Where Should You Locate Your Wind Turbine?
Where is the best spot for your wind turbine? The location is important, because it could mean the difference between a successful, lucrative project and a disappointing one. It’s important to consider all the variables before choosing the right place for your wind turbine.
You can only put one where regulations allow it, so your first step is to consult your local zoning or planning board to determine what, if any, laws govern placement of towers. If you are in a conservation or historical area, you might run into problems, so it’s important to get the OK from all relevant governing bodies. And it doesn’t hurt to check with neighbors as well — you don’t want them suddenly complaining about impacted views after your installation is complete.
High and Dry
Assuming wind turbines are permitted where you live, your next step is to find the highest, clearest spot on your property. A high-elevation spot away from trees and buildings is the best choice. If any trees, buildings or other obstacles are nearby, it is recommended that the turbine be twice the height of the obstacle to offset any interference. That being said, you don’t want turbines placed too far from the hookup to a power source, or you will lose power in the distance it takes the energy to travel through the cable. If you’re in a remote location far from the grid, a battery-storage system might be more economical for you.
Smaller, residential wind turbines require less wind power than commercial ones, but you still need a minimum amount in order for your project to be profitable. Residential turbines require sustained winds of at least 10 mph, but 12 mph and higher is better. The difference is important because it is exponential — that is, the extra 2 mph provides almost twice as much energy. It can be difficult to tell if you have enough wind power, so it’s best to have a wind specialist conduct an analysis. Sometimes simply constructing a taller tower is all you need to draw enough power. Again, make sure your local governing boards have no height restrictions for towers.
Ground Installation Preferable
Although you may sometimes see wind turbines mounted on buildings, it is not generally recommended. Even though many modern turbines are fairly quiet, the vibrations can eventually have an impact on the building’s structural integrity.
If you’re considering purchasing and installing a wind turbine to harness your own energy and save money, contact Intermountain Wind & Solar. They can provide a free wind analysis and determine the best location for your turbine.