Home Wind Turbines: Are They Right for You?

Home Wind Turbines: Are They Right for You?

When it comes to clean energy, renewables are an abundant source. While solar power has established itself in the mainstream energy grid, wind is actually the largest source of renewable electricity in the country. Wind power is expected to produce 20% of the U.S. electricity demand and be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2030. If you own land or live in a windy corridor of the United States, it’s worthwhile looking into whether wind power is right for your home.

How Does a Home Wind Turbine Work?

Much like their industrial counterparts on wind farms, residential turbines use the same process of converting wind’s kinetic energy into electricity. Wind is also readily available whether or not you are connected to the grid. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

Kinetic energy from the wind causes the turbine to spin, and the turbine’s blades turn a rotor that is connected to it by a shaft. The fast rotation from the rotor runs a generator that produces clean electricity with zero emissions. Once electricity is generated, an inverter is used to change the voltage for use in your home. Homes tied to the grid have the benefit of using wind to power their household, and they can sell any excess back to the power grid. Homes that are off the grid benefit from a natural power source and can save power in batteries for emergencies.

What Wind Turbine Works For Your Home?

First, you will need enough wind speed to generate electricity. Make sure to check the average wind speed in your area before deciding on a turbine.

Larger wind turbines work well if you have property with an adequate amount of space (at least one mile). These turbines are versions of the free-standing ones seen on wind farms, and they can be used to power an entire home. The average U.S. household consumes about 877-911 kilowatt-hours of electricity. With enough wind speed, a turbine rated between 5 and 15 kWs could generate the electricity needed to power your home. Free standing turbines are big investments and can cost up to $65,000.

Small wind turbines allow you to take advantage of wind power if you have less space. They can be mounted on top of structures like your house or garage and work better as a supplemental power source. A small wind turbine can help lower your electricity costs by up to 90%. Smaller turbines are cheaper but still an investment. It can cost up to $7,000 for a roof-mounted 1 kW turbine.

Is Wind Right For You?

Carefully consider your property and needs when looking into wind power for the home. Home wind turbines are a big investment and have some drawbacks when it comes to aesthetics, noise, and power consistency. Despite these drawbacks, wind power brings immense environmental benefits as a free and clean renewable energy that you can rely on with or without connection to the grid.

Wind power may be right for you if you have the necessary wind speeds on your property and you find that the benefits outweigh its costs. Explore home wind turbines as a way to power your home sustainably and self-sufficiently.

For more facts about wind power and the future of sustainable homes, check out the infographic below.


Graphics Courtesy of The Zebra

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