No longer restricted to giant wind farms, the wind turbine generator is quickly gaining in popularity among homeowners in both urban and rural areas. Wind energy harnessed by specially designed horizontal axis wind turbines is an aspect of emergency preparedness and survivalism embraced by a growing number of people who are worried about the dramatic increase of natural disasters and the economic and societal instability currently gripping the world.
In the event that a significant and widespread catastrophe disrupts power grids and eliminates access to electricity for several months or even years, having already implemented a wind turbine generator as a back-up source for energy will provide you with power essential for maintaining a comfortable quality of existence.
Although solar energy is a viable alternative when electricity is unavailable, wind turbines supply energy on demand and even have the ability to store energy for times when the wind is light and variable.
Wind is created by combining sunlight, the rotation of the Earth and temperature clashes occurring in the upper atmosphere. When wind speeds reach a certain range, the force of the wind is capable of moving heavier objects, such as the “propellers” seen on a wind turbine. The design of a wind turbine generator is specific to capturing the energy of winds existing in temperature conditions of -4 to 104°F, with specially constructed turbines required in places of extreme climates.
A wind turbine stands on a tall pole which houses a shaft that has three blades attached to it at the top of the pole. Inside the shaft is a generator that produces power when the blades move due to excitation of mechanisms inside the generator. This energy is then directed via wires and cables to the building needing the energy where it is used to operate appliances, lights and heating/cooling systems.
With the increasing popularity of wind turbines among homesteaders who wish to save on energy bills or want to “live off the grid” as a way of remaining prepared for a widespread disaster, wind turbines can be purchased for individual use from several online companies offering products that address alternative energy needs.
Sunforce Products offers a wind turbine generator designed for people living in areas with differing wind conditions. For example, their 600 watt wind turbine charges 24 and 12 volt battery banks and is constructed with fiber glass blades that produce little noise when in operation. A free, downloadable PDF manual is available to examine prior to purchasing the turbine at the Sunforce website as well. Equipped with an MPPTCC (maximum power point tracking charge controller), charging is maximized, efficient and safe. Sunforce advises mounting the turbine at a height of no less than 20 feet and not more than 40 feet for optimal energy generation.
The Sunforce 400 Watt Wind Generator is portable and lightweight, offering 12 volt power for charging batteries rather than powering a household. Great to use in urban areas where space is restricted, this wind power generator averages a 38 KWh output with wind speeds at 10 miles per hour. Start-up speed for the 400 watt turbine is eight mph.
Gudcraft Online manufactures a 900W, 24-volt wind turbine generator with a rotor diameter of 9.2 feet and start-up wind speed of 4.5 miles per hour. Other features include fiber glass blades, a security wind speed of almost 80 miles per hour and a speed regulation method of electromagnetic brake and mechanical yawing. Additionally, the regulator shuts down automatically when your batteries have been fully charged.
When considering whether to use wind or solar power as your renewable alternate energy source, determine whether you have the room and wind conditions necessary for successfully generating electricity using a wind turbine generator. Alternately, people living in geographic regions that receive high amounts of sunlight may benefit more from installing solar panels in their home. Remember that larger wind turbines need good amounts of unobstructed space to fully harness wind energy.