Utilizing wind energy is an
attractive alternative to traditional energy for many homeowners today. A wind turbine can be used to generate
a great deal of energy depending on a few different variables. The height you are able to reach with a
suitable tower for a wind turbine is probably the most crucial to the amount of
power it will generate. The
general rule of thumb is to have the turbine at least 30 feet above anything
within 500 feet of the tower to ensure the least turbulent wind. Wind becomes more turbulent the more
objects it travels around, across, or into.
There are many towers that
are used with wind turbines and are typically relative to the amount of space
you have and the budget available to the project. Guyed lattice towers are the least expensive, and are easy
to construct, but require a great deal of space to accommodate the down guy
cables that attach to them at three different points to provide their
stability. A guyed lattice tower
is usually constructed of steel angle iron and consists of three sides, which
are shored up using cross sections that provide a ladder effect from top to
A tilt-up tower is
constructed using metal tubing, is typically stabilized using 4 down guy cables
and functions just as its name suggests.
The tilt-up feature of these towers is more convenient for maintenance
purposes but a bit more expensive then the previous tower above. The four-guyed cables are used to
safely tilt the tower up from or down to the ground without the need for the
tower to be climbed. Monopoles are
the most expensive towers used for wind turbines and usually seen on large wind
farms, they consist of a single structured tube, which tapers in from the
ground up. Monopoles are the most
aesthetically pleasing option for wind turbines but require the most amounts of
steel, concrete and funds.
A small wind turbine for
home use can be purchased or constructed.
The cost of a pre-made wind turbine can be a substantial investment and
it is recommended to spend a period of time taking wind measurements using an
anemometer before deciding to buy.
However, if you wish to construct your own wind turbine the cost can be
reduced to only a few hundred dollars.
A wind turbine is a device which converts wind energy to electricity
using a low-RPM generator, therefore the most important aspect of constructing
your own hinges on finding a suitable generator which is capable of producing
30 volts at 300-350 RPMs or better.
The potential savings with
wind turbines for home use can be particularly substantial. With optimal conditions homeowners
could see an 80% to 90% decrease in energy costs, but this is dependent upon
consistent wind on the property.
Utilizing a wind turbine is a green option that many homeowners can
greatly benefit from making it an attractive decision not only for energy
conservation but for substantial potential savings on energy costs.