Wind Power For Homes

Carol asks…

How would you go about estimating demand for wind power?

I need help with finding a few articles that are credit able on how to go about estimating demand for wind power. Anyone help please?
Or if anyone knows how to? that would be great too!!! Thank you!!!

Windmill Farms answers:

There is no specific demand for any particular type of power. Consumers don’t call up their power company and say they want only wind power delivered to their home. They don’t have that choice.

It’s all mixed together in the power grid, wind, solar, coal, nuclear, etc. A power company that needs more power will look at the various alternatives, and how much money they have, and the time basis of the needed power, ie, off peak, peak, baseload, etc. And decide to spend that money for one type of power generator or another. Of course they take into account the good publicity they get by building wind turbines… Plus the difficulty in getting regulatory approval, buying the land, plus the opposition they may get for various types of power, plus the payoff time, plus the cost of fuel, maintenance, etc. Plus any grants from the various governments involved.


Thomas asks…

I want to write a research paper on renewable energy pertaining to solar and wind?

Do you have any ideas on what I could use for a thesis? I want to write something about how if people used solar and wind power, how much of a positive impact it could have on the earth. Any ideas?

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey Jacob, good project. I’m pasting an answer from an earlier question along with some explanation and sources for you. Sorry it’s so wordy, but your question is pretty open ended.

If you invest properly in solar or wind power today and take advantage of any grants and tax incentives, even if your electric rates do not go up as they are forecast too, you will get your money back over time, well within the lifetime of the equipment, and sooner if there is a rate increase in the future. There are also enviromental benefits. At one time there was an argument that a solar panel will never produce as much power as was used to manufacture it. First of all, this is not correct. The, “Embodied Energy,” in a solar panel is earned back in 2 – 6 years, depending on the type panel, where the raw materials were shipped from, and how it was installed and used in the end. Most panels are warrantied to last at least 25 years, and most last much longer than that. But the argument is not important anyway. We have been living with electricity for over a century now, so it isn’t going away anytime soon. The question is, “What is the best way to produce it?” If you build a panel, and put it along side a similar sized natural gas fired turbine generator for example, which earns back its embodied energy sooner? The answer is the gas turbine never does, because once you build it, ship it and install it, you now have to feed it natural gas for the rest of its life, so it keeps on digging itself a deeper and deeper embodied energy hole that it can never crawl out of. At least the panel has a chance to get even environmentally. So manufacturing and using solar panels in the end releases less pollution into our environment. The results are basically the same for wind turbines too. There are other environmental benefits as well, most of these are pretty obvious.

There are also mechanical and political benefits. We all know after the oil embargo of 1973, and the gulf war what it means for our country to rely on foreign oil. Wouldn’t it be nice if we only shipped in 20% of our energy instead of 60% the next time something like that happens? Our home has been powered by the wind and sun for years now, but we still remain connected to the electric grid. Last year alone there were two power failures in our county that lasted about a half day each. In both cases, we were not aware of them because our solar array kept on feeding the house. It’s difficult to put a price tag on something like that. Did you know that there are over 100,000 homes and businesses in the United States alone that use some level of solar power to operate their electrical devices, that’s good news.

Beyond the mechanical, political and environmental benefits however, lies a less obvious benefit, the social benefit. Right now we pump oil out of the ground, and mine for coal. The process of getting those materials to market involves shipping, military escorts and other activities that use up a good portion of that energy as well as putting lives at risk. Jobs in solar power are higher tech than jobs in coal mining, oil drilling and shipping, and there are more of them. Using more solar and wind power would require us to put more people to work, and increase our education base because the work involved requires certain skills. I would personally like to take all those people out of the coal mines, send them to school and put them to work building solar panels and wind turbines. Nobody would have to die again in one of those dark holes in the ground trying to find food for our hungry power plants. They could work on a factory floor where they would not be exposed to coal dust, radon and other toxins and dangers. Most of our solar and wind resources are spread pretty evenly over the middle half of our globe, so everyone has access. This puts people in Bogota on a more equal footing with people in Boca Raton by giving them access to electricity, heat and clean water, and the education to use the resources that provide those things. Oil, coal and natural gas is generally piled up in a few places, such as Russia and the Middle East. This gives those countries and the richer governments that rule them more horse power in bargaining for the other resources of our planet. These are the things that wars are made of.

There are other reasons, but I think you get the picture. For us, renewable energy has become something of a hobby It will probably never save us any real money, utility power in most places is really very inexpensive, but it’s a little like growing your own tomatoes. It’s usually cheaper to buy them at the grocery, but lots of people go to the work and expense to maintain a garden instead. We just grow electrons in ours. If you really want to learn more about the subject, there are some great sources to look into, I will list some below. Here are a couple of quotes you might be interested in: “The path we take today could ease anothers journey tomorro

Lizzie asks…

How to get a city the funding that will pay for a renewable energy grant package?

I own a buisness that converts home and industries to solar/wind power and I’m working on converting over a city streetlights, red lights and ball park to solar power. Where can I find a funding source that will pay the grant fee for the city?

Windmill Farms answers:

The best way to do this is to hire a grant writer, getting a grant is often a difficult process.
It not only take a lot of research to find who is giving grants for certain projects, but competing with others for the grants.
My wife and I looked into doing it, but it was too overwhelming for us at our age.

However these are some of the links that we looked into.


George asks…

About how much would a windmill cost to furnish power for my home?

I mean with everything I would need, the battery to store it and whatever else I would need? If anyone has one I would like to know how it works for you. Did it meet your expectations? Any problems that you have with generating your own wind power?

Windmill Farms answers:

Are you out on a farm or on a lot of land?… They won’t allow one in town or suburbs….


price there was $40,000 with a rebate of $20,000 from the gov. In California…..

Lots of other links there… DIY ones, too..

Linda asks…

What are the concerns of wind power? (visual pollution, health effects, etc)?

A few other questions on wind power, as i’m very interested in this subject …….
- How expensive is wind power? (the construction, expensive to run)
- Is wind power used anywhere else in the worl apart from Australia?
- How sustainable are the reserves of energy?
10 points us for grabs!!

Windmill Farms answers:

Hopefully I can shed some light on your questions…
What are the concerns of wind power?
– The largest concern with large, commercial wind turbines is noise pollution and what damages can occur when a catastrophic failure happens. For instance, in the US, several towns have already passed laws ot prevent the large turbines form being built within a certain radius of the town.

How expensive is wind power? (the construction, expensive to run)
– Bigger isn’t always better. The huge mega-watt size turbines can cost millions to build and even more to install. In Europe, the newest focus is on smaller, residential turbines that are less visually obtrusive, quieter and cause less damage if they fail structurally. Each smaller unit can provide power to an individual home, which is the whole point anyway. The smaller units are much more cost effective at only a couple of thousand Euro.

Is wind power used anywhere else in the world apart from Australia?
– Yes. Wind power is being used in large and small scale throughout the world.

How sustainable are the reserves of energy?
– Sustainability issues with wind power are basically the same as any other mechanical means of power production. Moving parts have a service life. As long as the sun shines and the earth rotates on its axis, we will have winds. If you mean storing the electricity produced by a wind turbine, we are limited by current battery technology.

Hopefully I have answered your questions.

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