I am often asked whether to install a wind energy or
solar energy system, for the most part it depends on your location. The guide
below is intended to run through some of the basics in making this choice.
The general advice is that, if you have a high enough average wind speed, then a
small wind turbine could be a better investment than a solar system. If you
don’t then it makes sense to buy a solar system.
It is important to know that both systems are supported currently by
governmental incentives. The times to payback your investment can range from
5-10yrs on both solar/wind technologies. The simplest, and most accurate way of
finding out which system suits your specific location is suitable for is by
performing a site assessment using one of the many products on the market
designed to do this job.
One device that we are familiar with is the Power Predictor, which was developed
over the past two years in the UK by Better Generation Ltd. The UK is a hub of
wind energy technology, and coming from a sector with such vast experience is a
The Power Predictor is a small and fairly inexpensive device that sits at the
location of the proposed wind turbine, and measures the wind speed continuously.
It gives you an average wind speed over the duration of an assessment. The
longer you do the measurement, the more accurate this will be at predicting your
future generating potential with wind power. The shortest possible time for you
to get a rough idea of the wind speed is 3 months, but it is recommended to test
your site for at least one year before rushing into buying a turbine.
You could end up saving a lot of time and money by testing your site properly.
Studies have shown that a well placed wind turbine can produce up to 20 times
more than the same one in a poorly chosen site. Therefore, it is in your best
interests to be patient, do your homework, and work out if a wind turbine is a
good investment. After all, there is no point in trying to be green, if it ends
up not benefiting the environment, or your pocket.
There are some overall pointers you should follow when considering which
system to buy. Wind turbines should be kept free of obstructions and mounted
as high as possible. Generally speaking the Golan, parts of the Galil,
Jerusalem, Negev, Haifa, and directly on the coast can be very good sites
for wind turbines. If your site is located in areas such as Be’er Sheva or
Tel Aviv, you can be fairly sure that a solar system is a better investment
as these are not particularly windy areas. There are specific turbines that
are suited to built-up area however, such as Leviathan’s products.
The first step should always be to test your site. If you are interested in
getting more information about the Power Predictor, click here. If you are
interested in buying a solar or wind system, or would just like advice
About the Author:
Daniel Gold is the founder and CEO of
Israsol (Israel), a Jerusalem based company that installs solar
photovoltaic and wind power systems throughout Israel. Israsol is available for
consultation on 0774550290, or visit them at
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