Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

ASK THE EXPERTS: Tying a Home Wind Turbine to the Grid?

From time to time, we here at ChelseaGreen.com will get a question from a reader that leaves us scratching our heads. Sure, the experts that comprise Chelsea Green Publishing’s Web department know where all the good swimmin’ holes are, and when it comes to hard cider, why, we’re all over that. But sometimes there are questions that can’t be answered with commonsense folksiness or even alcohol.

That’s when we turn to our stable of expert authors, each one an authority in his or her chosen field—from organic farming to high finance and just about everything in between.

Our question today comes from reader Scott F. and concerns sustainable home heating. Fielding the query is Greg Pahl, author of a number of sustainable energy books, including Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options and The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis.

Are there any wind turbines ready for the mainstream? I’m looking into alternative energy sources for my home. I read on your site that wind power can be used to heat a home. What about lighting and electricity? Can a home wind turbine be combined with the grid in any way?
—Scott F.

Scott,

Yes, there are a number of wind turbines that are ready for the mainstream. Companies such as Bergey Windpower (www.bergey.com), Abundant Renewable Energy (www.abundantre.com), and Southwest Windpower (www.windenergy.com), all have good, solid turbines for the residential market.

While using wind power for heating a home is not a common strategy, using it to generate electricity for lighting and many other purposes is widespread in both off-grid and grid-tied settings. New net metering laws and regulations in at least 29 states make connecting a wind powered system to the grid relatively straightforward these days. See: http://apps3.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/resources/maps/netmetering_map.shtml for additional information on which states are included.
—Greg Pahl

 

Related articles:


The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..

A Man Apart: Remembering Bill Coperthwaite’s Radical Life

A Man Apart is the story—part family memoir and part biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow’s longtime friendship with Bill Coperthwaite (A Handmade Life), whose unusual, and even radical, life and fierce ideals helped them examine and understand their own. Framed by Coperthwaite’s sudden death and brought alive through the month-long adventure of building with […] Read More..