How To Survive A Long-Term Power Outage Or Blackout

Topics     Home Page

Wind Turbines For Battery Charging And Auxiliary Power

What Is A Wind Turbine And How Does It Work?

Smaller wind turbines are typically used for applications such as battery charging for auxiliary power for small buildings, boats or caravans, and to power traffic warning signs. They can serve well in an emergency situation where the main power grid fails. Larger turbines can contribute to a domestic power supply while selling unused power back to the utility supplier via the electrical grid. Wind turbines are manufactured in a wide range of sizes, with either horizontal or vertical axes.

Home wind turbines provide a way to independently generate power from the wind to charge batteries. They typically contain three blades and use the wind to create electricity. Some wind turbines can be used with solar panels to generate even more power.

Home wind turbines can be installed and static, or they can be portable. Wind turbines are suitable for both land and marine applications. The best wind turbine for your situation depends on its intended use as well as which features matter most for your applications.

Wind Turbine System

What To Consider When Choosing The Best Home Wind Turbine

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best residential wind turbine, including the number of blades, material, height, wind-speed rating, and energy output. The following are all the factors to consider before making a decision.

Local Zoning Laws And Height Restrictions - There are a few factors that affect where a wind turbine is placed. Some zoning laws require that the turbine be no more than 500 feet high. Wind turbines also need to be placed at a minimum height of 25 feet to catch the maximum amount of wind and provide the greatest number of benefits. Some turbines may be able to attach to a roof. For both maximizing wind volume and abiding by local regulations, the placement really depends on where the property is located and whether the community has any restrictions. Check with the local zoning laws or the homeowners association to see what is allowed.

Wind In The Area - The amount of wind in the area is an essential consideration when purchasing a wind turbine. Some wind, of course, is desired. However, there is such a thing as too much wind. Before purchasing a turbine, always look for the "wind survival" speed and know how fast winds can be in the area. Some turbines can only handle winds up to 90 mph. Areas that are at risk for hurricanes and tornadoes are generally not good areas for turbines, as winds from these storms can reach up to and over 100 miles per hour. Tornadoes can have wind speeds of up to 300 miles per hour, which is much higher than a wind turbine can accommodate. Very high winds like these can remove the turbine and endanger surrounding property.

Blades - Different wind turbines have varying numbers of blades. Three blades is standard, but turbines can have only one blade, four blades, or even more. Two blades are very energy efficient, so having more blades is not necessarily better. Wind turbine blades can be made of different materials. In the past, wood was the chief material used to make wind turbines. Today, fiberglass-reinforced polyester, carbon fiber, and reinforced epoxy materials are more popular, as these materials allow the turbine to spin faster and capture winds at lower speeds. However, since these materials are challenging to recycle, newer materials such as bio-based composites like flax, hemp, and wood are being tested to solve the problem of recycling blades when they are at the end of their life.

Wind-Speed Rating - Every wind turbine has a wind-speed rating which is measured by an anemometer. This is the speed at which the turbine will produce the optimum amount of power. Some wind turbines are designed to automatically shut off when wind speeds get too high.

Wind speeds for turbines can be categorized by:

  • Cut-in wind speed (also called starting wind speed): When the blades start rotating and generating power, generally between wind speeds of 6 to 9 miles per hour, this is cut-in wind speed.

  • Rated wind speed: This is when the turbine is producing its maximum amount of power. Even if winds become higher, the turbine will not be able to produce more power than this limit.

  • Safe wind speed: The speed that turbines can safely operate, which is usually between 8 and 55 miles per hour.

  • Maximum wind speed: Turbines have a maximum wind speed, which is the wind speed they can tolerate before they risk being damaged.

Energy Output - Different wind turbines have different energy outputs, which depend on the blade material and size, and the level of wind speeds the turbine can accommodate before having to shut off. Therefore, a larger turbine with larger blades will be able to capture more energy than a smaller one. The energy output is typically rated in watts. Most turbines do not operate near their maximum capacity for energy output, with typical outputs of 30 to 40 percent their capacity. However, even at this percentage, wind turbines can produce many megawatt hours of energy. A megawatt hour of energy is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatts of energy produced per hour.

Weight - If the plan is to mount the wind turbine on the roof, going with a lighter model may be best. However, if using a pole to support the turbine, the weight may not matter as much. Today's wind turbines are typically made with composite materials that are lighter and therefore give users more flexibility with mounting the turbine. Depending on the size and energy output of the turbine, it can weigh several hundred pounds when mounted on a pole. However, residential wind turbines typically only weigh up to 60 pounds, with some weighing only 25 pounds and portable options as few as 3 pounds. Smaller options are great for those looking for the best small wind turbine.

Material - Most wind turbines today are made with composite, lightweight materials. However, they can also be made out of plastic, metal, steel, or fiberglass. Iron and cast-iron components can be used as well, although they are not typically found on home wind turbines. More eco-friendly materials, such as plant-based composites, are currently undergoing testing as wind turbine components. This includes the blades, which can help prevent these components from ending up in landfills, as many reinforced composites cannot be recycled.

Additional Features - Certain wind turbines come with kits that include everything the user needs to get started. Some turbines come with mounting equipment, such as poles, while others will not. Turbines can also come with a controller that provides remote access to the device. Other turbines are waterproof-rated to ensure they can perform marine applications with anti-corrosion features. What additional features to choose depends on the user's goals for their turbine.

Our Best Choice - After reviewing numerous options for the best home wind turbine, we evaluated them based on various typical home needs. One of these may be the right pick for you to start producing extra energy by harnessing the power of the wind.

Note: With all the wind turbines to consider, it is essential to know what you would like to power and what features are important to you (such as anti-corrosion blades) when choosing the best wind turbine. For those on a tighter budget, a budget-friendly wind turbine generator kit is a good start.

How To Chose The Best Home Wind Turbines - Chose the best wind turbines based on extensive product research as well as evaluating each model's features, including waterproof ratings, assembly, price, and additional options such as MPPT charge controllers and kits that include mounting equipment or solar panels.

One of the biggest advantages of owning a home wind turbine is a backup power source should the primary one fail. another advantage is the ability to produce power without increasing carbon emissions or adding to a home's energy bills. Since it generates electricity without cost, a wind turbine can pay for itself over time.

Having a more sustainable, renewable energy option has become a priority for many who want to increase their self-reliance and reduce their energy bills. However, a smaller wind turbine can also be the ideal travel companion when camping, traveling in an RV, or living off-grid.

How To Survive A Long-Term Power Outage Or Blackout

Topics     Home Page