Cost of Wind Energy
To determine the cost of wind energy for your home, you first need to know what factors to consider. Determining the cost can help you find whether the expense is justified or whether another form of alternative energy is right for you.
The first cost of wind energy to consider is that of the turbines and system itself. Finding all of the rebates and tax incentives available from the federal government and locally will help you to determine approximately how much the actual cost will be. Turbines can range anywhere from $2,700 to $40,500 although the actual price may be much different depending on the company that made the turbine, your location, and the incentives available to you, as well as installation factors. For the homeowner and small business, wind technology has made significant improvement in technology. Small wind turbines are efficient at lower wind speeds, 7-10 mph. Indeed, wind can be inconsistent, but your turbine can produce energy day and night.
The key in an efficient turbine is determining wind speed above your home or business. It's worth spending a little on an anemometer to determine your wind speed. This knowledge and accurate placement will save thousands.
The other part of the cost to consider is the savings that you’ll actually see on your electric bill once your system is installed. Wind is typically an unreliable resource. Some people may find that installing a wind energy system does not save them enough to justify the cost while others find great savings, especially during certain times of the year.
Location, Location, Location
Determining whether or not wind power will benefit you can be easy. If you live in an area where there is little or no wind, then you really don’t want to install turbines. However, if you live in moderately windy areas, determining the benefits can be more difficult. You must first find out how much wind it takes to generate energy, and what kind of turbine will generate the most. Then, you can calculate your potential savings to determine if the system will generate enough to make it worth the money you will spend.
You will also need to decide what kind of turbine and what size will produce the most energy for your home. There are two different kinds of wind turbines; vertical and horizontal. Horizontal turbines must be pointed into the wind to be effective and the blades must be upwind of the tower to prevent interference from the turbulence caused by the wind passing the tower.
Vertical turbines are able to use the wind from many directions and so do not have to be pointed into the wind. They are also usually mounted closer to the base of the tower where horizontal turbines must be mounted close to the top.
Different turbines work more efficiently in different areas. If you live in an area with highly variable wind directions, you would need a different kind of turbine than if you lived in an area where the wind generally comes from one direction. Certain areas are better for wind energy than others although it is not recommended to rely on wind as your primary or only source of power production.
Choosing an alternative energy solution or a supplemental alternative involves many steps and more than a few decisions. If you have sufficient wind speed and a good location, the cost of wind energy and the incentives may make this a lucrative option to consider.
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