Wind Power for your House, Home, Retreat
Wind power may be a good choice (for some), when considering alternative energy sources for either emergency preparedness or simply part-time power.
Some parts of the country (world) are much windier than others, with steady breezes just waiting to be harnessed.
Geographical location is important while attempting to harness wind power, especially the locations that often experience more wind.
For example, those who live along the ocean, breezy conditions are often part of daily life. Much of the open plains, or locations where winds are funneled through valleys are also often windy.
The following map of the United States shows favorable locations for wind power generation.
The following map of the United States shows average wind speeds (at a height of 80 meters), which is the common hub height of the ginormous wind generators (turbines) of wind farms that you may have seen along the landscape.
(Link no longer available)
Global Wind Power Map
How does a wind turbine work?
Incoming winds brush past the curved edges of the propeller, turning it as they go. The turning propeller rod connected to a gearbox translates a slow but high-torque turning motion into a very fast but low-torque motion which is connected to a generator, generating a continuous electrical charge.
The more you can do to become LESS dependent upon the power grid, the better.
It’s ‘risk insurance’.
ALEKO 450 Watt 12 Volt Wind Turbine Residential Wind Generator
If any of you have experience with a wind generator, I would be curious to know what you have – and your overall satisfaction with the results. I don’t have one (I don’t live in an area with much ‘constant’ wind), but I’m still curious nonetheless.
The best bet is one of the many designs intended for DIY using an alternator from a car.
The advantages are:
1. You would understand it and be able to repair/maintain it.
2. It would be cost effective.
You cannot under estimate how little useable power is generated by one of these small scale systems when compared with being on the grid. I pay $.06 a kwh for electricity and a small wind generator may on a good day generate $.03 worth of power. For that return you don’t want to spend a couple thousand on a commercially built small wind generator. They can be a useful adjunct for a small PV system intended to power lights and a few key small appliances for SHTF or a remote cabin. But wind power is generally not as practical or as dependable as solar. Look for old Mother Earth News articles of home built wind power systems for some good ideas.