Wind turbines are recognised as one of the most viable solutions against ever increasing electricity tariffs. With the ESB’s proposals to revise the tariffs in the coming year is a Damocles’ sword over the consumer. Even if they postpone the implementation of this new tariff scheme (which has not been disclosed as yet) it is certain that sooner or later you will have to face it head on.
No one would deny the fact that as it even the rates are high. The ESB is sure to have its own reasons which may be justifiable too!
But where does that land you, the average consumer with the winter looming only a few weeks away? One of the best ways to avoid getting knocked on the head over and over now and in the years to come is to rid one’s self from his dependence on the utility power supply.
Can this be possible? Sure why not!
The alternative Energy technology has developed in the recent past to such an extent that it is often difficult for you to make up your mind as to what particular technology you must go for!
There are many who opt for Wind Turbines for many reasons, however.
• The wind turbines are a time proven technology (Hey! you know how Don Quixote fought against them long before even our great grandfathers!)
• They are practically devoid of any running costs.
• They are easy to maintain requiring skills in basic electrical and mechanical engineering technologies (at least at domestic installation level)
• Will last at least 25 years or more. (Surly one of these will out live all the cars on the road today?)
• 100% renewable energy (it is only conversion of kinetic energy of the wind to electrical energy!)
• No greenhouse gas emissions what so ever.
• Can be “grid tied” so you could supplement the grid supply, be totally catering when the wind velocity is high or be on stand by if you want it that way.
• You have the choice of storing the power in storage batteries though this would involve battery maintenance and such tedious work. (There are many draw backs but with today’s interest in electrical cars and electrical motorbikes, soon it might be a sensible proposition for all we know!)
• You may be virtually out of the grip of the power utility!
In selecting a wind turbine for your requirements the manufacturers (or the suppliers) recognize 3 main criteria.
• The demand for electricity
• When you use it
• The location
The demand for electricity:
A typical Irish home would consume 8000 kWh of electrical energy per annum. They would be paying Euro 1450 as electricity charges + a standing charge Euro140 annually at current tariff rates.
A 2.5 kw wind turbine on a good location would cut down this by at least 60% which amounts to approximately Euro 900.
When do you intent use it
A wind turbines power generation curve is coincident with that of an average household. The consumption is more in the night and in the winter. The wind turbine generates more power in the nights and in the winter.
The average annual wind velocity is a key factor in the performance and selection of a wind turbine. Mind you the velocities measured at ground zero won’t be that available
13 m up (It is much more). Also a clear surrounding helps a lot.
Generally a equipment supplier of repute (such as ENTECH) maintains wind maps for whole country and estimation is quite quick.
Considering the long life span of the equipment and the regular increases in tariffs by the authorities are bound to set off the capital cost for wind turbines. The anticipated increases in crude oil prices again will only shorten the payback period. This certainly makes it a good option as a buffer against any future tariff increases.