Solar And Wind Power Residential Systems: Are They Worth It?

We live in a time when alternative is going mainstream. Solar power has many applications and is widely considered as an important source of alternative energy, along with other such variants as wind power and hydel power. Wind power, a popular alternative energy, dates back to the time of the early settlers who used crude windmills for crushing grains that measured up to 20 feet. However, it was not until 1979 when Danish engineers developed petite electricity generators fitted with light PVC blades capable of producing electricity that wind power became practically feasible. Those were the very first “Wind Turbines”. It marked a significant step in the evolution of alternative energy and paved the way for the world to have its first device for generating electricity by harnessing the power of the wind.

Other nations were quick to follow in the footsteps of the Danish engineers, and soon after their first appearance, wind turbines came up in great numbers all across the US and the UK. Alternative energy such as wind power and solar power made it easy to save on electricity bills and also lessen the dependence on the local utility company or on the grid. However, wind energy also has its fair share of disadvantages. The most critical drawback was due to the unpredictable nature of the wind itself. Inclement weather and low wind speeds often result in severe disruption of power generation by the turbines. The turbines, themselves, contributed to noise pollution in and around the area where they were located and were often dubbed as ‘roaring monsters’. However, use of better bearings and redesigning of the inner mechanism has reduced the noise to a great extent although some ‘wheezing’ still accompanies the turbines spinning at high speed. This is one of the reasons why wind turbines are rarely seen in residential areas.

While wind power was slowly getting accepted across a growing number of regions across the world, a new form of alternative energy surfaced to take the world by surprise. Calvin Fuller, Gerald Pearson and Daryl Chaplin of Bell Laboratories accidentally discovered the mother of modern solar cell in the form of silicon semiconductors while researching on the behavioral pattern of non-metals. The solar cell was soon developed and everybody was amazed to discover how effective they were, when clustered together in the form of a solar panel, to generate electricity that could easily light up a small home. Solar power caught the people’s imagination and very soon companies and manufacturers everywhere started making and installing solar panels. The US government also expressed its endorsement of this new technology by staring to offer incentives, grants and rebates for every installation undertaken within the country. The users saw the benefits in the form of slashed electricity bills and hassle-free supply of current that needed no raw material or maintenance. The only drawback that solar power suffered from was its inability to perform after dark.

The answer to the problem, however, is simple. To ensure uninterrupted power supply for 24 hours, as also to drastically reduce electricity consumption costs (red electricity bills) one might go for the following setup.

Installing both solar panels and wind turbines for the home offers a foolproof plan to keep you covered for 24 hours. While the solar system generates power during the day, the wind turbines ensure seamless power generation at night.

Add a battery bank to the system as a stand-by unit. Batteries can easily store some amount of the generated power that can be used during times when both the systems are unavailable.

Get the system connected to the grid so that all surplus power can be sent back to the grid, helping you make a neat little profit from selling power to the utility.

It doesn’t take much to make money from the system. With both units running simultaneously, the consumer will not only need any current from the grid but will also flood it with his or her own generated current.

With every passing day, more and more people everywhere are enthusiastically adopting alternative power. The demand for solar and wind power for residential use has already picked up considerably, and will continue to climb up the popularity curve in the following years. Even though there are still a few technical glitches, they are not of a very serious nature and will be resolved in the near future through continuing research and development.

So would you like to set up such a system? Take help from a manual that will help you install it step by step by showing you where to set it up, how to do it, how to wire the system, where to get the parts and the batteries from and will inform you about the safety instructions too. People across the world now know the advantages of installing a solar or a wind power system at home. By doing this you are now only contributing to clean up the environment, but the benefits are financial as well as you can reduce your power bills.

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Originally posted 2009-07-02 04:56:14.



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