Wind is free. So that means all we need is to do is run on down to Home Depot and pick up the parts for a windmill, set it up in our backyard and start pumping power to our High Def 50 inch plasma and stop paying our local power company right? Not so fast my friends. As cool as it would be to say that you don't pay anything for power because you have a wind turbine out back next to your patio it really isn't as simple as you might think for a variety of reasons. Let's dare to look at the truth of this free power source.
There are three important basics that you must realize before you make the trip down windy lane. First, wind power electricity can't always count on the wind because it is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Wind just doesn't always blow. Sure on a windy day when you really want your hair to look good you can count on it gusting heavily and it seems like it is always blowing but every sailor knows that wind is intermittent and varies from moment to moment. This means it makes capturing wind even more challenging than capturing the suns rays and you have to make sure that you are ready to spend significant cash for storage and transmission from the turbines.
Second, have you really thought about how much space you have to put up your windmill or wind farm? Most locations can't really accommodate a wind farm much less the type of unit you need to really generate much wind power electricity. Do you live in the country, city, or suburbs? Some areas and communities have restrictions on what size turbine you might be able to erect to produce electricity not to mention that the neighbor behind you might be a little miffed staring at a giant turbine every day. Your location is critical to determining if you have viable potential for a system based on area, location and the amount of wind you have coming across your property. If you have thousands of tall trees all around your location that blocks most of the wind coming across your land you might want to reconsider wind power electricity all together.
Finally, do you really understand the true cost of wind power electricity? Most people think about the capital costs of the unit and the land costs as well as some other incidentals but you have to look at the repair and replacement costs of your equipment, the useful life of turbines, depreciation costs, capacity, and the expected return on investment. Saying you get energy from the free breeze is pretty cool but how much are you paying for that wind power electricity? Additionally, you should know that while some large commercial wind farms are becoming profitable that the home turbine market is really still in its infancy and is very unregulated leaving you open to poor quality products and low performing units. Do the detailed math before you start on your journey to capturing wind energy.
Make no mistake, while wind power electricity can be good idea for people who are in the right location with the right situation to capture wind resources, it can also be a really dicey proposition. This is a very immature market and truly knowledgeable engineers, manufacturers and installers are very hard to come by for the home market. Your best bet is to do extensive research before you buy so you don't get taken by some blow hard who just wants to sell you something because of your greening desire to generate wind power electricity. Besides, you don't want to end up like that cow that was lifted into the air by the tornado and end up an udder disaster.
Bill Guandolo is an avid researcher of LEED, solar panels and free energy sources that people need and can use every day. He loves to share his online research findings and discoveries with others through his blog http://mybuysolarpanel.org/. He has discovered things that very few people know about alternative energy and more importantly about ways to eliminate your dependence on your local power provider and offers information regarding wind power electricity.
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