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Standalone Wind Power

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285sawindWind power can be a clean and cost effective alternative source of electricity. For rural homes with a good wind energy resource, it is often a cheaper option than solar power. As a basic guide, houses on the coast or hills on exposed rural land have better wind resource, and houses in urban or heavily vegetated areas, away from the coast, have less wind.


Stand-alone systems are suitable for those off the mains grid. The power is fed into batteries for storage instead of into the mains grid. An inverter that produces 240 volt AC connects to the batteries to run standard mains powered appliances.


Getting a good estimate of wind resource is the most important step in ascertaining how much energy you'll be able to get out of your wind turbine. If you live in a rural area and have plenty of open space around your home, an experienced wind turbine installer can estimate your wind energy resource, however such estimations can be unreliable in the turbulent urban environment and in complex terrain. A turbulent site will not only reduce the power output of a turbine, it will also significantly increase the wear and tear on the machine. The best way to get an estimate of wind speed is to measure the wind speed and direction on site, but this is rarely cost effective for domestic scale wind turbines.


The small wind market has generally been dominated by horizontal axis wind turbines, usually with two or three blades. Wind turbines of up to 5kW in size are suitable for household use, with 1kW being the most common size.


Small wind turbines generally cost up to $10,000, however this may just be for a wind turbine and controller only. Towers, inverters, meters, cables, batteries and installation costs must all be factored in separately, and will take the total cost for a quality turbine well into the tens of thousands.


Stand alone system prices vary considerably, but a quality stand alone system for a typical Victorian household would cost at least $50,000.


Before installing a wind power system check with your local council for any planning or building permits you may require.


Energy Matters -
Ph. 1300 727 151

Yarra Energy -
Ph. 0413 795 926

Todae -
Ph. 1300 138 483

Sun Wind and Power (SWAP) -
Ph. 1300 132 954

Listed suppliers are a guide and are not endorsed by Green Cross Australia or the Alternative Technology Association.

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