Wind is free, so why don’t we produce our own electricity from our very own home wind turbine. Home wind turbines (also known as residential wind turbines, domestic wind turbines or small wind turbines) harness the power of the wind in order to produce enough electricity to cover our home needs. They are highly recommended for rural areas where there are no high buildings to block the wind flow.
Home Wind Turbine Components are similar to the components of the commercial wind turbines (which are commonly used in wind farms installations for large-scale production of wind energy). The home wind turbine itself consists of the blades (usually 3 blades), the rotor, the gearbox, the generator and the tower. As the blades spin by the flow of the wind, the rotor, which is attached to the blades, transfers the power via the gearbox to the generator. The generator is the component that generates electricity by converting the motion (kinetic energy) into electricity. All main components sit on top of the tower at a height up to 100ft where the wind flows faster and with less turbulence. There are two types of home wind turbines. The pole mounted where tower is placed on the ground and can generate 4-10KW power, and the building mounted which are usually smaller, they are mounted at the top of a building and they can generate 1-3KW power.
The electricity produced is usually in the form of Direct Current (DC) electricity. In order for the electricity to be used at home, a DC-AC inverter is used to convert the DC power to AC (Alternating Current) power. This wind turbine system can be connected to a rechargeable battery in order to autonomously provide electricity to a house (in off-grid locations). Alternatively, the wind turbine system can be connected to the national electricity grid network. In this case the home owner sells the electricity produced to the electricity provider at a much higher price that what he/she buys from the electricity company.
The cost of a typical home wind turbine depends on the generated output of the wind turbine (2-10KW) and varies between $12,000 and $55,000 (an average of 6$ per watt). However if you take into considerations the various incentives or subsidies available throughout the US and other countries the installation cost can be reduced by up to 50%. Moreover, the average yearly maintenance cost is between $150 – $300. The lifespan of a home wind turbine is around 20 years. In these 20 years it is expected to change once the DC-AC inverter at a cost of $1,500 – $3,000 depending on its size. In the case of the off-grid installations, there will be an extra cost for replacing the batteries every 6-10 years. The cost of such a system is usually paid off within 4-8 years (depending on all of the above factors) making it a good investment opportunity.
So if you live in a rural area consider investing in your own home wind turbine and make some extra money out of it.