Residential Wind Turbines, the future of affordable home energy

Residential Wind TurbinesWith billions upon billions of individual homes in the world, each of them with a roof or a little patch of yard, residential wind turbines are going to be where the demand is and where fortunes are to be made.

Of course there are small home turbines already in existence but the costs of installation and their general effectiveness are still holding back this form of energy from becoming a conventional power source.

Most of the technological improvements have been to the large turbines (some of them 500 ft tall) used on wind farms. They are so thermodynamically advanced today that their rotors do not even turn at high speed, which is dangerous to bird life, and they require relatively little maintenance. Residential home turbines are not quite as developed.t is extraordinary that there are relatively few residential wind turbines in the windy desert cities of the world. People who live there are throwing away the opportunity to get free, clean, renewable power for as long as the wind blows.

This form of energy generation is still far from common in the world, even in the three top wind-power producing countries: the United States, Germany and Spain. However, now that the oil supplies of the world are on the decline and because coal-fed power generators and nuclear reactors producing electricity have become unpopular with the general public, the wind power era is upon us at individual house level, not just huge wind farms that produce electricity for utilities.

There are two types of residential wind turbines available for energy generation

The first is the roof-mounted type which is really the model suitable only for DIY enthusiasts. There are so many variables in roof-mounted types (angle of roof, wind flow according to position of roof, height of roof) that their effectiveness is patchy and tends to be only as good as the innovativeness of the person who installs it. It is not a failsafe energy source for the average home owner. The residential wind turbine generating at least 10kW per day is closer to the mark. These are usually the horizontal or “propeller” type with two rotors with diameters 20 feet or less and a tower that’s not taller than 100 ft. These towers stand near to the house, positioned for maximum wind exposure. A 10kW wind turbine can generate about 10 000 kWh annually in places where the wind-speeds average 12 miles per hour. That’s enough electricity to power a typical household

You may be asking at this point why it is that residential wind turbines are not as common as satellite dishes. Well, there are few obstacles to overcome before they become the conventional way to generate home power. Firstly, their cost and installation is still too high. Paradoxically, greater demand will bring down the prices, but the costs will only diminish once the demand makes that possible. Secondly, not many homes are geared to accept wind power energy, so there are those adaptation costs too. Thirdly, the perception is that wind power is not reliable and that you could be stuck without electricity if the wind drops. In fact that is not such a great risk if the turbine is positioned correctly, but that is the perception. Then there are the aesthetic considerations.

Some people regard any windmill as an eyesore and say they are noisy and a danger to bird life. In fact these arguments don’t hold much water but the perception still remains. It will probably take celebrities installing beautiful multi-colored residential wind turbines for a negligible cost to persuade the world to take at step to the windward side.

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