Why Should You Build A Wind Generator?
Image courtesy Wikipedia
If you’re captivated by the idea of using a wind generator to power your home but are less than enthusiastic about the high price tag, then you might want to consider building your own wind generator.
Think it’s too complicated? Think again. It’s not as complicated as you might think, and there are several benefits to building your own wind generator. Let’s take a look at what they are.
Why Build Your Own Wind Generator?
- Cost Savings- If you’ve spent any time pricing wind generators, then you know they’re expensive. You could spend anywhere from $1,200 to $40,000 or more on a system. Building your own is incredibly economical. A small turbine will often cost $150 or less in materials. And, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that one wind turbine, if sized correctly, will save the average homeowner 50%-90% off their monthly energy bill.
- Empowerment- Can you imagine how great it would feel to build a wind turbine with your own two hands? And to know that the turbine is going to supply you and your family with free energy? Building your own wind turbine gives you an incredible feeling of empowerment and satisfaction.
- Clean Energy- Wind power is completely clean, which means you’re getting energy without putting any CO2 into the atmosphere. There are no negative environmental impacts to wind power. And as our greenhouse gasses continue to increase, this is becoming extremely important to a lot of people. In fact, NRG Systems estimates that using one wind generator to power your home will offset 2,000 pounds of CO2 every year.
- Earn Money- After you’ve built your first turbine you might find yourself wanting to build more. If your site gets a steady wind day after day, you might end up producing far more power than you could ever use, which means your turbines could actually start earning you a passive income. All that extra energy you produce can be sold back to your local power company.
- Security- With wind, you never have to worry about brownouts or blackouts. And, you never have to worry that your energy is supporting foreign powers. Using wind to power your home means that you’ve always got power, and that power was produced right in your own backyard.
- Inexhaustible- Unlike fossil fuels, which are going to run out some day, the wind is inexhaustible. It will never stop blowing. Which means when you rely on wind to power your home, you’re never going to run out of energy.
But What About Quality?
People have been building their own wind generators for centuries. Countries like Holland and England have dozens of windmills that have been in use for centuries. And, our ancestors didn’t have modern technology when they designed and built theirs.
There are plenty of plans available online that will show you step-by-step how to build your own wind turbine. And, the quality and efficiency can be just as good as the more expensive pre-built turbines.
You can check out this short article from Popular Science Magazine, which lists a few sources for inexpensive wind turbine plans.
What Size Would I Need?
This is a much tougher question to answer. Wind turbines need a steady wind of at least 7.5 m.p.h. to work effectively, so if you want to build your own turbine you need to live in an area that at least gets that amount of wind.
As far as how big your turbine should be, that’s going to vary depending on how much energy you need the turbine to supply to your home.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that the average home uses about 780 kWh per month. So, you would need a turbine that’s rated in the rage of 5-15 kilowatts to meet this demand. If you use significantly less energy, of course, you can get by with a smaller turbine.
You’re also going to mount your wind turbine on a tower, usually 80-120 feet high. Many cities will not allow this, so living in the country is a definite bonus when it comes to wind power.
There’s no doubt that taking the time to build your own wind turbine is well worth the effort. You’ll not only save significantly on the cost of the turbine itself, but you’ll see immediate results when your turbine is up and running.