet to 25 feet in diameter and weighing a little over 35 lbs) can create some amount of vibration. The turbulence can hamper its power generation. The answer therefore, is in installing the turbine on top of a tower that should be sufficiently high for the turbine to react with the wind current. Though earlier model turbines created some kind of humming noises, contemporary wind generators are free of any disturbing noise. Some of them are also provided with a dynamic braking system that regulates their running velocity within reasonable limits so that they can safely go on generating electricity even in high winds.
wind turbines with outputs varying from 2 to 10 kW in
the US are priced around $12,000 to $55,000 while
incentives in several states (19) brings down the
purchase price almost to half of the stated price tag.
Equated in terms of wattage it comes to $3 per watt of
wind energy power. According to a leading
Small wind turbines primarily consist of sturdy but light weight blades with span of seven to twenty five feet; a hub that holds the blades; a DC motor of permanent magnet type that works as a generator, diodes, wires; tail and a suitable mount. In order to make the system workable, one has to have a battery bank, a charge controller to save the batteries from getting over charged; a step up transformer-cum-converter to hike the voltage and to convert the DC output of the turbine to 12V AC for general use.
Small wind turbines can also be built in home with or without the help of DIY kit. With a kit the job is comparatively easier since all one has to do is to assemble the parts provided in the kit according to instructions given therein. Alternatively, you can build a small turbine by procuring the various parts from hardware stores. In such cases, the cost of a home built wind turbine may become as low as $150. Amazing, isnít it?
The small wind generator is a great idea for the home. Being a safe and clean energy, you will be able to contribute to clean up the environment Ė plus there are of course financial benefits. You will surely be able to reduce your power bills drastically. What you need to know is information on how to build a wind generator and set it up, where to do so in your home, how to wire the system, where to get the parts from cheaply and also knowledge about the safety precautions. Here is a manual that will give you all this information.