How Wind Power Systems Work

They are virtually silent and vibration free. In fact, the sound of the whistling wind is much louder than the turbine itself. Costs depend on system size, rebates and incentives in your area, and the individual complexity of installation associated with your location.

How much wind do I need in my area, and how can I find out how much wind I have?

With wind, the topography (or geographical features) can significantly impact wind speed. One area could have meaningful wind, and another area only 100 feet away could be fairly calm due to obstructions and natural features. Additionally, wind tends to be seasonal so winter might be windy and summer calm. To produce energy from a wind system, a minimum of 6-8 mph is required to generate power. Government approved wind maps from provide insight into local wind conditions as well as resources from the US Geological Survey. With this basic information, you should have a good idea if the wind speeds at the proposed location are adequate.

What is required to get a wind turbine running at my home?

To get a turbine installed at your home or business, you must: (1) obtain a permit from your local city, and (2) execute an interconnection agreement with your local utility company. Most municipal restrictions revolve around height. A standard pole is 18’ or 23’ tall and even after the turbine is installed it will conform to a typical height restriction of 35’. An interconnection agreement verifies that a renewable energy product is approved and is safe to connect to the local electrical grid. Permit….then install…then interconnection agreement

What system is right for me?

The factors in selecting the right unit for your home or business are typically: size, budget, and the overall physical limitations of the property. A 3.0 – 5.0kW system is the most widely installed and permitted for residential installations. A 9.0kW+ system is appropriate for commercial, industrial or agricultural applications. Rebates are another key component in choosing a system, as often a larger unit will cost only marginally more since most rebates/incentives are based on energy production (i.e. larger systems yield larger rebates).

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