Is a Wind Turbine practical for your Home?

Wind Power has been a practical solution in providing power to man in various forms from powering sailing ships to agriculture and milling. With the present power crises and the problem with Global warming along with other environmental issues Wind power is now coming to the fore again with the rapid application of Turbine power Generators incorporating advanced technology.

With the escalation of fuel prices the alternative energy support block has been actively promoting the cause of wind power along with other sustainable energy sources. On the other hand for many sites remotely located from the main power grid and fuel resources wind turbines are invaluable.

Presently Wind Turbine Electrical power plants are in great demand in Ireland as a viable source of alternative power in many such applications.

Can you use wind energy to power your home?

The answer is yes subject to:

• Is there is enough wind where you live?
• Tall towers are permitted officially (by the local governmental authorities) and
of course your neighbours unofficially!
• There is sufficient space
• If the Home electricity requirement is worked out well
• Your present electricity bills are high or the nearest grid power supply is located far away and you prefer a stand alone “off grid”system.
• If the economics are right for you (you must be happy with a long term investment)!

Before you consider any thing else in this regard the most important thing to look into is how energy efficient your home is. It is worthwhile to go for your building energy rating certificate, though this presents an additional cost factor. (This will anyway be available if your property is new. If it is old, still it will help you in minimizing your home power wastage).The BER advisory report will tell you what improvements are possible for conserving your electrical energy. What all this lead up to is a way to optimize your wind turbine’s capacity.

Establish your requirements

• List down all the electrical equipment in your home
• Indicate the quantity of each item
• Note down Power required by each appliance in watts. If the appliance does not indicate it, use the rule of thumb Voltage X Current drawn = Watts (which is adequate for the purpose).
• Indicate the number of hours of anticipated run per day (this you will know best!)
• Using the above data work out your daily requirement of electricity for each appliance by multiplying the watts by the hours of usage and totaling up for all appliances. This will be indicated as kWh/day which multiplied by 30 will indicate your monthly estimated requirement used for sizing the wind turbine.
(Don’t forget watts/1000 =kw!)

All you have to do now is provide this to a reputed supplier (such as ENTECH) who will offer you the best suited turbine for your home.

As to the cost, the fully installed price for a 2.5 kw wind turbine unit would be approximately €13,850 inclusive of VAT@21%
The pay back period would be in the region of 6 years for a stand alone system where (if available) electrical tariffs are moderately high.

Presently domestic Wind turbines are available which can operate at even fairly low wind velocities such as 2.5 m/s (about your window air conditioners out let velocity at high speed!).But an average annual velocity of approximately 4.5 m/s to 6.5m/s is considered satisfactory. Annual Wind velocities in your area are available with the meteorological authorities.

SEI Ireland have a website dedicated to displaying the wind velocity in your area
SEE: Wind speed mapping

Also these are generally available with the equipment suppliers (eg, ENTECH who will be most pleased to help you).

Wind turbines are suitable and available not only for homes but for animal farms, manufacturing facilities, hotels and guest houses. Some of the Wind turbines for domestic applications are no noisier than a fan. (Approx 55dbA). With ever escalating energy costs you are sure to be happy with the independence you can enjoy!

Thanks the Techstore Team

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