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IS WIND RIGHT FOR ME?

data:2009-06-12

IS WIND RIGHT FOR ME? - There are four important factors to consider using wind as an energy source for your house.

1. DO I HAVE A GOOD SITE? Siting a wind generator is extremely important to the performance of the machine. It is the difference between a machine that give you lots of energy and a garden sculpture. The ideal location for a wind turbine is 20 feet above any surrounding object within a 250 foot radius. This generally means your property should be at least one acre in size.

 

2. DO I HAVE THE RIGHT WIND RESOURCE? Wind is the “fuel” for your wind generator. You should have at least a 9 MPH average wind speed at your location. Wind maps are available for many countries which will give you an idea of the wind resource at your house. Check out these maps and see if you have the right wind resource. You should live in a "Class One” or better site.

If you cannot find your wind resource on the map, there are other ways.

Contact your the closest weather station, TV or radio station. Wind patterns can change over short distances. We don’t recommend airports as they are generally located in places with the lowest potential wind.
If you have trees in your area, use the Griggs-Putnam Energy Index  This looks at a tree and how the wind changes its shape.
If you still don’t know the wind resource, consult a professional dealer or installer in your area that can help you with a wind resource assessment.

3. WHAT ARE MY LOCAL LAWS: The next step is to determine if you have any local laws from local authority that prohibit the use of towers.

You should research:

If you have a local regulation, read the guidelines relating to towers or tall structures.
Contact your local County Planning and Zoning authority and ask about the use of towers and tall structures. Remember, the tower must be 20 feet above any surrounding object, if it is not, then performance will be lower.
4. WHAT INCENTIVES AND PROGRAMS DOES MY UTILITY OFFER? In many countries like U.S.A, U.K.etc, the local utility (company you pay your electrical bill to) must purchase any excess electricity from you. There are both utilities that encourage the use of wind systems and discourage it. Locate your electrical bill and then find the number for customer service. Ask them for a copy of the policy relating to “connecting a renewable energy system to the electrical grid”.

Finally  - the best news of all. Man governments around the world offer various types of tax incentives and even rebates for your wind system.

Congratulations! If you have made it this far then it is likely that a small wind system can save you a lot on your monthly electrical expense.