Wind vs Solar For Household Power: Exploring The Pros And Cons
If you have chosen to transition to a green energy source in your home, you may be wondering whether wind or solar power is your better option. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question that will apply to every homeowner. This is because wind and solar powered systems work in very different ways to produce electricity for your home. Consequently, this is a decision that each homeowner will need to make on a case by case basis after learning about the way each system works. Below you will learn more about the pros and cons of each of these options so that you can make the choice that is right for you.
There are many benefits that are associated with the use of a wind powered home energy system. The primary benefit associated with residential wind turbines is that they have the ability to produce power even when the sun's not shining. In fact, they simply require a slight breeze in order to produce electricity for your home.
When compared to solar powered systems, wind turbines have the ability to produce more electricity for every dollar spent on your new energy system. In the right location a $1,000 investment, you will be able to produce between 1-2 Kw using a wind turbine. However, you can only expect to see a return of between .5-.75 Kw for this same investment when choosing to use solar panels.
Wind turbines also have the benefit of requiring less space than a solar system. Finally, the upfront cost of installing a single residential turbine will be lower than the cost of installing a solar system.
Just as there are benefits associated with the use of wind power, there are also disadvantages that you will need to consider. For instance, small residential wind turbines are extremely sensitive to turbulence. Consequently, individuals who live in congested areas or who live close to a busy road will often find that wind power does not work for them.
Another disadvantage to choosing wind power is that turbines often require a considerable amount of maintenance over the years. This is because wind turbines make use of many moving parts that will inevitably require repair or replacement. This required maintenance can greatly increase the overall investment you must make in order to take advantage of wind power.
Since wind turbines are typically mounted on the highest point of your home, these turbines will be susceptible to lightning strikes and damage from high winds.
Finally, while advances in technology have allowed for much quieter operation in recent years, wind turbines still produce noise each time they turn. This noise can interfere with yours and your neighbor's peaceful enjoyment of your property.
Solar panels offer the benefit of requiring very little maintenance. In fact, most people will simply need to clean their panels from time to time in order to keep their system working perfectly for many years to come. This easy maintenance will prevent dirt and other debris from building up on the panels and preventing sunlight from entering the solar cells.
In addition to virtually nonexistent maintenance requirements, solar systems also offer the benefit of being able to grow along with your needs. If you find that your current system is not producing enough energy to keep your household running, you can choose to add more solar panels to your system at any time. This benefit is especially important for individuals who are anticipating an increase in their energy needs in the future, such as young families who plan to have more children.
Since solar systems have no moving parts, these systems are also far less susceptible to high wind, lighting, and other weather related damage. In the event that your solar panels do become damaged, the impressive warranty that accompanies many of these systems will also help to ensure your repair costs are kept to a minimum. While wind turbines also offer warranties in many cases, the industry standard for solar system warranties is much higher.
As with wind power, solar power also has its disadvantages. One of the most notable disadvantages associated with solar power is the upfront cost of installing a new solar system. However, while solar systems do require a significant upfront investment, it is important to note that they also offer considerable savings over their lifetime.
In addition to the cost associated with installing a solar system, homeowners should also be aware that these green energy systems are only capable of creating energy when the sun is out. This means that there will be a need for a supplemental energy source during the overnight hours or during periods of extreme weather.
Finally, you should know that just like any piece of glass, solar panels are fragile. If the panels are struck by a rock, baseball, or other heavy object, the panels can potentially crack or break.
Combining Wind And Solar Power
While you can choose between wind and solar energy systems, it is important to note that you can also choose to combine the power of both wind and power when designing your household's new power system. In fact, many homeowners will find that using wind and solar power together greats the most effective power supply for their home. This is because wind turbines and solar panels play to each other's weaknesses.
While solar panels create their energy during the day, wind turbines are often most active during the evening and overnight hours when wind gusts are more prominent.
A Few Final Thoughts
When installing a green energy system in your home, there are several factors which must be considered. For instance, you will need to consider your current budget, how much money you are expecting to save on energy in the future, your current energy needs, your location, and your anticipated energy needs in the future. Taking the time to consider all of these factors will help you to choose wisely when selecting a wind, solar, or wind and solar energy system for your home.
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.