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Residential Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

June 15th, 2011

Residential Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Residential Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Residential Wind Turbines

Many people think of massive towers with blades the size of 747 wings when you mention residential wind turbines, but the key word here is “residential”. You see, as technology has advanced, you can now install wind turbines in your home that will help generate free electrical energy.

The idea of residential wind turbines is not new. People have been using them for centuries to power pumps that would draw water up from wells, to be stored in tanks. The water in the tank would then have gravity to help offer instant water at a faucet in kitchens and bathroom.

Nowadays, however, residential wind turbines are more likely to be used to generate electricity, which can be stored in batteries and then converted into the correct voltage for your home appliances.

Many people even make their own residential wind turbine, so they don’t even have the cost of buying a professionally built unit, however, unless you are a skilled mechanic and/or electrician, building one is probably not the best idea for you.

The principle behind all wind turbines is the same; a generator (like the one in your car) is attached to a rotor consisting of aerodynamic wing-like blades. This is then attached to a tall structure and placed is such a position as to catch as much moving air as possible.

A weather-vane ensures that the blades always points in the direction of the wind, so that, regardless of wind-direction changes, your residential wind turbine is always going to work as efficiently as possible.

The positioning of the tower is important. If you live on the top of a hill, it needn’t be very tall because you are naturally in a good location to collect any wind, but if you live in a town and you are surrounded by houses, you will probably need to install your wind turbine on your roof. This will not always be allowed, especially if you live in an area that has zoning laws or if you are part of a Housing Association.

Residential wind turbines have come a long way in design over the past couple of decades for two reasons; firstly, the generators have become a lot smaller and more efficient. Secondly, and more importantly, the materials and design of the blades have become significantly better.

Some residential wind turbine blades don’t even look like airplane blades, instead looking more like upright bows, called a vertical axis wind turbine, and this design has proven to be among the most efficient and compact currently available. Many designs are being tested, and I have no doubt that soon the most efficient and effective design will become standard for all future turbines.

Here are some of the things to consider when choosing (or designing) a residential wind turbine:

1. How much power will it need to generate

2. What is the location (generally windy area?)

3. What local by-laws should be considered

4. What tax credits or grants are available

Before starting any project like this, it’s much better to do all of your research before you spend any money, that way, when you do decide to go ahead and invest in a residential wind turbine to help power your home, you’ll be able to install the most ideal turbine possible.

About the Author

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Residential Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

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