The variety of alternative ways of power supply for summer houses and country houses poses a difficult choice to the owners. Solar or wind energy – which is better and more appropriate? In order not to waste time on painful thoughts, many solve the problem simply – combine both options in one system. However, this method is not always acceptable, and you have to choose one or the other. The following information will help you navigate, based on the positive sides and the results of the comparative characteristics of each solution.
The use of solar energy in the world is gaining momentum. Low price, simplicity and ease of construction attract many supporters of alternative energy supply. The more that today you can profitably order solar panels, choosing any of dozens of models of different size, capacity and cost. It remains to spend a little time on the assembly – and the device is ready to supply electricity to a small device or a whole house, depending on the operating parameters.
Among the undoubted advantages of solar panels should be noted:
- Reliability and durability. Uncomplicated construction with a good margin of safety, factory-assembled by a proven manufacturer, will last more than 20 years. It easily withstands difficult weather conditions, is not afraid of water due to reliable sealing and withstands gusts of wind due to the strong metal frame.
- Easy installation that even a novice home handyman can easily cope with. With the help of standard fasteners, you can easily install the battery on the roof of the house or on the site, calculating in advance the trajectory of the sun and the angle of incidence of its rays.
- Minimal maintenance costs. You only need to periodically wipe the glass surface, removing dust and traces of precipitation.
As for the negative aspects of using solar energy, they are all related to the peculiarities of the climate:
- Due to the reduction of sunlight during the cold season, power generation is reduced by 5-10 times in the middle belt and by 2-3 times in the southern regions of the country. Thus, a prolonged sequence of overcast days can leave a facility without power supply. Therefore, as a backup source of electricity, will have to use a regular generator or use a wind turbine.
- A similar problem awaits the owner in the summer, if the number of overcast days is greater than the number of days with clear weather. The reduction in the amount of electricity generation can be up to 20%, which will adversely affect the operation of sensitive equipment. The solution is high-capacity batteries, which can last for several days.
Wind turbines: always ready to go
Those who live in windy regions, should pay attention to wind turbines. If you want, you can make them yourself or choose one of the wind turbine models, where all parts are fully assembled and do not require revision. Provided the wind force is stable – medium or high – it will be possible to get a significant amount of free electricity. These are mountainous and steppe areas, the coast of major rivers and seas. In other areas, the wind is unstable, and its strength may not be enough to start the wind generator.
An important advantage of the device – its performance regardless of the time of day, season and amount of precipitation. A wind speed of about 10-12 m/s is the only thing that is needed to rotate the blades. But:
- Average wind speeds are much lower in much of the country, and a wind turbine will only operate at 5-10% of its rated capacity.
- To get access to the strong wind, you need to use a mast of at least 25 meters in height, so that it does not interfere with the growing nearby trees or other houses. Such a design significantly increases the cost of energy received because of its high price, questioning the feasibility of using a wind generator.
Also, among the disadvantages of the device should be noted the following points.
- Doubtful reliability of small wind turbines. Offering customers the most affordable price, they can not please the owners with reliability and long-term operation.
- The cost of annual maintenance, without which the wind turbine will quickly fall into disrepair.
- High risk of blades and rotating shaft freezing in conditions of heavy precipitation and low air temperature.
- The whistling sound, accompanying the rotation of the blades, causes considerable inconvenience. In addition, we should not forget about infrasound, which is produced by powerful devices in high winds. According to scientific studies, with constant exposure, it has a negative impact on human health and well-being.
Wind turbines or solar panels: which is better in terms of feasibility
The main advantages of the purchase, which draws the attention of most consumers:
- Practical usefulness of alternative energy supply in specific conditions.
If your region often has strong winds, a good wind generator will provide a quality power supply. Otherwise, the device will not justify itself, giving only a little electricity for small household devices. In turn, solar panels work in almost all conditions, and even in cloudy weather a certain amount of electricity is supplied to the object. An entire house or a few appliances – the variability in the size of the panels will allow you to choose the most appropriate model.
- The cost of an alternative power source.
While the cost of solar panels is steadily falling, the prices of wind turbines remain stable. Given the ease of installation and the duration of operation, we can safely talk about the obvious benefits of solar energy.
- Payback on the cost of purchasing and operating the equipment.
And in this matter, wind turbines can not boast of advantages. The high cost of construction, maintenance costs – all this is justified only in regions with strong winds, where even the most powerful and expensive installation will quickly pay off. For less powerful models in normal climatic conditions, to talk about payback is not necessary. In turn, solar panels are much cheaper and only slightly inferior to wind turbines in efficiency. Their average payback period – 7-10 years, depending on the climatic characteristics of the region.
What is better: a wind turbine or solar panels?
Considering the above, we can safely talk about the advantages of solar panels for private households. If you want to get the most free electricity, it is worth thinking about the simultaneous use of a wind turbine generator and solar panels in the overall energy system of the facility.