The energy of wind is a form of renewable energy. At first, the energy of wind was converted into mechanical energy. It was used, since the beginning of humanity, as a mean of propulsion on water for various crafts, and later on as energy for windmills.
How is the modern wind energy being used?
The wind, meaning air movements, forms because the Earth is not uniformly heated by the Sun. The wind energy is clean and renewable energy, but is intermittent, having variations during a day or a season, and even from one year to another. The kinetic energy of the wind can be used to rotate turbines capable of generating electricity.
Modern wind turbines convert the wind energy into electricity-producing around 50-60 kW, with a propeller of 1m in diameter, and about 2-3MW power, with propeller from 60 to 100m diameter, but most of them generate about 500-1500 KW.
Windmills can be divided into three categories: small, medium, and large.
Small windmills are capable of generating 50-60 KW power and use rotors of 1 to 15 m in diameter. They are basically used in remote areas, where electricity is needed and traditional generators are either expensive or unreliable.
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Most used windmills are the medium-sized ones. They use a rotor about 15-60 m in diameter and have a capacity between 50-1500 KW. Most commercial turbines generate a capacity between 500KW and 1500KW.
Large windmills have a rotor measuring between 60-100 m in diameter and are able to generate between 2-3 MW.
How much does a home windmill cost?
On average, an under 100 kilowatts home windmill costs $30,000, more exactly from $3,000 to $8,000 per kilowatt of capacity. So, the price range for a home windmill starts from $10,000 and can go as high as $70,000, depending on the size and installation expenses.
When you decide to choose a windmill system, first you should ask a consultant for an evaluation in order to correspond to your home size. For example, a 30 feet tall windmill system that can produce from 2 to 5 kilowatts ranges from $4,000 to $12,000, plus the installation costs.
For a school or maybe a larger business, a 10-kilowatt windmill system would be perfect, but it will cost you around $75,000.
There are some states that have tax or rebate credit programs in order to encourage investment in small windmills.
Wind energy is already proven to be a very good solution to global energy problems.
The main advantages of wind energy and windmills are:
- zero-emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases, because they do not burn fuel.
- no waste is produced because wind power production does not involve any kind of waste.
- low cost per unit of energy produced.
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The main disadvantages are:
- relatively limited energy resources.
- wind speed variation.
- inconsistency due to the low number of possible locations. There are few places on earth that offer the possibility of enough electricity using wind energy.
Should the average working Joe get a home windmill?
This type of windmill is great for far future planning. It will decrease your electricity expenses and help you gain some financial freedom. The only problem is the high initial cost of the whole equipment and installation. If you have enough funds to build a windmill in your backyard, without risking your financial safety, then there is no reason not to go for it, but don’t get in debt to build it.