Residential wind power systems can be very cost effective,
with prices as low as $2.10 per watt. Since they run day
and night, they can be an effective addition to a solar
photovoltaic array. They can use the same inverter, charge
controller, and grid intertie as the solar array.
Some representative wind generators are:
- Air-X from Southwest Windpower
- Proven 600 from Proven Engineering
- Lakota from Aeromax Corp.
- H40 from Southwest Windpower
- H80 from Southwest Windpower
- XL.1 from Bergey Windpower
- AWP 3.6 from Africa Wind Power
These wind generators produce from 400 to 1,000 watts, at wind
speeds of 22 to 28 miles per hour.
The costs are from $600 for a 400 watt generator, to about $2,000
for a 1,000 watt generator, plus another $1,000 for a 64 foot tower.
The newer models are quiet, with noise levels equal to normal
background noise at wind speeds under 20 miles per hour. Plus, since
the towers are tall, the noise is reduced by being an extra 64 feet away.
The advantages of wind power are the low cost, both in dollars per watt
and in initial outlay, and the ability to generate power at night.
The disadvantages are the big tower, and moving parts. When used as
an adjunct to a solar array, a wind generator is a very cost effective
way to get extra power at low cost.