For years homeowners have been reluctant to embrace wind power. The turbines haven’t been attractive and solar has been a primary focus. But that is changing.
As battery technologies have improved, enthusiasts of the passive house trend are adding wind power to the overall energy creation mix for their homes. And these aren’t the old fan turbines you may think of. Wind turbines are increasingly finding efficiency in designs that are sleek and sculptural and in some cases are able to be integrated into the architecture of the home, or serve as an artistic element in the landscape, as is the case with a recent passive house build just outside San Diego, California.
The house, which was recently featured on Inhabitat, incorporates one of these sleeker looking wind turbines. Sure the house has solar, but it gains in energy generation by adding wind power to the mix. The turbine is made of three blades that arc in a twisting fashion to lend to high efficiency power generation.
The builder, Alliance Green Builder, was able to take the house off-the-grid and achieve a LEED Platinum certification for the project. The unique location of the house presents some challenges. Located on a hilltop in Romana, California, temperatures sometimes drop below freezing in the winter and are often in excess of 100 degrees in the heat of the summer. However, this top of the hill location is precisely what’s great for a wind turbine.
The house is run off a battery system with power generated from renewable energy on-site. The wind turbine is able to generate 2.3 kW and is expected to generate power almost every day throughout the year at a minimum of 12 hours a day. The bulk of the energy production will still come from solar as the array is able to generate 44,000 kWh per year in energy.
Another notable use of wind power is TV host, Jay Leno’s garage in Burbank, CA. Again, as is the case here, the turbine waines from the typical fan style to be more aesthetically integrated into the architecture.
The house also benefits from many energy efficient elements such as an energy recovery ventilation system, top-level insulation, efficient appliances, LED lighting, and more.