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
- 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!