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Solar Panels Versus Wind Turbines

January 30, 2019
All, Solar News

We are often asked which is better – solar modules or wind turbines. Of course, the answer is that it is not as simple as that. It’s not easy to state which technology is better, because both have their drawbacks and benefits. Which technology works best depends on the location and application of the system.

For larger scale applications – like for commercial scale power production for our national grid – wind turbines are the best solution. Larger scale wind turbines are effective and efficient and may be installed in various locations – including out at sea – comparatively rapidly. Unlike the earlier large turbines, modern-day turbines are pretty much silent. The biggest systems will produce around 2 megawatts of power – a sufficient amount to power more than 2,000 houses.

On small scale systems, turbines may be an excellent alternative to solar power. Yet, more often than not, they accomplish their best implemented with a solar system: a smaller wind turbine will produce electricity in a breeze even when the sun isn’t shining, while the solar modules will produce electricity in the daytime, even if the wind isn’t blowing.

Smaller wind turbines have downsides however and they are site specific. Compared with large turbines utilized by the power companies, smaller wind turbines aren’t efficient. And they must be located in a region of above average wind to produce reasonable quantities of power.

They also require a smooth airflow: the smaller turbines are prone to turbulence – therefore, if you reside close to a busy road, or close to trees, or inside a built-up area, a wind turbine isn’t likely to work well for you. Turbulent air – in which the wind is consistently changing direction – leaves the turbines frequently changing direction, frequently chasing the wind instead of taking power from it.

If you have plans to install a small turbine along with a solar electric system, a small turbine which produces a couple of watts of power at reduced wind speeds usually is better than a larger turbine which generates a lot of power at higher wind speeds.

Compared with solar, turbines are very location sensitive. Where most people may implement a smaller solar array in most locations and achieve success, the same can’t be said with turbines. Locate the proper site, and a turbine will be unbeatable. Locate the wrong site, however, and they can be a waste of time and money. For more information contact SunLynk today! We have the expertise to help you make the most of your potential for power generation.

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