Wind power generator or alternator setups are a lot less expensive than solar panels but much more complex.
A stable voltage is the biggest problem. With solar panels the voltage output is vary stable, with wind generation the faster the blades on the system spin the greater the voltage output as well as current(amps)..
Also with wind there is a tower that needs to be constructed to raise the blades up where the wind is not turbulent.
Advantages of generating power with the wind.
A very small amount of space is needed to generate the same amount of power, as compared to solar. Where as solar panels can take up a lot of space to generate the desired amount of power a wind generator can produce a greater amount of power, with in reason, with only an increase in the size of the tower, which is vertical and the size of the blades.
Also the power output of the unit is not directly related to the size of the unit. Surface area of solar panels is directly related to power output. A 100 watt wind generator is about the same size as a 1000 watt unit comparable to solar panels.
Disadvantages of wind power.
Usable energy is energy that one can readily use. Home power production need an energy source that is setup for the consumer products that will be used in the home. That means 12 or 24 volts DC(direct current) or 120 more or less ac(alternating current). Solar Panels lend themselves to producing a constant voltage over a wide range of conditions, their current changes. But a circuit will only use as much current as it needs if the voltage is correct.
Wide range of voltage output.
Wind power uses ether a generator or an alternator to produce the power, who's voltage changes with the current. The faster the turbine spins the greater the voltage and current output of the unit. The alternator in your car uses almost 40% of the power it creates in regulating the voltage to around 14 volts. Newer cars may have corrected this problem with electronics due to energy conservation needs.
How your car's alternator controls voltage output.
Here's how your car alternator controls it's voltage output, the magnets used in the alternator are electro magnets fed first by the battery then once the engine is running by the alternators own power. If your going 70 miles an hour the alternator is spinning very fast so only a bit of voltage is applied to the electromagnet's windings, causing the alternator to continue producing around 14 volts, if your stopped in traffic the alternator is spinning slowly and a greater amount of current is applied to the windings and a greater amount of output is produced per turn of the alternator and voltage is maintained around 14 volts. But that's a lot of power wasted!
By using permanent magnets in our alternator design we save a lot of energy for productive use. But regulating the voltage becomes an incredible problem. With the power of rare earth magnets our output can range from zero volts(no wind) to, lets make up a number, a thousand volts(high wind). You can see the problem if your using 12 volt batteries. Most commercial wind systems are designed in a manner that just reaching the required voltage for charging is difficult depending on most locations. But there are many time even these system will produce very high voltages that could damage your batteries and electronics if there are high winds.
How batteries work.
The problem stems from how batteries work. If you have a 12 volt battery, you will need 12 volts minimum to charge the battery. If your wind generator is producing only 11 volts your dead in the water. Power may even be leaking back through the generator. On the other hand most batteries are designed to take a charge with no more then around 15 volts, any more will damage the battery. Regulating a voltage who's range is between zero and one thousand volts is no easy task. These huge wind power towers have a great deal of problems with converting this power to usable energy. But a power company has great amounts of money to use in the rectification of these problems.
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