Australia is home to some of the worlds windiest coastlines. With vastly untapped clean and renewable energy, why not use the available resources to their full advantage?
DIY Wind Generator
If you would like to build your own wind generator you can. You will need some basic tools and a thirst for DIY projects but with a little knowhow, some patience and the correct tools you can build yourself a fantastic homw wind generator.
What can I do with my wind generator?
Depending on your application, you can either feed the grid through the appropriate meter, power your own system from a generator or setup a hybrid system which can do both. Your wind generator will output around 12V which can be used to charge a bank of deep cycle lead acid batteries. These batteries can deliver high loads like kettles and heaters, so although you may only have a 300W wind turbine, by using a battery and a 2.4kW inverter, you can run a 2.4kW kettle from your home made wind turbine. As you are only running your kettle occasionally, you may well find that 300W is enough to power your household energy requirements.
12 Volt Systems
Inverters are expensive, and pure sine wave inverters can be extra pricey. Modified sine waveinverters are fine for most applications, however may reduce the life of electronic power supplies in computers and other sensitive electronic circuitry. It would be an advantage therefore to run a 12 volt system from deep cycle lead acid batteries. 12 volt halogen strip lighting is becoming increasingly popular with banks of 20W or 50W globes common installations. These are run from mains transformers which switch the voltage from 240VAC to 12VDC which adds cost to the lighting installation. Instead by running these lights directly from a 12V supply, we avoid the use of transformers or inverters. Unfortunately the availability of many domestic appliances which can be run from 12V sources is limited, so using an inverter may still be a neccessity, however by picking out what you can of the 12V appliances and lighting will save you money and energy, aswell as enabling the use of cheap renewable energy form a wind turbine or solar charging station.
Commerial Domestic Wind Turbines
You can also buy wind turbine packages which are premade. Just like an IKEA kit which you will need to put together, wind turbines which have a maximum output of around 300W are common and these come at a price of about $500 AU.
A typical Installation
If we presume that these will run at an average of 200W constantly, they will produce 24 x 200 x 0.001 kWhrs per day = 4.8kWhrs per day. At 20c per kWhr, these turbines make around $1 per day and will pay themselves off in only a couple of years, and this is before we consider the reduced cost from avoiding inverters for your halogen lights. By using LED lights, you can further reduce your power bill and as these come down in price we are seeing payoff periods of a few years now.
Wind Resources in Australia
Overlay source: Government Website