Wind Energy 101
Harnessing the power of the wind is one of the most advantageous steps that a prepper can take when designing a home energy system. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing elements of the alternative energy movement. What this means for the preparedness expert is that the cost of installing and maintaining this type of system is steadily declining and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Quality prepper wind generators can now be found for a fraction of the cost of a decade ago and these newer models are sturdier and able to produce more energy from the wind that they harness. While wind is free and endless in supply, turning this natural resource into energy can be complex and expensive. Wind energy needs to be thoroughly researched by anyone who is looking to install a system to meet his or her energy needs. The landscape is littered with abandoned installations that were driven by good intentions rather than facts and deep research.
Types of Prepper Wind Generators
While there are many do-it-yourself instructions online for wind energy kits, the serious prepper will want to purchase a turbine from a manufacturer and have it professionally installed. This method will save on maintenance and replacement costs over the long run. Here are descriptions of the different types of wind-electric systems that are available.
These battery based systems are ideal for those homes that are not connected to the grid. They are also useful for homes in areas where there is governmental or corporate resistance to tying personal energy systems to the grid. These types of systems dictate that homeowners must live within the limits of the capacity of their system and battery size. Tied to the Grid These are the most expensive types of systems to install but they provide the user with more options. Users are able to utilize the grid and to send their extra energy back into the grid for a further reduction in their energy costs. If the grid fails, the owner is able to continue to use their system within its limitations in the same manner as an off-grid user.
Tied to the Grid without a Battery
This type of system may be less attractive to many preppers as it relies on the grid for operation. However, homeowners that are seeking an environmentally friendly and cost-effective system may opt for this model. In areas that rarely see power outages, this type of system is perfect as it eliminates the need for expensive batteries. In addition to the cost, batteries require maintenance and will reduce the efficiency of the system. These types of systems utilize the power of the turbine most effectively.
Direct Drive Without Battery
This type of system is usually reserved for pumping water. They can be used for heating if larger turbines are employed. These systems are great for irrigating large plots of land. The type of model that is selected and height of the tower must be based on the location of the home and the average amount of wind that is produced. Most manufacturers list peak production of energy, while most consumers are seeking a steady flow of energy. For this reason it is important to ask manufacturers if a model is designed to meet the specific needs of the home. A warranty of at least 5 years is most desirable when purchasing a small wind turbine and tower. It will also help to find other consumers of the product. This way, you can ask other purchasers important questions that the manufacturers may be reluctant to answer.