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Solar Power or Wind Power, which works for you? (part 1)

Now the other side of the Transactive Energy world is what you use as a renewable energy source. Today there are three options, one is extremely expensive, and the other two are fairly responsible for pricing. The expensive renewable energy source is the creation of energy using Geothermal power. While you can do it, you have to maintain a turbine and other technology to continue to generate power. The cheaper systems are wind power and Solar.

Let’s take a look at the two systems and discuss the pros and cons of both. First, let’s talk about Wind Turbines. The easy pro is they are easy to use and while they have an enclosed turbine are less expensive than the Geothermal power option. They have space requirements, and of course, they do require wind. That means in my subdivisions throughout the world, where houses are pretty close together the what and how of the yard alignment boxes critical. The wind has to blow! For larger plots of land, A Wind Turbine is a better fit overall. Let’s review quickly, pros you get clean, renewable energy. Cons you have to have enough space and enough wind to power the turbine. Wind turbines require batteries due to the nature of wind. It gusts (producing lots of power), but sometimes it doesn’ blow consistently. Wind turbines in subdivisions normally have to be on roofs. If you happen to have more land, then on top a hill if possible is optimal!

Solar power is a little easier. It can be mounted in your backyard, or on your roof. Obviously on the roof greatly reduces the overall impact of where the panels are. Like a wind turbine, the value of batteries for solar systems are critical. You see when the sun goes down, so does solar production. The other risk you have is that your Home Owners Association (or HOA) won’t approve or allow either a wind turbine or a solar panel. That is a fairly large risk overall. Pros for solar, they last longer than most wind turbines today (they being solar panels). Wind Turbines have moving parts and require more Maintainance, lasting 7-10 years. Solar panels last 15-20 years overall.

Both systems Wind and Solar have batteries that are easily installed. They, Wind or Solar, integrate with existing generations. You need a battery system to distribute the energy when there is no wind or when the sun is down. The value overall is the savings you get!

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What do you think?

12 points

Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.

27 Comments

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  1. I see that you are talking about these as possible resources for home use, as opposed to generators of electricity for industrial or grid use, where the factors will be different.

    For home use, solar panels are going to be more practical for most people, which is why you see far more roofs bearing solar panels than you do wind turbines in back gardens.

    One factor to bear in mind is the effect on wildlife. Apart from the danger to birds of spinning turbines, the noise they make could scare them off.

    • Actually the factors for business use of solar is only different from the array placement. Many companies have roof space that can be used. Heck, just planting green plants on top the building reduces the overall cost of power for that building (reduces the cost of cooling by 10-15%).

      The best wind turbines are fairly quiet. But I do agree there is an impact on birds. Most of them are mounted on roofts, and have an enclosure that prevents birds getting killed. It does reduce the effectiveness of the turbine however.

      • I was thinking more of the difference between the use of such installations by individuals (whether homes or small businesses) and by wind farms and solar farms.

        The UK is doing its best to cut out all coal-fired power generation, which means greater investment in wind and solar. Some of the biggest wind farms are out at sea.

        • I understand that point, I am more concerned that we haven’t come to the realization that simply saying you build a building, you have to put solar on it, is a simple answer. I worry that we aren’t there yet.

          As for the reality of solar or wind farms, they truly are a different beast. The US Government actually created an agency (BOEM) focused on the wind power auctions.

          • Not every building is suitable for solar – if you don’t have a roof area that faces south or southwest, your panels won’t collect much sun.

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