- Determine how much electricity you use and what it costs, annually and by the kilowatt -hour . Then, find ways to make your home more efficient and reduce your energy use. Start by calculating your average electricity bill. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides some rules of thumb in its Small Wind Electric Systems: A U.S. Consumer’s Guide http://energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy Then, conduct an energy audit of your home to identify ways of using energy more efficiently and ways of reducing energy use. United Cooperative Services offers free energy audits to its members. Implementing energy efficiency opportunities will almost always offer a quicker return on your investment and additionally may enhance the viability of a wind turbine project through a lower capital expense associated with a smaller turbine that will satisfy the new lower energy load. This could lower your electricity bill significantly. http://seiremc/content/home-energy-audit#
- Determine your site suitability and wind resource. Most experts recommend that you have at least one acre of land if you are considering the installation of a small wind system. Smaller parcels may be suitable if adequate tower setbacks can be achieved. Examine your site for potential turbulence. When wind flows around buildings, trees, and other structures in the landscape, it slows down or becomes turbulent. A wind turbine should be placed in a location where turbulence is minimized. It also should be placed upwind of buildings and trees. In addition, you should determine the “roughness”—the terrain and density of vegetation on the landscape—within a radius equal to 20 times the tower height, in the prevailing wind direction. http://apps2.eere.energy.gov/wind/windexchange/wind_resource_maps.asp?stateab=in
- Determine estimated installed cost of system and calculate return on investment. A rule of thumb for estimating the cost of a small wind system is $4–$10 per installed watt. The total installed cost is the cost of the wind generator and tower plus the cost of permitting, installation, and interconnection to the grid. The payback for a small wind system is the amount of time it takes for the system to pay for itself in energy savings.
Graph reflects KWH produced * .132 (cost per kwh)