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curtwally 04-20-12 04:32 PM

wind power to direct indoor residential heat
Hi to the group.

Looking for suggestions. We live in cold (Dec to Feb.... northern Michigan) area and our property has high (very high) winds in early winter. It howls across the lake and hits us directly. For us on an annual basis heat is the high cost item which is natural gas furnace. In our subdivision we (I am sure) cannot have a 20ft. plus high wind turbine but I would like to explore opportunities for a low to the ground system that would convert directly to heat to supplement the gas fired furnace. Suggestions are welcome. Thanks curtwally

Ryland 04-21-12 10:58 PM

Rule of thumb is 50 feet above anything within 500 feet, so unless you have a very large flat chunk of lake front property it will not work, 12mph wind is really what you need to make it worth while and while you most likely have 12mph at 60 feet and for sure at 90 feet you most likely do not have that kind of energy in the wind at 20 feet.
However most zoning allows you to build a tower that the fall zone is on your property so as long as your lot is 100 feet by 100 feet there is often little that any cry babies can do to keep you from putting a 50 foot tower at the center of your lot.
but even if it's next to your house and 50 feet tall, a turbine that low will rip it's self apart in a few years because the wind speed at the top of the blade arc and at the bottom of the blade arc are drastically different that it will cause vibration and noise and the vibration will cost you money and the noise will annoy people so with a taller tower it will be quieter and be a better investment.

sunspot 04-22-12 12:03 PM

Windpower for electricity.

Solar thermal for heat.

Heat is a poor use of electricity.

RobertSmalls 04-22-12 07:25 PM

From a theoretical perspective, the most efficient way to heat a house with wind is to have a windmill gather torque which drives the shaft of a heat pump.

From a practical perspective, Ryland is right: the good wind is up high, and wind power is best left to those with >100ft towers. It's not as fun, but my utility lets me buy wind power for $0.12/kWh, which is FAR cheaper than I could generate it myself.

Xringer 04-22-12 09:51 PM

I just looked up Ironwood, Michigan (MI 49938) profile
and according to the "Average climate in Ironwood, Michigan" charts, I wouldn't want to live there! :p

Do you have enough yard space for a ground source heat pump?

If not, a good air source heat pump (Inverter Mini-split) will work pretty well
most of the time. Just not so well when it gets down to single digits.
That's when that gas will come in real handy.

You could some use solar PV for power during the day, but it's likely more expensive than the grid.
(Due to installation cost).

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