By Tony Jones
Much has been written about building wind generators at home to offset the cost of power and more notably to decrease the need for power production at utility plants thereby helping the environment. Many of the plans that are offered up show the potential builder how electricity can be produced. The issue however is not how to “make ” electricity for many potential buyers. It is more an issue of how do we use the electricity we have produced? I have seen many articles written on this subject, many claiming wind generators can be built for 100 dollars or less. This type of “marketing” has led to much confusion with consumers in the wind energy community. I would like to make two points with this article.
First there are basically two types of systems. The first is grid tied interactive, these systems allow power to be stored in batteries and then the excess power that is made to flow directly into the home owners power grid thereby offsetting the need for power from the utility company. Another variation of this is the direct grid tie which operates the same as above but does not use batteries. These systems are somewhat limited in that there are currently few products on the market and most of them do not have UL listings. The SMA windy boy is an example of a product that is direct grid tie connected and has UL certifications but they are currently back ordered and very scarce. These systems are great but they are usually quite expensive and in many case are well over one thousand dollars. They use pure sine wave technology and generate power equivalent in quality in most cases to that of the utility company
Second are off grid systems. These systems can be as simple as hooking a power inverter to a battery bank. The banks are usually made with 12 – 24 or 48 volt systems. A 3000 watt power inverter can be purchase for around 250 dollars. The problem with these cheaper power inverters are they utilize modified sine wave technology and may or may not power sensitive electronics. In the case it does it could be bad for the sensitive items and shorten service life. Additionally who wants to run an extension cord out to the cheap power inverter to power the items in the house? Pure sine wave grid ties are available for off grid applications as well but they generally have the higher cost associated with the grid tie interactive.
So while much attention has been given to the creation of cheap wind generators as a practical matter they have limited use. This is not to say that wind generation is not a cost effective means of producing electricity, my point is merely do not get caught up in the prevalent marketing scams on the web today. I truly wonder how a wind generator is constructed for one hundred dollars or less without a power inverter or battery? Anybody bought a battery recently? There is the one hundred dollars depicted for the total budget cost…. Unless attention is given to how the power will be used before building a cheap wind generator you will surely be disappointed. In the next set of articles we will continue to address the fallacy depicted in the mainstream about wind power so stay tuned.
About the Author: I am Anthony Jones MA owner of Hurricane Wind Power. We are a quality customer oriented wind power store specializing in, wind turbine complete kits,wind generators wind turbines grid ties and DIY products visit us at Http://Hurricanewindpower.com
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