A wind turbine’s efficiency depends upon several factors, such as the size of the building being powered, the strength and frequency of the wind, and the size of the turbine itself. It also depends largely on your surroundings.
How They Work
Wind turbines have either a horizontal or vertical axis. Horizontal-axis turbines are the ones you generally see in modern wind farms; the blades look like a propeller. Vertical-axis turbines are more likely to be seen in residential models. These upright turbines resemble egg beaters.
No matter what the design, the principle is the same: the blades are attached to a shaft, so that when the wind turns the blades the shaft turns. The shaft runs into a generator inside the turbine, and as it turns it makes electricity.
Generally speaking, the larger and faster the turbine, the more electricity it can produce.
If you live in the city or anywhere that has a great many neighbors and buildings nearby, your wind turbine won’t be able to power your household. It will, however, be able to supplement about 10 percent of your power usage. The reason for this is the presence of buildings that break up wind patterns. This makes it much harder to generate large amounts of electricity reliably.
Urban and suburban turbines are generally more expensive; their design is more specialized to compensate for the lack of steady, strong wind. However, it is not out of the question to install a turbine if you live in the city; just be prepared for it not to be your sole power source.
In remote areas, winds are more reliably strong. You can buy a cheaper model of turbine for your rooftop if you live where there are few buildings to obstruct the winds. If your surroundings are such that winds are predictably strong and straight, a wind turbine kit could be quite efficient. Flat terrain works best; mountains and hills break up wind patterns, too.
In order to increase the efficiency of your home wind power system, consider installing more than one turbine. You should also have a battery connected to the turbine in order to store extra electricity to use on non-windy days.
Tax rebates, a new incentive, also add to the efficiency of a home turbine.
Home wind turbines are durable and will last for years.