The dream of living off the grid remains just that, a dream, for many. There are numerous obstacles that get in way. One of the main ones is how to provide energy for your off-grid lifestyle?
Many simply do without but in this day and age of green renewable energy systems there is no reason you can’t incorporate renewable electricity into your off-grid cabin.
Depending on your location wind energy might be the best system for you. Renewable wind energy can be more reliable than solar- the wind still blows at night after all.
Here are some of the steps required:
- Making sure your location is suited for wind energy
- Choosing the correct turbine for your energy needs
- Choosing the correct energy storage options
- Deciding on how to install your wind energy system: DIY or Professional?
Making sure your location is suited for wind energy
Is your location suitable for a wind turbine? According to the UATgroup the 10 best states for wind energy in the USA are:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Residential wind turbines can still be used outside of these states but they might be best coupled with solar power too. Check out the best wind and solar power combos.
It’s not just all about your state, though. You need to check the prevailing winds on your own lands. For, example, if your cabin is sheltered behind a mountain or a hill that blocks the wind from blowing across your property then maybe wind energy might not be the best option for you.
But let’s assume you’re in a sufficiently windy area and your land is open enough to catch the wind blowing through it. Lucky you!
Choosing the Right Turbine For You
One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is which wind turbine you’ll use. You’ll need to consider the following:
- The size of the blades
- The voltage required
- How loud or silent you want it to be
The first and most important question though is:
How much energy do I expect to be using on my off-grid cabin?
We’ve made all this very simple for you though with our wind energy calculators.
In terms of how loud or quiet you want your wind turbine(s) to be, that’s a personal choice. If you’re happy with louder ones they will be less expensive but quiet or even silent wind turbines can have a great impact on your quality of life. Check out our guide to the best silent wind turbines for 2019.
Choosing How Best To Store Your Wind Generated Energy
Once you’ve chosen the right turbine you’ll then need to figure out how best to store your energy.
Assuming you’re off-grid and don’t plan and connecting your system back into the energy grid then you’ll need some sort of battery system.
The simplest battery system is a series of 12 volt batteries. The beauty of this system is that you can scale it over time. You can start off with one or two batteries and if after a while you think you need more storage then simply hook up more batteries.
A single battery can usually store around 125ah. Ah here meaning ‘amp hours’.
As an example a 10K-wh turbine can produce 16,000 kwh per year. Which breaks down to an average 43.8kwh per day.
A 12 volt 125ah battery would require 1.5kwh to charge it. So, 10k-wh turbine could charge up 29 such batteries a day!
There are other battery storage options like the Tesla Power Wall or one of the cheaper option such as X and Y. In time these options might be the best for you but for now the humble 12 volt battery system can’t be beaten for its simplicity. I would bootstrap with the 12v’s and then in time look at a more permanent solution.
You can check out available wind turbine batteries.
Deciding On How To Install Your Wind Energy System: DIY or Professional?
The last big decision to make is how you will install your system. This decision may depend on the size of the turbine you are installing. Obviously, the larger the turbine the more likely you’ll need an expert to install it.
Ultimately, this is mostly a personal decision. If you’re off-grid, you’re likely a motivated independent person and nearly all residential wind turbines could be installed by the homeowner and some friends. It’s a matter of preference.
If you’re happy to install it yourself you’ll need patience, a good set of tools and people to help out and a strong work ethic. I would strongly advise against installing it alone for safety reasons.
However, if you want a professional to help install your wind turbine, check out our free directory for licensed wind turbine installers from all across the USA.
Initially it can be a daunting decision to try and power your home via green wind energy but like nearly everything in life, it is manageable. Once you’ve made the decision to go with wind, just break it up in to smaller parts and work through the to-do list.
We here at residential-wind-turbines.com are here to help and guide you through the process as best we can. So feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have, whether that be what size turbines you need or who should help install it.