Electricity produced by Land Wind Turbines can be used directly, as in water pumping applications, or it can be stored in batteries for household usage. Wind generators can be used alone, or they may be used as part of a hybrid system, in which their output is combined with that of solar panels, and /or a fossil fuel generator. Hybrid systems are especially useful for winter backup of home systems where cloudy weather and windy conditions occur simultaneously.

Land Wind TurbinesThe most important decision when considering wind power is determining whether or not your chosen site has enough wind to generate the power for your needs, whether it is available consistently, and if it is available in the season that you need it.

The power available from the wind varies as the cube of the wind speed. If the wind speed doubles, the power of the wind (the ability to do work) increases 8 times. For example, a 10 mile per hour wind has one eighth the power of a 20 mile per hour wind.   (10 x 10 x 10 = 1000 versus 20 x 20 x 20 = 8000)

One of the effects of the cube rule is that a site which has an average wind speed reflecting wide swings from very low to very high velocity may have twice or more the energy potential of a site with the same average which experiences little variation. This is because the occasional high wind packs a lot of power into a short period of time. Of course, it is important that that this occasional high wind come often enough to keep your batteries charged.

Wind speed data is often available from local weather stations or airports, as well as the US Dept. of Commerce, National Climate Center in Asheville, NC.