Wind power systems harness the energy of wind to produce electricity.
Wind energy is perhaps the most valuable–second only to solar energy–renewable energy source as its energy reserve is much greater than the total power requirement for human use.
Wind power systems use turbines of suitable sizes that spin a generator, converting the wind’s energy into usable electricity. Some wind power systems are used to generated mechanical energy for running machines and pumps as well.
The number and size of wind turbines or windmills vary depending on the utility of the service. A large wind farm may consist of hundreds of such wind turbines which produce electricity to be fed into the power grid. Better use of wind energy is seen in off shore wind power systems due to greater force of the wind and fewer obstructions.
Smaller wind power systems are available for residential applications. If your home is located near the shore or at a remote place, wind power systems are more efficient and cost effective.
Even with advancements in technology, the price of small wind power systems isn’t really affordable for the average consumer. Current prices for wind power generators are pegged at $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt of monthly power generated. Thus, an average homeowner will need to invest around $35,000 to $50,000 for a wind power system to power an entire home.
A wind power system, whether grid tied or standalone, could be practical if you don’t expect to offset all of your energy usage, and you reside in a locations with steady winds and fairly open lands. The windiness of a place can be measured objectively with an anemometer. More likely than not the wind generator would be used to supplement a home solar array, as opposed to being the sole source of renewable energy.
For more information, see our post on wind energy facts.