Home Wind Turbine Information and Advice
A home wind turbine, whether a rooftop model or windmill in a yards or a nearby field, is growing in popularity given their efficiency, low initial cost, and ease of maintenance. This form of renewable and alternative energy is more effective and inexpensive than most homeowners likely think, even in places where it is not windy all the time. If you are looking for a simple renewable and alternative energy system for your home, a rooftop residential wind turbine will not wear out like some other systems and does not involve major installation costs like still others, wind energy may be for you!
Benefits of a Home Wind Turbine System:
Whether you choose a rooftop residential wind turbine, backyard turbines or windmills, or hybrid models, aesthetics and efficiency have improved over just the past few years. Thus the benefits of a wind turbine for home use can be easily summed up as follows:
A home wind turbine is efficient:
A home wind turbine augments conventional sources of electricity, helping you save money and potentially sell excess back to the utility. The process is quite simple – the residential wind turbine spins and creates energy. If it creates more than you need at that time it is stored for later. And if you don’t need it later you can sell it back to the electric company for a profit! Many homeowners find that a wind turbine for home use actually is more efficient than other forms of renewable energy because of certain aspects about their site.
A residential wind turbine is inexpensive:
A rooftop home wind turbine and backyard windmills are relatively inexpensive to buy, install, and maintain. You may be surprised at the low-cost, and how quickly your savings will be a profit. Certain tax incentives and rebates you might qualify for may sweeten the deal. Of course they may not be less expensive than many traditional fossil fuel methods of providing power, but as compared to other renewables they may be less expensive.
A wind turbine for home use is powerful:
A rooftop residential wind turbine can be very powerful as evidenced by massive installations that are being used to provide abundant power to regions. You certainly do not need to install something so big at your home; in fact, current home wind energy turbines are quite small and still powerful for your own needs. Make sure you fully vet the potential of wind energy in your area and match the size and type of home wind turbine so that you get the maximum benefit.
A home wind turbine is aesthetically pleasing:
One of the major improvements in the home wind turbine and windmill power markets has been the overall look of these machines. They can be quite nice to look at, designed to be a decoration to the home or business as much as an energy producer. In the past this form of residential renewable energy was large, bulky, and could be an eye sore, but now they can be quite aesthetically pleasing.
A Wind Turbine for Home Use is Not For Everyone:
As excited as we are about the potential of a residential wind turbine, whether in the form of a backyard wind power windmill or a rooftop installation, there are certainly homeowners for whom this form of energy is not the perfect solution, for example:
1. If you are looking to live completely off the electric grid, for example, you may be disappointed with the ability of a residential wind turbine by itself to predictably meet all your energy needs all the time. This renewable energy system is very dependent on an unpredictable source, so you can have periods of time where you need backup energy.
2. If you are looking for an alternative or renewable energy system that will be so powerful that it can be used to power your home heating or cooling system, a home wind turbine may not provide the best solution unless you live where it is quite windy and you have multiple turbines or windmills. As of now, the more affordable systems that take up a reasonable amount of room just do not provide enough power for use beyond electric.
3. Of course you need to live where there is enough air movement on a day-to-day basis to see the most benefit from a residential wind turbine. Not everyone does, and in some cases the effect may vary with the seasons. Your expectations from your home wind turbine system must match the potential from the air movement in your area.
But if you just want to save money on your electric bill, and perhaps quite often not receive a bill at all, a residential wind turbine may be for you!
How to Assess Your Home for a Residential Wind Turbine
Above we covered the benefits of a home wind turbine and the fact that it is not for everyone. So how do you decide whether a rooftop residential wind turbine is for you or not? The process is actually quite simple, but vitally important. It starts with researching the potential wind power in your area. Using wind maps and other available assessments you can figure out how much wind your site could get annually, and perhaps what fluctuations there might be. Then you need to assess your own home site more specifically. How high up is your home and what is potentially blocking the air before it hits your own rooftop home wind turbine? How clear is the path to your home as far other homes and buildings that may be a little further away.
