Like the sun, the wind is a constant in our lives. Unseen it dances by us, tugging at our hair and clothes. Like the sun, the wind, driven by the Coriolis Effect of the spinning Earth, is an infinite source of energy. Tapped for many centuries for drawing water up out of the ground, and for grinding grain, it was only about a hundred years ago that it was first tried as a method of producing electricity.
Small residential wind turbines are becoming a reality, and a splendid possibility for producing cheap, renewable energy. They can be used in conjunction with solar panels, as there is often wind when there isn’t sun, and vice versa. When you are choosing your wind turbine system, you will want to consider whether you will tie into existing utilities and sell the excess energy you make automatically, or whether you will try to live entirely off-rid and install the banks of batteries that will help you step free of the reliance on other energy sources.
Small residential wind turbines are essentially a generator. It is simply a magnet alternator attacher to a rotor that spins in the wind. The amount of power a small residential wind turbine can produce depends on the height of its towers, the air density in the locale, and the size of the blades. Of course, the wind speed is the primary factor in the equation. An increase in wind speed exponentially increases the power output.
One of the useful things about installing small residential wind turbines is, being a generator, it naturally fits into your existing wiring system. The location of your home should be surveyed carefully if you plan to add a turbine to an existing structure, and if you are building fresh, the prevailing winds must be mapped and taken into consideration when you are planning. Wind turbines, like solar panels, do not produce any kind of emission, so locating them close to or even atop your home is not a concern. Once a system has been installed, it requires little maintenance, and will go on producing inexpensive energy for your home for decades.
One of the concerns about wind turbines was noise, but with modern technology, precise machining, and fiberglass blades, the noise it emits is not much above the leaves rustling on the trees. Another concern raised in the early days was the fear of the blades killing birds, but this has proven to be unfounded. No birds have been found near small residential wind turbines dead from them.
Wind and sun are both free resources, and the increasing use of these for energy frees us from more than ever higher energy costs. The pollution from fossil fuels will reduce as we rely more on clean energy, and the withdrawal from dependence on oil frees us of our obligations to compromise and struggle for sources of that diminishing commodity. Dan Chiras, in his book “Power from the Wind: Achieving Energy Independence.” suggests that wind power could bring a cleaner, better future to the world we all live in.