Wind Power System FAQ's
Give us a call with any questions not answered here.
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 http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov 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 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).
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
Are units dangerous for wildlife, specifically birds?
No, they are safe for birds, bats and people! Traditional propeller style turbines spin extremely fast and essentially become invisible which creates a hazard as birds and bats fly into them. Vertical axis turbines, however, spin at much lower speeds and appear as a solid object, thus birds, bats and people avoid running into them.
Do the units have braking mechanisms?
Yes, a sophisticated automatic braking system. This brake triggers at potentially damaging wind speeds and locks the turbine down.
How much do they cost?
Costs depend on system size, rebates and incentives in your area, and the individual complexity of installation associated with your location.