When most people think of an alternative energy solution for their homes, they normally picture a collection of solar panels mounted on the roof. While solar power is by far the most popular choice among homeowners, wind power is catching up quickly. Most modern wind power systems can provide quite a bit of free power for your home using nothing more than a passing breeze for fuel. These systems have matured to the point where they present a reliable and cost effective alternative to solar power and can be installed in a few hours on most homes.

The biggest challenge with most residential wind power systems in the past was their design, which limited the amount of power they could generate and where they could be used. Because these older systems were really smaller versions of commercial wind power systems, they needed a strong and consistent wind to operate and this was difficult to find in many neighborhoods. In an effort to reach this wind, these older systems needed to be elevated very high up in the air, which required an expensive and unsightly tower. This tower added substantial cost to the average wind power system and would also occasionally generate complaints from neighbors. All of these issues made the installation of one of these older systems a fairly complex and expensive decision.

Because the turbines used in these newer wind power systems have been completely redesigned to be smaller and more efficient, most of the problems with the older systems have been eliminated. The smaller turbines used in these newer systems can handle the lower velocity and mostly inconsistent wind found in these residential settings and allows you to eliminate the need for a tower. Also, because of their smaller design, most of these newer wind turbines can be mounted right to the roof of the home, which lowers the installation costs and makes them easier to service.

In addition to all of these improvements, the turbines used in these newer wind power systems are more efficient as well. Their blade designs have been improved and now accommodate the use of stronger and lighter materials that allow them to spin faster and harvest even the slightest breeze. This means that they are actually spinning for most of the day unlike older systems that spent most of their time idle because of their large wind requirements. Another improvement to these new wind power systems involves the generator used in the turbine. These have been improved as well and can produce far more power than older models could for a given rotation of the blades. This allows these new wind power systems to extract even more power from an average wind and turn it into power that you can use in your home.

The final advantage that a wind power system enjoys over a solar power system is the fact that unlike solar, wind power can operate around the clock as long as a breeze is blowing. Even though solar power can generate more energy for your home when operating, it is inactive for more than half of an average day. In contrast, wind power can supply power for your home’s use well into the evening. This makes wind power a great solution for your home on its own, or combined with a smaller solar power system for even more free energy. Many recent alternative energy systems are being installed with portions of both wind and solar power to provide all the electricity the home needs each month and allows the homeowner to eliminate their power bill completely.