Imagine yourself in a steampunk-themed, off the grid situation with a Windmill as your wind power generator? Might sound like fun. But you can now find smaller and portable wind power generators that provide decent back up power unlike a few years ago. If your home is located in a geographic location that has access to constant and strong air movement, you can choose among a variety of models that are good for off the grid situations and as a back up solution for power needs.
Windmills are good too, and has been used for centuries across different cultures but you can't take that towering edifice with you around on a vehicle and the usage is limited for when air movement is directed where your Windmill is facing so it can create electricity.
How much Power Can you Squeeze out of a Pinwheel?
You can get a unit that can charge 12V and produce up to 400Watts or 27 amps at the ideal wind speed. These units are already costly at under $500.
Most of the units can get the provide decent power are the three blade model systems that are fairly portable. You need an 8 mph wind speed to make this kind of generator work to your advantage. For smaller, mini units, these only need about 5 mph winds to operate and generate decent power. In an emergency situation, especially if you are using a boat and get stranded with a dead battery, you might be out on the water, using your radio and not run out on your batteries, so one of these green generators will be a lifesaver.
Portable wind power generators will withstand the elements with normal use and most units have been coated with a protective material that is very durable. Wind power generators are noisy and some systems can restrict blade rotation to minimize noise as well as slow down the turbine during high winds to prevent damage.
Pros and Cons of Wind Powered Generators
A wind generator generates green energy which is power derived from the natural environment which is always available and replenishes itself naturally. There are no physical material resources that are used up as fuel to run a wind generator. A device rigged to engage kinetic energy and movement of a turbine to generate electricity via wind activation may be one of the best semi-permanent sources of green energy for anyone who can set up the system to provide for his power needs.
Unlike a solar power generator which works only when the sun is up and shining, wind is usually going for almost all the time, day and night, and triggers the wind power generator to do its job.
The downside is the wind dying down, when air movement is not enough to activate the mechanism for harnessing mechanical kinetic energy. But your still get power most of the time. The other disadvantage is that compared to other portable power generators, wind machines often cannot supply as large an electrical supply that you need for large applications. Portable wind power can recharge mobile devices and such but not sustain long term use of larger devices like speakers, media players and electric grills.
Location will be your Guide
Not all landscape locations will work for windmill generators. Living close to mountain areas or by the sea might get a much better chance of getting consistent wind power than others who live in a city with buildings and high rises blocking the wind. Take this into consideration if you plan to get wind power for your home. Solar might be a better option depending on circumstances.
For the best results with portable wind power for the home, set up your to stand at least 15 or 20 feet above anything else to get the best wind exposure for electric power generation. Most units will require at least 8 miles per hour to start generating electricity and even so the output may not be what you expect. Check what materials were used in the construction of the wind power generator you purchase to make sure you get the most durable device for value. Lightweight aluminum models can make set up much easier and will be resistant to corrosion. Proper installation by professionals are usually required to make sure wind turbines work smoothly and to optimal performance.