We all know that wind turbines generate electricity by harnessing the power of the wind to turn blades and a rotor, producing clean and green energy to help reduce the effects of climate change. Commercial wind turbines are starting to become a more common sight, but domestic systems are another option and could possibly save you money.
Domestic wind power systems are most useful for homes in isolated locations where conventional energy supply is less practical and often expensive. Small systems are available that are suited to more built up areas too, but still rely on good wind speed and a site that is free of obstructions.
Wind power is not suitable for all homes though, so it is worth investigating whether you are able to set up a wind power system as well as whether you would benefit from it. As well as the speed and direction of the wind, you also need to consider noise and visual impact issues and will probably have to get planning permission.
If you decide it is worthwhile, then there are several other things to take into account when setting up. Because wind speed increases the higher up you go, your turbine should be installed high up on a mast or tower to make the most of this. It is also as important to take into account the direction of the wind as the speed when you install it.
Most home wind turbine systems create direct current (DC) electricity which then needs to be converted to alternating current (AC) electricity in order for you to be able to use it in your home. Any excess can be stored in a battery for later use and/or diverted elsewhere.
Batteries are an important part of your wind power system. You need to choose the right battery for your needs, taking into account your storage requirements as well as reliability. You will also need to maintain your battery properly, otherwise you may shorten its useful lifespan and find that your system shuts down prematurely.
Gel and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries are the two most commonly used types for wind turbine installations. They are both types of lead acid battery and store their charge extremely well, but don’t degrade as easily as ordinary lead acid batteries.
Because they use gel or absorbed glass mats as the electrolyte, they have several advantages over wet cell batteries. They won’t spill acid, nor do they give off hydrogen fumes (which can lead to an explosion if they build up) so they are very safe and therefore ideal for wind turbine installations. They are also lower maintenance as they don’t require topping up with water. For more information about lead acid batteries suitable for wind power systems, please visit Pb Batteries.
By: Louise Longworth