Wind turbines Versus Solar panels

Wind Turbines Versus Solar Panels

In this article, we are discussing the debate wind turbines versus solar panels. Hence helping you decide on which power source you are likely going to adopt in terms of cost, efficiency and usage.

A solar panel is a group of solar cells that are neatly set out in a grid-like design on the top of panels which helps to convert the free and never-ending sun rays into electricity. While a wind turbine is a rotating machine invented to replace the wind mills that can be used to grind and produce electricity from the kinetic power of wind.

In a world where people consume a lot of energy for different purposes, everyone wants to use the best renewable, cost effective and a type of energy that will not affect the environment negatively. Without doubt; Wind turbines and Solar panels are one of the best renewable energy you can find.

As much as these two types of energy producing devices reduce the dependence on fossil fuel, they tend to be more useful than each other in specific areas. Making decisions on the best one to choose from might be a daunting task. Nonetheless, we have made an extensive research on which of them suits certain functions to help you make a better decision.

 

Hybrid power system

An illustration of a typical solar-wind power system

How Do the Two Energy Sources Compare?

Wind Turbines and Solar Panels might both produce green energy but they have a few differences. Ideally, we would like to highlight below

Cost

One of the most important factors that determine whether you will be using the solar panels or wind turbines is price. No matter how fantastic they might be, if you cannot afford them, there is really no use of them to you. Below is little breakdown on the average cost of installing any of these green energy producers that might guide you to choose the perfect one for you.

 Solar Panels

solar Panels

The price of Solar panels might still look high but they are beginning to drop since more people are embracing them and companies are beginning to produce more of them. The average cost of a solar panel used around the home that produces 4 KW of electricity is within $ 8400 to $10,000. With a solar panel of this range, you can expect it to generate electricity up to 3,200 kWh per annum provided you set up the panels in the right way.

Maintaining the solar panels is also quite cost effective because once they are set up, they do not require a lot of cleaning. In fact, you can use them for years without having to clean them since rain fall sometimes during the year. Finally, you can easily expand or upgrade the modules of solar panels. There are no technicalities involved as all you need to do, is to add additional panels whenever you want to.

Wind Turbines

Wind-turbines

 

The cost of installing Wind turbines is quite high compared to that of solar panels. A 10 KW Turbine can cost $40,000 or more without shipping and cost of installation. Which is $16,000 compared to the $10,000 average cost of 4 KW generating solar panels.

Maintenance and operational costs of the wind turbines which consists of insurance cost, regular maintenance, repair and spare parts tend to be very high. They can use up to 25 percent of the total cost leveled per kWh over the Lifespan of the turbine. This cost can also increase to about 35% as the turbine ages.


Efficiency

Solar panels and Wind turbines are fantastic energy producers. However, you should use them in the right ways to be able to maximize their use. Their efficiency depends greatly on geographical locations and weather conditions.  You should choose the one that will serve you better given the conditions of locations you might find yourself.

Solar Panels

Photo-voltaic solar panel efficiency determines the amount of energy it should produce per the amount of sunlight hitting its cells. Most of the solar panels being produced today have an energy efficiency rating of around 15 percent or higher; this is the percentage of solar power that can be generated into electricity. The space you have available to place your solar panels should determine how efficient your solar panels should be. For example, if you have a limited space, you should be able to get the more efficient type of panels. On the other hand, if there is more than enough space, you can buy the less efficient panels. You might have to buy more though.

Solar panels might not be able to generate as much power as the wind turbines. However, these devices can work anywhere be it densely populated areas or areas with large population and tall buildings provided the sun shines there. Unfortunately, the solar panels cannot generate energy at night and the only power you get to use is the one saved during the day.

Wind Turbines

Turbines are very efficient devices for generating power. Their carbon Dioxide emission is lower than that of the Solar panels. In addition, Wind turbines consume less power and create more energy compared to solar panels. Putting energy generation in context, one wind turbine can generate the exact amount of electricity per hour as over 47,000 solar panels.

Wind Turbines can also generate power all around the clock. Wind can blow at any time be it day or at night making it a very efficient power generator. As much as these devices can create energy at any time, they do not generate power properly in every location. For example, they do not work well in densely populated or urban areas due to the presence of tall buildings which distort the flow of wind. Also, there might be a situation where the wind is not stable. There might be situations where the changing of the direction of the Turbine blade occurs occasionally. As a result, this will make the turbine not generating any power from it.


Usage in Farms and Homes

Be it domestic or commercial use, solar panels and wind turbines can work well in both areas. Nonetheless, they are better than each other in this aspect. We will try to give a brief insight on the best usage of both in the subsequent paragraphs.

Solar Panels
Xtreme + thin film solar panels

Integrated Residential Roof System, Japan

Solar Panels are more suitable for use at home. No matter your area of residence, be it rural or urban, your panel will work well. After all, it will generate enough electricity that can help you run your home smoothly. Provided you can upgrade your solar panels to suit your needs, there is virtually nothing stopping you from enjoying green energy at the comfort of your homes.

Wind Turbines
Wind Turbines in farms

Texas Wind Turbines farm, USA

Wind turbines can generate serious power suitable for commercial purpose. Again, you should have enough space and there are no giant structures that can distort the flow of wind or slow it down. This means the wind turbines will generate more energy when they are used on farms. Naturally, a farm will have a large expanse of land which will enable the wind turbine to work more efficiently.


Conclusion

Both wind and solar energies are widely regarded as the future. However, both are quite different. Your eventual pick would most likely be chosen based on your needs and personal preference. While wind turbines are known for their incredible efficiency, solar panels come out on top when it comes to durability, warranty, economy, and maintenance. So, are you confused about which one to choose between both options? We hope our article will help you make the best decision.

Interested in solar systems?

Don’t miss out on reading our absolute buyer’s guide:
17 things you need to know before buying a solar system .

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