Wind Turbines some time back were looked upon as some thing which is meant for rural areas and locations remote from the utility mains grid. Today however the picture has dramatically changed.
One finds even in huge metropolises such as Dubai in the oil rich Middle east (where you would hardly expect to find alternative energy being pursued) they are unmistakably becoming a part of the landscape.
A wind turbine installed on a tall tower (or a top of a multi storied building) collects the energy of the motion of wind blow and converts it to mechanical energy. The mechanical energy is then converted to electrical energy and inverted to alternating current (AC) that you and I can find use for.
Are Wind Turbines good only for Megawatts?
Often when we hear about wind turbines the picture created in your mind is of a huge wind turbine farm. How many of us are aware of the availability of micro capacity wind turbines which may only be good for charging a battery. There are also medium sized Turbines which would easily provide the electrical power needs of any size of house or commercial establishment.
How do Residential Wind Turbines work?
In an urban residential installation the wind turbine and it’s accessories work simultaneously with the main national grid supply (utility power supply).When the wind speeds drop below 11.25 to16 kmph. the turbines out put will be diminished to very low levels and the grid supply will take over the responsibility of providing power for your home. (for which of course you will have to pay the national power authority at the normal electricity tariffs). On the other hand in most countries if your residential turbine produces excess power as the wind speeds rise up, the authorities or the utility supplier buys back the excess to add to the main grid. The whole process is automatic and the householder does not have to be concerned about the whole process. There is no involvement of batteries or power storage.
Wind turbines in Remote locations
In the case of a remote installation the process somewhat vary. Inherently the utility grid is normally beyond economical or practical reach. Therefore there would not be any back up from those quarters in case of dwindled wind speed. The usual trick to overcome this situation is;
• Use turbines in locations where the wind blow is consistent through out the year.
• Use a power storage system ( up to now batteries only)
• Integrate Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) panels in the turbine system
Economy of small residential wind turbines
Wind turbines (in urban or semi urban situations) typically lower your energy bills anything from 50% to 90%.In the colder climates (minimum air conditioning if any) the low energy cost will prevail through out the year. In regions where 9 months of the year heating is the need and the balance needing air conditioning, the energy will be relatively higher than in the colder regions. Of course the cost savings also will depend on the cost of turbines, its operation, maintenance, the units of power you use annually, the annual average wind speed at the location and so on
What is the suitable size for an average residential Wind Turbine?
An average home having all modern electrical appliances uses about 9400 kwh of electricity per annum. (i.e. about 780 units per month).Assuming reasonable wind speeds through out the year a wind turbine of capacity 5 kw to 15 kw would provide the required electricity.
A tower of approximately 30m height would be required with approximately an acre of surrounding land. The tower is normally supplied as a standard accessory along with the
The capital cost of a small residential wind turbine?
The installed cost can vary anything from Euro 4500 to Euro16,500.The recovery of investment will be in about 6 to 15 years (note the life span of wind turbines is over 15 years).
The other environmental benefits and economic benefits to the national coffers too will be enormous benefitting you directly and indirectly.
Thanks the Techstore Team