If you’re planning to live off the grid, a wind turbine might be your best choice for powering your home. Vacation homes and even day-to-day residential properties that are built away from towns and cities are becoming more popular. The daily rat race can definitely have a serious impact on your physical and emotional well-being, and getting away from it all is increasingly the way people are re-centering themselves and reconnecting with nature. You may want to get away from your smartphone on vacation, but you may not want to get away from light, heat and indoor plumbing. You’ll need a way to power these conveniences, and if your location is right, a turbine might just be your answer.
Wind turbines need height and a lot of space. You may have seen them on the tops of ridges or in coastal areas where the breezes blow continually. If you have a high-elevation piece of land, or even just a large, clear area, you might be able to harness the wind for your own use.
Is it Enough?
You may think you always feel a breeze blowing outside your door, but it might not be strong enough to power your whole home. You can determine the average wind speed in your area by contacting your local weather bureau, but the only way to be sure you have enough wind on your piece of property is to get an evaluation from a wind specialist. You should have average wind speeds of about 12 mph to make purchasing and installing a wind turbine worth the cost (keep in mind that those installed before Dec. 31, 2016, qualify for a 30 percent tax credit).
Many people opt to connect their turbines to the local participating power source where the wind energy can be converted to credit. If your area isn’t wired for electricity, however, or if your turbine is located too far from the source, your only option is to convert the energy to battery power, which can be used in the same way electricity can.
Bigger Might Be Better
If you are in a truly remote area with no power alternative, you probably will want to go with a larger turbine so that you will be able to power all of your appliances and lights. Consult your wind specialist to see if he or she believes the amount of wind will be adequate, or if adding solar cells as well is recommended.
Even if you don’t vacation or live in a remote area, an off-the-grid wind turbine can help you stockpile energy in case of a power outage, or just help you cut down on bills for extras like heating a swimming pool. (Note: if you use your turbine for a swimming pool or hot tub, the federal tax credit does not apply.)
Intermountain Wind & Solar provides free wind assessments. Call them today to find out if adding a wind turbine off the grid will help you power your home for less money.
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