Wind power as a means to generate clean energy is an old technology that is being adapted with new technological innovation in the 21st century. And soon, wind turbines in the modern residence will become more and more of a common sight.
But, if you wanted to install one, where do you begin? Writer Allen Schowengerdt is here to outline some of the basics of how wind turbines are becoming a sought-after addition to the modern home.
Wind power is when energy from the wind is converted to a useful form of energy, done through wind turbines, windmills, wind pumps or the sails that propel ships. Even though the construction of wind farms is not welcomed by everyone, mainly because of their visual impact, the overall environmental impact is probably one of the least problematic of all other green forms of energy. Wind power doesn’t use fuel or emit air pollution like fossil fuel power sources.
Wind power outside of the U.S
Wind power is a good alternative to fossil fuel because it is renewable, plentiful, and doesn’t produce any greenhouse gas emissions during operation. Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration. As of 2011, 83 countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis. Many countries use wind as major source of energy, it makes up a large percentage of the 21 percent in Denmark, 18 percent in Portugal, 16 percent in Spain, 14 percent in Ireland and 9 percent in Germany.
The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply up to 20% of total electricity demand, but as the proportion rises, increased costs, a need to upgrade the grid, and a lowered ability to supplant conventional production may occur.
What is a wind turbine?
Wind Turbines are devices that convert the energy from the wind into mechanical energy. There are a variety of types and uses for wind turbines. Large turbines can be used in wind farms to generate energy in a renewable format.
Small personal turbines have applications to be used for battery charging or decreasing the amount of electricity a home or farm uses from the local grid.
Why build one?
Reading this article shows you have an interest in making your own electricity. The important question you have to answer then is why? If you are considering ways to save money on your power bill as the motivation behind generating your own electricity, you will be greatly disappointed by the initial set up costs of making your own power from renewable resources. Simple renewable options like solar panels, a wind turbine, and the batteries and inverter to go along with them will be expensive to install. You shouldn’t plan on breaking even for several years before you really start saving money on energy bills.
That being said, if you are looking into generating your own electricity for other reasons, like you don’t have grid power available in your area, you’d like to power a few extra items in your garden or greenhouse, or you are looking to decrease your carbon footprint, then a installing renewable options is right up your alley.
What do you need to build your own wind turbine?
The first thing is obviously wind. Because the Earth is heated unevenly by the sun, the dry land heats up and cools down faster than the oceans and seas. This difference in heating creates winds that move across the Earth and the higher up in the air you go, the greater the speed of the winds.
Once you determine that you have enough wind to make this work, you will need the following:
- A generator
- A mounting that keeps it turned into the wind
- A tower to get it up into the wind
- Batteries and an electronic control system
There are a lot of ideas out there with instructions to build your own wind turbine. Here is a really good example of someone making a wind turbine from scratch for not a lot of money to get you started.
Truthfully, if you are looking to generate your own power, you will need more than just a wind turbine to make a lot of power to significantly reduce the amount you use from your local power company. Therefore, using this in combination with some solar panels or something similar might be the best option. A wind turbine is a great way to start creating your own energy though.