Wind Power For Homes

Joseph asks…

Is fusion power our only real alternative to fossil fuels?

Wind power and solar are nice, but they take a lot of infrastructure. Alcohol from biomass requires a lot of fussing around. Hydrogen is just a pipe dream because you have to have another power source to create it. It seems to me that the future of our civilization lies with fusion power.

Windmill Farms answers:

Let me address MJ first, his answer to nuclear waste disposal is to simplistic. Such measures are a release accident just waiting to happen. Nuclear power is not as good an answer as many have believed it to be. A nuclear power plant can not be “throttled”, that is, power levels changed up or down as easily as a fossil fuel powered plant. Nuclear plants are run at full power with excess energy used for other things, such as topping off peak power demand hydro-electric lakes such as what Duke Power does in North Carolina and South Carolina.
While true, hydrogen takes power to make it, it is still a possible source if one uses power such as that from solar electric arrays, or waste energy from nuclear plants. Norway seems to have a means of producing hydrogen that is very efficient, thus making it an economical possibility.
While wind and solar energy needs a lot of infrastructure, no more so than any other power system. It also offers home use possibilities, at least for the solar power cells end of this point of issue.
Alcohol from anything is a good way to produce a liquid energy source, and it is also renewable. Biomass also gives the possibility of methane production as well.
The issues with fusion is the control of it, getting usable energy out of it, although I am aware of at least 1 way to achieve that. There has to be a way to get the plasma that fusion has to have up to the working temperature that it needs to be at, and then you need to control that plasma as well. Thus far, when ever plasma has been attained, it is so unstable that it can not be controlled. If it gets out og magnetic containment and touches the metal of the reactor walls, it cools to the point where it is not plasma any more, it also takes a good chunk of the reactor material with it. Except for cold fusion, which would work, the others who tried to prove it did so with the intent to make it fail. That point has been published, a long time ago. Fusion requires more technology than we currently have. It is a good idea, but at what cost. Bottom line, is do we really want to have it, or is there still to much competition from power companies to allow fusion to be a viable source of power. This issue reminds me of the movie “Chain Reaction” where hydrogen generation was being worked on, and various government agencies did not want the technology to see the light of day.
Best answer, we use what we now have, or as we can find alternatives for our own private use. I personally favor personal use with the time it takes to make it worth my while as opposed to other, to me, worthless uses of my time.

Thomas asks…

How much does an average 500 home wind power cost.?

the cost of a wind turbine that can power 500 homes on average.

Windmill Farms answers:

That’s a 500kW unit at a minimum, possibly 1 MW.

That’s a fairly large unit. Cost depends on site costs, site preparation costs, lawyer costs (to get approval of the many government agencies) etc. Best is to find some existing installations and get their costs.

Only quote i could find is “1 MW windmill costs around $300,000 fully installed” and it is questionable.

Best is to contact companies that build them, like GE.

.

Paul asks…

How do I make a homebuilt wind generator power ?

Does anybody know?

I really want to make a homebuilt wind generator power but have no idea how. Im a complete noob when it comes to this stuff lol

Windmill Farms answers:

Homebuilt wind power generators can be built with just a few parts that you probably already have laying around your home.

If you want to power household items like TVs, washing machine etc then you will need an inverter. These are quite cheap though.

I got my instructions on homebuilt wind power generators from http://www.earth4energy.com and it made life HEAPS easier for me.

Jenny asks…

What are the drawbacks to using wind turbines or solar panels for providing all power to a home?

A. The wind and sun are not constant, so there would be times when no electricity would be generated.
B. The wind and sun are constant, so there would be plenty of electricity for the home.
C. Wind and solar power are inefficient and too expensive to use and maintain.
D. Wind and solar power are efficient, but they are not able to produce enough electricity for a single home.

Windmill Farms answers:

A is the best of your four, for your question, but since individual wind and solar power generate power to a battery, which is the direct source of power to your house, you can store up enough power to maintain your electrical usage, through the winter, power outages, and you can sell some access back to the Community Power Company.

If enough households demand an individual windmill and solar panel, the initial costs will come down to reasonable expense!!

Lizzie asks…

Is there a formula for determining the amount of energy produced via a windmill?

I would like to know how wind velocity and the size, weight and composition of the blades determine the amount of energy produced. I have no background in physics or engineering, so I would appreciate and assistance or guidance with respect to wind power generation. Thanks.

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey TK, good question. Actually, it isn’t that difficult to get into. There are basically four things that figure into the power output of a wind turbine.

1. Swept area of the blades
2. Density of the air
3. Efficiency of the turbine design
4. Velocity of the wind

P = .5 X rho X Cp X A X V3

P is power in watts, .5 is a constant, rho is the air density, Cp is the efficiency of the turbine and V3 is the velocity of the wind cubed. This is why airspeed is such a determining factor in wind turbine design. The .5 constant is constant by design, the efficiency is whatever the manufacturer can pull off in design and construction, the area of the blade sweep is fixed at construction, so only the airspeed varies, and since you cube the value of the speed, if the wind speed increases from 10 to 30 miles an hour for example, the turbine now has to convert 27 times as much energy.

We have a small turbine at our place that’s been running for almost 10 years now. It is a 3 blade model, designed for higher winds. A two blade unit is more efficient, but if you live in a higher wind area like we do, efficiency is not so important. Even with our small unit, a 25 mile per hour day allows our little 7 foot diameter unit to run the entire home and add a small charge to the batteries at the same time.

If you want to learn more, skip wikipedia and go to the experts. The American Wind Energy Association is a non profit group that works only with wind power issues. The two gurus in the business are probably Paul Gipe, who has written a book, “Wind Power for Home and Business,” and Mick Sagrillo who has been running his own business in wind power for 30 years and has authored several papers and articles. To get straight to the source, google, “Wind Turbine Power Equation,” and look for a link to an AWEA website for an explanation of the formula. I will list a few other sources below as well. Good luck, and take care, Rudydoo

Powered by Yahoo! Answers

Comments are closed.