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segunda-feira, 10 de janeiro de 2011

Residential Rooftop Wind Turbines

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roof_mount4Residential rooftop wind turbines are being installed on homes (and businesses) at a faster rate than ever before. Cutting down use of grid-based electricity helps save money and reduce CO2 emissionsfrom burning fossil fuels. Plus, people are finding that its a green status symbol to have solar panels or turbines on their homes. Celebrities including Ed Begley, Jr. and Jay Leno both use residential wind power on their homes.

Before you decide to install wind energy, you’ll have to consider the following factors:

  • design: horizontal or vertical axis (aesthetics and efficiency both come into play)
  • kilowatts produced/kilowatt (energy) requirements
  • cost- including renewable energy tax credits and rebates
  • placement of a wind turbine, considering wind speeds and potential obstructions
  • whether your homeowners association has adopted any restrictions on antennas or similar installations

You will also need consider potential noise of using a rooftop wind turbine. Many people agree that vertical axis turbines are quieter than other models. As noted above, placement is key to gain the most favorable winds and efficiency. If you have a pitched roof, consider placing the wind turbine in a higher location. For flat roofs, towards the edge.

Each day, hundreds of new rooftop wind turbines are installed across the country. Wind turbine manufacturers are busier than ever, and people looking for green jobs are finding them in the wind sector of the renewable energy industry, in part because of the rapid growth. By tapping into wind power, property owners are watching their electrical meters roll backwards, allowing them to save money while doing their part to save the planet.

Amazingly, consumers that installed residential rooftop wind turbines, cut their utility bills by 50-90%. Considering the fact that prices range from $5-10,000 for most systems (before tax credits and rebates), it can pay for itself in a few years.

But if a full-blown rooftop turbine sounds like too much of an investment, you can still get your feet wet with the “Jellyfish,” micro-wind turbine:

At a mere 36 inches tall, the plug-in wind appliance can generate about 40 kilowatt hours each month, that’s enough to light a home using high-efficiency bulbs, said [Inventor Chad]Maglaque. And although micro-wind is nothing new, at $400 a pop, the Jellyfish’s price and simplicity make it a fresh face in the market. [Via Worldchanging]

Rest assured that whatever type of wind energy system you decide to install, you’ll be making an important difference. Every household and business that weans itself off of fossil fuels is a step in the right direction.

Be sure to let us know by pinpointing your house on our interactive maps showing the location of homes powered by renewable energy. If you spot other buildings in your area that are drawing on wind power, why not Greenspot© them for us?

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