Wind Power

Pipersville_CarolFebruary 17, 2004

Kewl topic, Spike. Thanks!

I'm intrigued by turbines.

We live in a windy spot, and would love to install one. I looked into them a couple of years ago, apparently there's one major company that specializes in residential installations in our area. It was pricey, though.

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You may want to spend some time weighing cost compared to turbine out put for your area. Most of PA has average wind speeds of less than 16mph. Most wind turbines will not start generating until about 6-8mph some as high as 12mph they usually produce max. out put at about 26-28mph. In your area you are likely looking at less than 50% out put for a wind turbine.
Now of course it is still a good thing to use green energy I just want all angles to be considered. I think when people are unhappy with solar/wind/small hydroelectric generation it is because of unrealistic expectations.
A lot of your initial cost for wind is in the tower it can often be as much or more than the generator. It is an important feature it needs to be stable and should be easy to bring down for maintenance. The size will depend on your area. You usually need the wind turbine to be at least 20 feet above every thing with in 500 feet.
The cost may appear high but if installed correctly and maintained a wind generator should give you years of "free" electricity.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2004 at 8:11PM
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I'm surprised to hear that PA doesn't have a high enough average wind speed to make turbines cost effective, I'd heard that there were some large wind-generation fields in the Lancaster PA area.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 9:41AM
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You might want to invest in a recording anemometer and monitor the windspeed in your area for a period of a few months to see what the actual average windspeed is in your area. This will then tell you if a wind turbine is worth the investment.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 9:50AM
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A wind turbine may be cost effective for you but you need to do a little more research. In my neck of the woods we have average wind speeds of more than 30mph it makes wind a very good thing. Some of PA does have higher wind speeds but a lot of the state would not be ideal.

Rijoh makes a good point about the anemometer it will tell you what you are looking at. Just remember the anemometer has to placed at the same height as your proposed turbine. Also winds can vary greatly from
season to season. For us we have very strong winds in the winter but not in the summer so a combination wind solar is ideal for us.

Try to contact the green power venders in your area. Go out and talk to some people that are using wind energy.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 11:15AM
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Thanks for the responses. Of course, I would do a great deal more research before investing in a wind turbine. I was hoping to talk to some people who are using wind energy via this forum, maybe someone with a residential turbine will chime in eventually.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 12:28PM
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You may get more first hand information on this board.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 2:17PM
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Too bad you don't live in the state of Oregon. A university there is doing wind generation research and is supplying anemometers and towers free of charge to participants.

Here is a link that might be useful: anemometer loan program

    Bookmark   February 19, 2004 at 2:51PM
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Pipersville Carol,

During a recent radio phone-in discussion of larger units as part of the electricity generation system in this area, there was a person from the power system who said that wind power would not be really helpful during the periods of heavy demand - for heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer - as our strongest winds are in the spring and fall.

I can't vouch for the validity of his argument, but it sounds rather reasonable.

That may not be the times of your peak demand, though.

Thanks for your effort to tread with lighter footprint on our fragile earth,

joyful guy

    Bookmark   February 20, 2004 at 4:49AM
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