Wind Turbines for Container Houses

mini-wind-turbine-container-home

What Kind of Wind Turbines for Container Houses are There?

We are all familiar with gigantic, multi-MW power wind turbines dotting usually scenic landscapes. It is much less known that these days there are also available small wind turbines designed for individual customers. Here is the information about wind turbines for container houses.

Small Wind Turbine energy generator container home

Wind turbines can provide a reliable and sustainable source of energy for your home, but it’s important to choose the right type for your specific needs. Here are some of the most common types of wind turbines for off-grid homes.

Horizontal-axis wind turbines

Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs)

are the most common type of wind turbine used for residential applications. They have a large rotor with blades that rotate around a horizontal axis, and they can generate power in winds ranging from 5-25 miles per hour (mph). HAWTs can produce a lot of power, but they can also be quite large and noisy.

Hybrid wind turbines

Hybrid wind turbines combine both horizontal and vertical axis designs, allowing them to generate power in a wider range of wind speeds. They can be more efficient than either HAWTs or VAWTs alone, and they can be a good choice for off-grid homes in areas with unpredictable wind patterns.

Portable wind turbines

Portable wind turbines are smaller turbines that can be easily transported and set up in different locations. They can be a good choice for off-grid homes that are located in areas with varying wind patterns, or for those who want to use wind power for camping or other outdoor activities.

Micro wind turbines

Micro wind turbines are the smallest type of wind turbine and are typically used to supplement other renewable energy sources, such as solar power. They can be a good choice for off-grid homes with limited space or for those who want to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine

In contrast to industrial behemoths characterized by large blades rotating along horizontal axes, in small, few hundred Watts units, blades have vertical axes of rotation. For this reason, they are often called VAWTs (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine(s)). Thanks to little installed power and vertical rotation, VAWTs are small (about 2-3m/6 to 10ft tall), and make little noise, so they are ideal sources of energy for an off-grid house. Well, it probably wouldn’t be a straightforward process in residential areas (the biggest problem will be getting the relevant permit), but most likely an easy task in the low-populated countryside and in remote areas.

The main advantage of local wind turbines comes from the fact that even in only moderately “windy” areas, they will almost continuously generate electrical energy. Probably not on a 24/7- basis but certainly at least 50% of the time (that’s what show statistics for Southern California). This is a significantly higher operating time window than any PV-based system can achieve. And even more important: moving North from the equator (South on the southern hemisphere) will decrease the amount of available solar energy, but it will not impact (at least so drastically) the strength of winds.

To put it into numbers – a 500W turbine working continuously for 12 hours (50% windy conditions) will generate 6kWh of electrical energy (let’s put aside for a moment the efficiency of transmission, conversion, and storing losses). This is a quite conservative estimation because at many locations it will be reasonable to assume that the energy can be generated day and night, regardless of latitude, season, and weather (clouds, rain…). The only condition is wind (but even a breeze will do it).

Typically, the initial cost of a wind turbine is lower, than the cost of PV-solar panels generating a comparable amount of energy per day. Additional savings may also come from downsized Batteries. In contrast to solar power (generation takes place only during the day, and any heavy clouds or rain can disrupt it for days), the wind is a much more predictable and rather continuous event. For this reason, the bank of batteries in wind-generated power systems does not need to be as oversized as the one supporting PV systems, and so it will cost significantly less.

Semtive-Energy-wind-turbine off grid

Nemoi VAWT designed by Semtive Energy can power a 4-person family house at wind speeds of just 10 -to-13 mph (16 -to-21 km/h).

Semtive-Energy-wind-turbines-02

 Semtive wind turbines have a quite reasonable size.
Source: SingularityHub

It may be worth mentioning that small Helix-type and VAWTs wind turbines do not generate excessive, disturbing noise. Thanks to that, wind energy made inroads into the RV Off-grid industry as can be seen below.

Wind turbine container house
An example from the RV industry: sCarabane is powered by solar panels and wind turbines (here visible as green-and-grey helix structure on the roof).
Source: sCarabane Off-Grid RV

 

Practical aspects of Wind-Energy

a) The main advantage of vertical wind turbines is that they are small and less noisy, so they can be installed almost everywhere without major legal and aesthetic headaches. The main disadvantage – by operating close to the ground level they do not harness the full energy of wind available in the given weather conditions. Technically speaking, the wind-generated power is proportional to the rotor’s “Swept Area” (the area over which blades can capture the wind energy). It’s expected that smaller blades will harvest less energy.

However, what drastically increases the effectiveness of any wind turbine is the speed of captured wind (generated power is proportional to wind speed “V” with an exponent of 3). So, for example, if the wind speed increases 2 times, the generated energy will increase 8 times (23). At low elevations, due to numerous “obstacles” like homes, trees, and even bush, the wind’s flow is “turbulent” and its speed is reduced). At higher elevations above the ground, the wind flow is more uniform, steady, and faster, so assuming the same overall weather conditions (the same moment of the day), there are more available wind energy blades that can capture.

Wind-Obstruction-EnergyGov-off grid
Impact of obstacles on the flow of winds (turbulences close to ground level but laminar flow at higher elevations). Source: WindExchange (Government Agency).

b.) Typically, small turbines will start to generate power at wind speeds starting at about 13km/h (8mph). Before committing to the project, it is suggested to get familiar with statistical data for wind flow at a location of interest (State Wind Maps). In general, it’s not an easy task, as a starting point you may use common sense (shore locations and flat areas are usually windy), the terrain’s profile, etc.

Legal Issues

 

While remote areas may have fewer problems related to the community (aesthetics, noise, safety, etc), you will still need permission from local authorities and (in the case of bigger and taller structures) , from Environmental Protection Agency. Fortunately, small wind turbines are much more environmentally friendly (especially for local wildlife) and almost do not have a visual impact compared to familiar mega-power towers.

Wind Turbines for Container Houses – Conclusion:

Choosing the right wind turbine for your off-grid home will depend on a variety of factors, including your energy needs, location, and budget. It’s important to do your research and work with a qualified installer to ensure that you choose the best option for your specific situation. With the right wind turbine, you can enjoy reliable and sustainable energy for your off-grid home for years to come.

 

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