Home Wind Turbines, a Partial Solution for the 21st Century
One of the greatest challenges to alternative energy is the need to upgrade the existing power grid infrastructure. This will be time consuming and costly. This article will explain that need and offer a low cost, retroactive solution for a portion of that need.
As America became energized in the last century, the power lines grew from the sources of power such hydroelectric dams. Many cities grew around these sources of energy. As demand grew for electrical power in existing cities, fossil fuel and nuclear generation plants were developed in the areas of need.
Because of abundance and portability of fossil fuels, wind power turbines weren’t considered as an option. Power plants could be constructed close to point of use, and fuel transported to them.
Home wind turbines were used to a small extent before there was a power grid, mostly to charge batteries for the family radio.
The challenge facing alternative energy and the grid for the 21st century is location and interconnectivity. The resource areas for wind energy turbine and solar power are not in the locations of our traditional power plants. New high voltage transmission lines will be needed to interconnect with the existing grid.
Construction and integration of the new power resources and power grid interconnection will take years and billions of dollars. It’s the best overall option for the future but not the only one.
Energy conservation can have a significant and immediate impact. It’s also something everyone can become involved with. Personal power generation is another option that can be cost effective and immediate.
The options available to the individual in the form of home wind turbines and home solar power are growing rapidly. Individuals now have a means of owning and controlling all or a portion of their energy needs.
The farther power needs to be transmitted, the larger the transmission lines need to be, the higher the voltage needs to be, and the greater the loss because of the resistance of the miles of conductors. In some areas the grid is 100 years old and leakage to ground further reduces efficiency.
Power generated at its point of use is more efficient, and the generating equipment can be more closely sized to the amount of energy needed. Wind energy turbine and solar power can be tied into the existing grid at the point of use and be very efficient.
Home wind turbines in the 1000 watt range can now be purchased for as little as $ 500. Larger more expensive wind power turbines, that have the capability of providing excess power to sell back to the utility companies, are also available.
Home wind turbines can be mounted on many existing structures, eliminating the cost of erecting a tower. This is an advantage over larger wind power turbines and makes the entry point for individuals more cost effective initially.
Another option for utility companies would be mounting small wind power turbines on their utility poles. The advantages would be faster implementation, interconnectivity to the existing grid, and greater efficiency because of generation closer to the point of usage.
Home wind turbines can produce more than electrical power; they can also produce pride of ownership and taking a proactive approach to securing a greener future. Coupled with energy conservation and solar, individuals can have a greater impact on their energy needs and the environment.
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Note: All prices in US Dollars