Every single we hear and see campaigns about using environmentally friendly fuel sources as an alternative to the other fuel sources. Wind power is among the highly recommended sources of fuel. The major requirement of enjoying wind power is a steady and reliable directional wind. That’s why most of the wind turbines are placed in open landscapes that are mostly flat with very minimal obstructions. Most of these places tend to be large land spaces, but then it doesn’t mean you cannot harness wind power on space that is small.
Wind power has its challenges and its comforts. Before opting for wind power as a source of fuel and energy for your residence it’s good to understand the advantages and disadvantages of wind power.
Using wind power as a fuel source will not only give you an alternate environment friendly energy source, but will also give you more benefits. The merits of using wind as a power source can be many:
- Source of income to land owners: wind farms can be combined with literally all farming activities like planting and rearing of animals. Farmers who have land that can be used to harvest wind can make money out of it while still enjoy their farming activities.
- Environmentally friendly: collection and usage of wind as a fuel source is recommended since there are no emissions that are released into the air and hence no pollution to the environment.
- Can supplement other power sources: you can use wind power as a supplement to your main energy source. If you are using electricity or solar, you can add wind power as the second option in case the first one fails. This can be very useful, especially in the coming winter season.
- Starting small: with wind power you can start with just one turbine, you don’t need to have many turbines in order to collect wind power. Hence every affordable to start.
- Safety: turbines are very easy to install, but in order to avoid any destruction of property or harming a person, it’s good to double check that the installation was done perfectly. Make sure that everything is secured firmly.
- Low cost maintenance of the turbines: once you have successfully installed your turbine(s) it’s good to always check once in a while that things are still secured and nothing is getting loose.
- Saving a few bucks when setting up: you have the opportunity to save some cash when setting up the turbines. You can opt to use the roof of your house instead of building a tower for your turbine. You can also save cash by installing the turbines on your own instead of calling an expert.
- Affordable: it’s very easy to make the wind turbines, there are many DIY videos online that can guide on how to make a wind turbine.
Below are some of the challenges you will have to deal with if you opt to use wind power as a source of residential energy.
- Wind cut-in speed: the wind turbines will not start to generate power until a certain cut-in speed is reached by the wind. 5 to 8 mph happens to be a cut-in speed that is low. Check the minimum cut-in speed of the turbine before purchasing it.
- The appearance and size of the turbines: generally turbines need quite some space and in order to make it most efficient you will need to do some additions and adjustments to it, which means more landscape will be needed. This can be very challenging in a neighborhood or communities that have height restriction laws.
- Calm Days: these can be your worst days if you solely depend on wind as a source of energy. Unless you have some power stored up, you will have to survive with no power.
- Transmission Lines: these will be required if you are in a remote location. Most of the time, the open places tend to be far from here the power is needed. When power is collected on wind farms, it has to be transmitted to its usage destination.
- Other Economic Land Usage projects: wind turbines will definitely face competition from other economic activities that are carried out on land. For instance real estate doesn’t survive well with where wind farms are located. Nobody wants to live with the noise caused by the turbines.
- Bird Deaths: turbines can cause bird deaths since birds don’t know what they are. So be prepared for some bird corpses occasionally.
- Batteries: apart from killing birds the use of wind power come with another environmental hazard which involves the batteries used to power the turbines. These batteries need to be replaced and disposed over times. Good maintenance means your batteries will last many years.
- Land topography: if the wind turbines are placed on ridge tops that experience very gusty winds, they can be destroyed and end up causing harm to property and people. There are some sides of the mountains that experience wind speed that is higher than 120mph.
- Noise Pollution: when the wind turbines start to move they generate a lot of noise. If you have many wind turbines means, it will be like living close to an airstrip. Consider the consistency of the noise so as to avoid long term damage to your ears.
- Large tracks of land: reliable wind farms will require large tracks of land. Clearing large tracks of land, can have serious environmental impact, because even one turbine requires some trees to be cut down.
- Snow & Ice can destroy the turbines: winter season comes with a lot of ice storms which can end up damaging the turbines.
- Not suitable for all kinds of environment and climate: some climatic conditions do not encourage the use of wind power, same applies to some geographical locations. You can look at specific data about your area to determine whether it’s a good place to set up a wind farm.
- Troubleshooting & Legalities: if you plan on setting up a large scale wind power, then it’s crucial to check with the local power company and be aware of the rules and regulations in your local area. This will be a big investment and you need to make sure you have the correct information before making any decision.
With the correct setting and environment, wind energy can work very well. If you live in the Midwest regions, then you can benefit from wind power as a form of renewable energy. The southeastern region on the other hand can benefit more from solar energy. In order to fully benefit from any form of renewable energy it’s best that you fully understand your environment. With the correct combination of the systems you will have efficient use of resources, time and money.