Solar Power vs. Wind Power Pros and Cons

After doing some research on renewable energy systems or alternative energy systems as many will call them, I wanted to get the information out there as far as the advantages and disadvantages of the 2 main renewable energy systems, wind turbine generators and photovoltaic solar panels.

Both solar panel and wind generator systems are similar as far as how they are setup. You can have the wind generator grid tied or off grid, same as solar panels. Both the solar panel (photovoltaic panel) and wind generator will need a battery bank if you are using an off grid system. Both of these renewable energy systems will produce clean energy and help the environment as well as save you money in your home!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Generator Systems and Solar Panel Systems

Now onto some of the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative energy system. None of this information is from my own personal experience as I do not have the financial funds to support the research. So the information about these renewable energy systems have came from researching the internet, talking to people that have these alternative energy systems, and of course some calculations of my own (prices, efficiency, etc.).

Wind Turbine Generator System Pros and Cons

The main advantage of wind generator is that they can produce electricity day or night as long as there is wind. Wind generators need less space on your land to produce sufficient electricity. Wind generators are able to produce more electric for the same price. If you spend $1,000.00 on wind generator you can produce 1kW – 2kW, with solar panels you may only produce around .5kW – .75kW with the same $1,000.00. Wind generators have moving parts, so there is always wear and tear on these moving parts. Bearings can go bad, propeller blades can be struck by objects, and heat may be generated. Your wind generator will be installed on a tower or pole of some sort to gain height where there is more wind, allowing lighting to possibly strike your wind generator. As wind hits the propeller blades there will be noise created, think of a fan and how they sound, or even taking a rope and swinging it fast in circles. You will get some of this noise from your wind generator. The propellers of the wind generator can also produce shadows flickering. Birds can get killed from flying into your wind generator’s propellers. There are vertical wind generators which will prevent this. So the quick break down of the wind generator system:

Pros of Wind Turbine Generator Systems

  • Produce electricity day or night
  • Less space taken up by the wind generator system
  • Produce more electricity
  • Cost less

Cons of Wind Turbine Generator Systems

  • More maintenance
  • Moving parts wear out
  • Lighting strikes
  • Propeller noise
  • Shadows flickering
  • Hazard to birds

Photovoltaic Solar Panel System Pros and Cons

Solar panel systems are pretty much maintenance free, after installation only thing I’d recommend is cleaning them. Just like windows in your home, they will collect dirt and dust which will block sunlight from entering the solar cells. You can add more solar panels to an existing solar system easily to produce more electricity. Solar panels need direct sunlight to produce electricity, so during shady hours or night time, you produce little or no power. Solar panels are a little more costly. You can not stack solar panels so each panel will have to be side by side taking up more space or land. Baseballs, rocks, etc. can chip, crack, or break solar panels.

Pros of Photovoltaic Solar Panel System

  • Almost maintenance free
  • Add more panels easily

Cons of Photovoltaic Solar Panel Systems

  • Need cleaned
  • Generate electricity only in good sunlight
  • Expensive
  • Takes up more space or land
  • Break, chip, or crack from baseballs, rocks, etc.

Which Renewable System is Best for Me

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of wind generators and solar panel systems you can decide which system is best for you. If live closer to the equator or have lots of open room with lots of sunlight, solar panels will probably work best for you. If you have lots of birds in your area, solar panel system may be best in your home. If you don’t mind the noise or shadows flickering and don’t mind having to replace a few parts every now and then wind generators are probably your best option. There are also a few links I will find and post from NASA, that shows wind and sun for different areas. So you can see what is more abundant in your area, sun or wind. As for myself, I want to have a system with both solar panels and wind generator, so I can get the best of both. After doing so I will also report back here to give my own feedback of which is better.

I hope this information on solar panel systems and wind generator systems has helped you decide which alternative energy system is best for you. After you know which alternative electrical system you are going to use, you can read How Many Watts Do I Need to Generate to calculate how many watts you need. If you have any questions or comments, please ask below. Have a great day and remember to come back for more information on how to go green and save money!


14 Responses to “Solar Power vs. Wind Power Pros and Cons”

  1. How Many Watts Do I Need to Generate | Go Green in Your Home Says:

    […] Green Products « Solar Power vs. Wind Power Pros and Cons […]

  2. abel mahlangu Says:

    both r seriously needed

  3. Roberto Waterston Says:

    Well said, but people need to acknowledge that adding Solar on their property is an purchase that will raise the future valuation of their building if / when they make a choice to sell. With the environment the way it is going we are not able to underestimate any item that presents free power at no cost to both the customer and more notably the world!

  4. Jessie Says:

    Great article, but if I were to choose. i go with solar, because no animals get hurt and its easy to mentain..

    ..Electricsaver1200

  5. Ton Duijndam Says:

    I read your artcile comparing wind versus solar energy. I have not studied wind energy recently but am a solar panel owner for 3 years now. Some comments about cons on Solar I would like to stress the following. There is NO need for cleaning, daylight is sufficient to start generating electricity now a days and solar panels on a roof do not require any extra space. Otherwise interesting to read you article. Cheers Ton.

  6. Go Green In Your Home Says:

    Ton,
    Thanks for the information, does low light still provide full power generation? I haven’t used any newer solar panels. How do you use your solar panels? Off grid, battery storage bank, etc. Would love seeing comments off people’s setups and their experiences.

  7. Francisco Says:

    Great article! Thanks Ton!
    One more thing about solar panels, depending on how you put solar panels on your roof, it can add a cover (shadow) to your home, making it cooler (should you consider if you want that or not for your home)

  8. Daniel Waldner Says:

    I like both solar and wind But to me solar is boring
    A wind turbine is for a guy who likes to work on it and keep it running its in the blood to be a handy man
    Solar panels sit and stare at the sun

  9. Anna Smidt Says:

    I completely think that wind energy is better thy solar power. Sure solar power is good but not as great when it comes to producing electricity. As far as I care birds should watch where they are going.

  10. Ed B Says:

    I am concerned with the toxicity to make the Solar Cells. This is often overlooked. I am against Solar Until there is a cleaner solution to manufacturing the cells. For now I prefer wind.

  11. Chupacabras Says:

    The only green i care about is the one in my pocket wind power is too expensive to build maintain and process to the actual consumer me. Therefore rates will sky rocket id rather own my own windmill and coat my roof with solar panels and have the utility company pay me for producing energy in other words wind power farms are a gigantic waste of money eyesore which im sure will be destroyed in a storm or rotted away quickly by saltwater

  12. Scientist Says:

    Personally I have an off-grid solar system powering my house and this has been running for over a year now.
    I would be two years next month with no issues whatsoever.
    My major issue with wind power are moving parts. I am a DIY person but, how often do I want power off my house?
    I increase my capacity as often as I can without have to do much just climb the roof, mount and hold panels in place then connect to my local grid to boost supply.
    We all have our opinions and I respect that a lot.

  13. Bill cipher Says:

    i beleive wind is better because they really do take up less space plus its good to look back as a kid to remember watching those turbines turn on a family trip to the beach

  14. Go Green In Your Home Says:

    Scientist (Kevin),
    Thanks for the information. Always great to hear from people using these energy systems. Have your solar panels paid themselves off yet? How many watts are you generating? Thanks!

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