Generating your own electricity is an attractive alternative to the local electricity supplier. There are a few possibilities. In addition to classic photovoltaic systems, wind power for the home is becoming increasingly popular. But what can the technology do and for whom is the wind turbine suitable?
How does home wind power work?
Energy self-sufficiency is becoming more and more desirable in view of rising electricity prices. However, if you don’t live in a sun-drenched country, you need an alternative to the widespread photovoltaic system. So-called small wind turbines, in which wind power is used to generate energy, are becoming increasingly popular.
This is a wind turbine that you can install either in the garden or on the roof of the house. The wind turns a rotor and a wind generator generates direct current from the kinetic energy. This is converted into AC power by an inverter, which you can then feed into your home.
If you have a very large yard, you can also think about installing several wind turbines there.
The output of a wind turbine is given as a nominal output and is up to 7 kilowatts – depending on the wind conditions at the location and the size of the rotors. It is not possible to say in general how much electricity such a wind turbine produces per year, as this depends heavily on the wind conditions.
Types of small wind turbines
There are two options: horizontal axis wind turbines and vertical axis wind turbines. In a horizontal axis wind turbine, the rotor blades rotate about a horizontal axis. This can often align itself according to the wind conditions. In a vertical axis wind turbine, the rotor blades rotate around a vertical axis. It doesn’t matter which direction the wind blows from, but the efficiency is lower than that of a horizontal-axis wind turbine.
However, the major advantage of a vertical wind turbine is that it requires less space. So if you have less space available, you can set up one or more vertical wind turbines.
Of course, you can find both types of wind generators in our online shop! Click Here To View Our Wind Turbines
How much wind do wind turbine generators need?
In order for the wind generator to generate enough electricity, there must be sufficient wind strength. In order for a small wind turbine to work economically, wind speeds of 14,7 ft per second or more are required – this corresponds to wind force 3. So before you rely on wind power for your home, you should check the wind conditions at the location very carefully. A look at the area shows the first indications of whether a small wind turbine is worthwhile. Trees and surrounding buildings around your property can severely limit the performance of small wind turbines and create turbulence.
You can also have a professional wind measurement carried out, but this is quite expensive and bears no relation to the cost of the system and the yield that you can achieve. You can also get an initial overview with a wind map. It is best to discuss with a manufacturer of small wind turbines whether your location is suitable for wind energy.
Where are the home wind turbines installed?
You can set up the wind turbine freely on your property, but you should make sure that neither trees nor buildings are too close to the pole with the rotors, as these affect the performance of the wind turbine. You can set up the systems in the yard or mount them on the roof of your house. However, disturbing vibrations can occur on the house roof.
Tip: You must also register a small wind turbine with your power grid operator. Also, remember to insure the system – check with your building and liability insurance.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of small wind turbines?
One advantage of wind turbines is the sustainable operation of the systems since they do not use up any resources but generate electricity from the wind. This results in emission-free operation with wind power for the home. However, wind energy does not come without disadvantages. On the one hand, you must have the ideal location with the necessary wind speed. The wind conditions also determine how high the output of the wind turbine is. In addition, obstacles can cause turbulence, which can reduce the yield.
Additionally, depending on the state, you must go through a permitting process before you can erect a wind tower. The potential noise from the rotor blades can also cause problems with the neighbors. At least vertical rotors can help here.
Another advantage of wind turbines is that they are usually cheaper than solar panels. With a wind turbine generator, you can produce more electricity at a lower price.
But you have to keep in mind that the wind turbines have to be serviced more often since the wind turbines have many moving parts that can break over time or require spare parts.
Ideally, you should also have an expert wind report drawn up, but in terms of costs, this is out of all proportion to the cost savings through self-sufficiency thanks to wind power. A small wind turbine costs between $500 and $4,000 and the price can be higher depending on the type and capacity of the wind turbine.
But if you dare to assemble the wind turbine yourself and connect it to a battery, you can of course save a lot of money!
If the system is in a good location, you can save around 8 cents per kilowatt-hour if you direct the generated wind power into your own household. If you would like to feed the electricity into the supply network, you can receive 4 cents per kilowatt-hour in the first few years under optimal conditions.
Is a small wind turbine worth it for homeowners to generate their own electricity? There is no general answer to this question since the potential yield of wind turbines depends heavily on the location and the wind speeds on-site – these can vary greatly from one another locally. When the conditions are good, a wind turbine has an advantage over a photovoltaic system. It is cheaper than a solar panel system, and delivers energy. If you have the possibility to combine solar energy and wind power, that would be the ideal solution. So you can rely on your solar system during the day and use the wind at night.