Unlike solar energy, wind energy has traditionally been limited to large scale wind farms. Small micro turbines for homes have not yet been popular because of their poor return on investment and most have been noisy as well.
A new development by a Dutch start-up, called The Archimedes, is hopeful of bringing small scale wind power to homes, buildings and lamp posts too! The company’s new product Liam F1 is claimed to be silent and can generate around 1500 kWh of electrical energy per year at 5m/s wind speed. This is sufficient to cover half the energy costs of an average home. 1500 kWh means an electricity cost of around INR 7500 if your unit rate is INR 5.
This design is 80 percent efficient. The Nautilus shaped blades make the device align in the direction of the wind and help to capture most of the energy. This design also ensures that very less sound is produced. In case of traditional windmills, a pressure difference occurs in the front and back of the rotor blades. In the Liam F1, the pressure difference is created by the spiral blade to enhance performance. It works even when the wind blows at an angle of 60 degrees to the rotor. The conical shape helps it to align into the wind. removing the need for any complex software. They’re also planning to make smaller turbines that would solely power LED lamp-posts and small boats.
One slightly popular option at present is the Vertical Axis Turbines. These are often used on top of windy tall buildings. They are small in size and produce very less noise.
Advantages Of Wind Power:
- Free clean power
- Is available at all times unlike solar which is available only during the day
- Often doesn’t require batteries or bigger batteries as it can generate power at all times
- Requires smaller space than solar
Disadvantages Of Wind Power:
- No wind = no power, is area and weather dependent
- Fluctuation of output due to varying wind speed (batteries and net metering can address this issue)
- More energy generated at night when demand is lower
- Mechanical wear and tear
- Requires mounts and sturdy base
If you live in a windy area and have space, you should consider investing in a wind turbine solution.
Image Source: The Archimedes