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Best Locations for Wind Power
If you are producing electricity for instance, you'll need to be receiving an adequate amount of electricity for the wind turbine to pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time.
First of all, let us inform you that if you live in the southeastern portion of the United States, wind power is probably not a cost effective option to build a windmill or wind turbine.
However, there are exceptions. For instance, if you live in a higher elevation than most of the surrounding terrain, or along a uniquely situated "wind tunnel," you will probably have more wind than any chart would show.
If you live in the central or west central portion of the United States, wind power is going to be much more likely to be cost effective. Coastlines are always great places for wind power.
One method of determining the amount of wind your area of the country receives is to consult average wind speed data at your nearest airport weather station. Of course, the below chart will help as well.
An ideal location for a wind turbine is for it to be 30 feet above anything within 300 feet. Some homeowners have installed wind turbines on top of 30 or 40 foot electric poles installed by their local electric company.
Power companies will install these poles for around $300 on average. As long as you can find a good way to install and maintain the turbine, this can be quite cost effective.
You can actually install the turbine higher than 30 or 40 feet by using a steel extension mounted to the side of a wooden electric pole.
So how qualified is your area of the country for wind power?
See the below map:
Generally, those who live outside the white area of this map are the best candidates for wind generation. But keep in mind, that your specific location may be uniquely suited for wind generation even though you live in a white area of this map.
Also keep in mind that if you are surrounded by obstacles such as trees and buildings, even though you live in a class 3+ area, you might not have land that is well suited for wind generation.
Additionally, the amount of wind your area of the country receives can differ drastically depending on the time of year. Wintertime is usually windier than summertime.
If you have both solar and wind in your renewable energy system, this is a great combination. When the storm clouds roll in and shut out the sun, you usually have wind. And in the cloudier skies of winter there is usually more wind. The ideal system will have both wind and solar power.
The height of your wind turbine system can have a significant effect on the amount of wind it receives. See the diagram below for an illustration of this:
The taller your tower is and the further away it is from surrounding obstacles, the better.
If wind generation isn't significant in
your area, you can look into solar power. You might need to make or purchase
more solar panels in order to make up the difference.
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