Next you have to assess your roof for the fit with having this form of renewable energy – how easy will it be to install a home wind turbine system and does your roof present added costs in any way. And finally, of course, you need to look into products such as a rooftop residential wind turbine that will give you both the potential power and also the aesthetics you are looking for. Along the way you need to look into demonstration projects, tax credits, grants, and other ways you can pay for your system, and also whether there may be alternatives such as rental agreements where you pay by giving up some of the power produced.
How Does a Residential Wind Turbine Work?
Many people want to understand how they are getting the energy from any renewable or alternative energy system, and others don’t care as much and still reap the benefits. We feel that it can be better to be in former category – knowing how this form of energy works can help you buy, maintain, and use your home wind turbine most effectively. Answering the question “how does wind energy work” is at the same time simple and complicated. Let’s start with the simple:
In your home wind turbine installation you have set up the turbines either on the rooftop or in an open space. They are raised so that they can capture the wind with as little blocking the wind’s path as possible. Wind passes over and through the blades causing the rotors to turn at a speed that depends on the power and sometimes direction of the wind. Inside the back yard or rooftop wind turbine large shafts connect with smaller ones, leading the smaller ones to spin faster. These faster spinning rotors are connected to an electric generator (think about a wind-up flashlight or any other device that winding captures the energy it uses). Even relatively slow wind turbine rotor speeds can be turned into higher speeds inside the turbine. Now this generator has produced electricity, but it needs to send the electricity to a transformer which basically turns this into a usable power source. In most cases a battery is involved to store any excess.
That may be enough to understand how does wind energy work, but it’s not really that simple. Factors such as the size, height, and distance from your home can play a role in your home wind farm or rooftop turbine. Also, the shape of the rotors and design of the overall home wind turbine can have small effects on our question of how does wind energy work.
About This Section
We have divided this section into four pages, each of which covers one part of the process as far as these energy systems:
- We start with “Wind Power for Homes” and cover this topic in even more depth, such as what aspects of your home or prospective home wind turbine site might or might not make it successful for that use.
- Then we move to “Rooftop Small Wind Turbines” and cover the most common choice of systems and installation so that you not only choose the right residential wind turbine for your property, but also site them properly
- We also have a “Wind energy facts” page that describes some things you may need to know or at least find interesting about a home wind turbine
- Our “Wind turbine cost” covers the very latest information and advice about how much you should expect to pay for a wind turbine for home use.
- Finally, “wind energy pros and cons” may help you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of a residential wind turbine.
Thanks for visiting, and for your interest in this exciting renewable energy source! This website has information about some really a cool home wind turbines
Here are some other great sites with information about a home wind turbine:
- A buyer’s guide to a wind turbine for home use
- Here are the home wind turbine products available at a large well-known store
- The U.S. government has a nice site discussing residential wind turbine power
Residential Wind Turbine Update
The up front cost for a home wind turbine continues to be prohibitive for some homeowners, and so far at least we are not seeing too many companies willing to do leasing or lease-to-own arrangements like we see in the home solar energy industry. This is not surprising since fewer homes are ideal for home wind power, and the up-front cost is so high that the company would have to wait a while to generate a profit. Does this mean that there will never be any lease to own options or options where you are actually renting your rooftop residential wind turbine and paying for them out of the energy produced. Not necessarily. There could still be players who enter the market and take chances with homes that are optimal for energy production from a residential wind turbine, and there could be scenarios where homeowners have to pay in a little more at the beginning than they do with solar energy systems. But where we really think there could be some movement is with wind coops, where neighborhoods pool together and have a shared wind farm in an open space.
Wind farms that are coops are an idea that protects the company because even if one or two people move out of the neighborhood there remains enough people paying in, even if the new neighbors do not, to keep the wind farm viable. And wind energy coops also mean that the rooftop wind turbines can be placed optimally on a piece of land likely to get a good amount of wind. And finally, wind farms produce a significant amount of energy, allowing the company to be getting a part of the savings more quickly. Of course the largest barrier to neighborhood wind farms is that it takes a lot of legwork and organizing to get them set up in the first place, where it may be more simple to install your own individual rooftop home wind turbine. A residential wind turbine remains the best solution, and a wind turbine for home use may be more aesthetically pleasing than you thought