Wind energy has been in use since ancient times, propelling boats and warships, pumping water to thirsty farmlands and grinding grains. But this energy has never been fully harnessed, due to the convenience of other energy sources like coal and petroleum.
There’s a renewed interest in this free alternative source of energy, thanks to the realization that the world’s reliance on fossil fuels are causing major complications, including higher costs and environmental abuse.
What’s so great about wind energy? There are many benefits to choosing this alternative energy source:
Wind towers can be built on land or water, making them compatible with most locations
Wind power doesn’t pollute the environment
Wind is a renewable energy source
No harmful by-products are produced by wind turbines and wind power
Inexpensive operation means reduced energy costs
To generate electricity, a wind turbine is set on a tall tower to collect kinetic or motion energy created by the wind. This energy is then converted by the turbines into the kind of electricity any regular household can use.
For personal residential use, electricity generated by a wind turbine on your roof and the power supplied by a local utility are combined. Why the need for local power supply when you already have wind energy? Wind speed varies, while smaller wind turbines are now efficient at wind speeds of 7-10 miles per hour, below that, little if any electricity is produced. As a result, local power supplies pick up the slack when the wind power generated is insufficient.
In some cases, you may find that your system generates more energy than you can use. If your area is eligible for “net metering,” any excess electricity you generate is automatically sold back to the local energy utility, where you may receive payment or a credit. Once you are set-up to net meter, the process is automatic.
There are some considerations to take into account before installing wind turbines: location, general weather condition, zoning ordinances, size of home, and amount of investment. The wind option works best in high locations and in generally windy places. Your house should not be blocked by taller buildings or trees, allowing more wind action to propel the turbine blades to generate electricity.
There are two wind turbine types – horizontal axis wind and vertical axis wind turbines. The horizontal axis wind turbine produces more electricity but it has to be positioned to face the wind. The vertical turbine can catch wind coming from different directions, which makes this turbine a popular option.
For the home, wind turbines rated five up to 15 kilowatts can provide significant amounts of electricity. A turbine can be very large or, for home use, small turbines with a diameter measuring one meter or less will be appropriate. Unless you are a serious do-it-yourselfer, consider hiring a consultant to help you find the best solution for your particular needs. An expert can help with wind speed calculations, the best manufacturers, and provide installation and maintenance.
With all that wind blowing so freely, consider harnessing the power for your benefit. By converting wind to electricity, you can significantly reduce your residential consumption by 50 to 90 percent.
Find a consumer’s guide to alternative energy and reducing energy consumption at http://www.affordable-alternative-energy.com/alternative-energy.html. Alternative Energy Guide helps you find the best renewable resources for your home and business at http://www.affordable-alternative-energy.com
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