I. Resource Assessment - What Wind Zone is your location?
The first step is to determine your wind resource. Please see our Wind power section for a map of the average wind speeds for the USA. To spin most wind turbines, you'll need at least 9 mph average wind speeds. If you're choosing an AIR X that figure may be slightly lower. Other ways to check your average wind speeds, or contact your local weather, TV, radio station, or airport.
Check the height of local vegetation and other obstructions to ensure that your turbine will be free and clear to maximize wind speeds. Further, you will want to place your wind generator as high as possible.
II. Confirming if your site is appropriate and seeking county and/or city approval.
You have great chances of getting approval on a wind system if you live in a rural area rather than the city. Many cities allow towers of up to 30' and most counties approve of taller towers. However, you must first confirm that your proposed site will work.
A. Contact your city and/or county planning or zoning office. Request a copy of any zoning restrictions. Ask to speak to representatives and let them know what you are planning, and seek advice on the project.
B. Select the wind system which is right for you. Call or email us for a Solar & Wind Design Guide to help determine which site is right. Download the engineering documentation and manual for the tower you plan to use.
C. You will need this when submitting your documents for approval to the city or county.
III. Consult your electric bill and see how many Kilowatt-hours you use each month. (An American average, for example, is 1000 kWh's per month.) Each wind generator is rated by power, such as the Whisper 175 which is rated at 3,000 watts. However, to determine how much ENERGY is created (kWh's) by your wind generator you must know your average wind speed.
For example, with an average wind speed of 12 mphs, the Whisper 175 produces about 584 kWh's per month. If you used 1000 kWh's per month then the wind generator will produce about 58% of your loads demand.
Now you can input the following information for your site:
kWh's per month from your electric bill ______, Average Wind Speed from the links and maps above ________,
Wind generator's Energy rated output (spec. sheet) ______,
This critical information tells you approximately what to expect from a specific wind generator as a function of your electric demands.