Bamboo Jones Says...

Finding the balance between saving money and getting the job done right is always a juggling act. I want products that work without making me change my entire lifestyle or living standard. I want to be proud of how the equipment works and how it looks. If it means calling rusty tin cans spinning above my roof wind generators or wires running down through my windows from the solar panels– then I’ll have to keep looking for a better solution. Bamboo Jones Recommends

Monday, February 8, 2010

Do You Have Enough Wind For Your Wind Generators

To generate wind power you need wind speeds that exceed 8 MPH - ideally you would like an average wind speed of 12 MPH.  Now you don't need this all the time of course, but the more often you have wind the more often you will be generating wind power.  I know of wind projects - large wind farms in fact - that were designed knowing there would only be adequate wind 29 days a year.  If they get 32 days the investors are celebrating because of all the extra money sailing in (pun intended).  But for wind generators at home we would prefer more days to justify our efforts.

So - where can you look to get an idea if you have enough wind?  Try these links:

For USA: Click Here or Click Here

For Canada:  WUnderground Click Here

UK or Europe:  XCWeather Click Here

Australia:  WUnderground Click Here

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Since I'm in a small town in Colorado my specific data isn't available but i can do a little extrapolation.  Denver seems to average 8.7 MPH for the year.  Colorado Springs averages 10.0 MPH for the year.  And looking at the rest of the Colorado towns it appears that there is a good amount of wind most of the year.

One of the things I find surprising browsing through the data is that places I have always assumed were windy sometimes just aren't.  Wyoming has a reputation for wind, but when I look at Lander, WY I see they average less than Denver.  Cheyenne and Casper - they're begging for wind generators.

Make sure you do a web search on your area if you are not specifically listed.  Even though my city wasn't listed on the web site it turned out that Colorado State University had performed a 14 month study recently up here.  Sometimes you just get lucky.

In future articles we'll cover the next considerations for building and installing wind generators: power needs, storage, backup plans, etc. In the meantime if you are serious about building your own wind generators here is a source that has passed our tests and is probably one of the best out there for getting you started.

Not in an area with enough wind?  Then maybe it's time to consider solar.  Watch for that series of articles too.
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  1. The US Dept. of Energy has a site dedicated to Wind and Hydro with some useful information. You can drill down by state and I know they have guides for some of the states - maybe all of them. Wind Powering America!

  2. Thanks Mike, this is a valuable addition to the blog.. appreciate you taking the time.