Is Wind Energy For Me?
- Turbine height has a big impact on energy production. Usually, the taller the tower, the better the resulting wind energy supply.
- Turbine rotor diameter also has a big impact on energy production as well. The larger the swept area ( the area covered by one revolution of the rotor), the more wind energy can be converted into electrical energy. The larger the rotor diameter, the taller the tower, as longer blades require greater height to keep the blade tips safely removed from the crowds of admirers enviously gazing at the spinning rotor.
- Turbines operate best when wind flow is smooth, obstructions are greater than 500 feet away. A good rule of thumb is the rotor hub (center) is 30-50 feet higher than the tallest obstruction within 500 feet.
- Turbines also operate best when there are no obstructions in an area that encompasses a 360° field of view, basically nothing as tall as the turbine inside a 500 foot circle.
- In a confined setting, it is important to consider neighboring properties and their inhabitants. Local codes will require guaranties from turbine owners, as well as impose restrictions, and wind resource advocates should be prepared to address and satisfy any reasonable requests from adjacent property owners. A turbine in a less than ideal setting can still produce substantial amounts of power, but turbulence will cause decreased production and can increase wear.
Seaside Endeavors can assist with site selection, wind resource determination, turbine and tower selection and installation and connection. From small battery-charging turbines to large, grid-tied systems, we can provide a wind energy system to meet the available resource at your site. At present, Wind Energy is an overlooked resource on the First Coast, and we are working hard to change that.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wind Energy
Can I install a small wind generator at my location?
The largest obstacle is local building code. The next largest obstacle is wind potential, you might be able to put up a system and yet the wind is not there. Wind generated power is site specific.
Are wind turbines noisy?
Modern wind turbines are no louder than the wind blowing through them. A properly maintained turbine is no more noticeable than your neighbors air conditioner or irrigation pump or the traffic on a near by street.
Are wind turbines a hazard to birds?
Residential scale wind turbines are quiet, efficient and have varying operating speeds based on wind speed. There are no large scale studies, that we are aware of, that categorize the impact of small wind turbines on birds. Studies have been done on large wind farms, and the impact on bird life is extremely small.
What type of maintenance is required to maintain a wind turbine?
Turbine manufacturers have recommended maintenance schedules. Most small turbines have very few moving parts and do not require any regular maintenance. They are designed for a long life (up to 20 years) and operate completely automatically while producing affordable wind energy to your location.