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Ideal ALP Sites

The ideal site for an anemometer loan has several components. First, there is the intent of the potential lessee. The ideal candidate would have the following characteristics:

  • Interested in small scale wind at their site to determine the wind energy potential associated with installing a wind turbine to offset their energy use.
  • Interest in renewable energy and promoting wind energy specifically.
  • Interest in installing a wind turbine at their site if the measured wind data show reasonable potential and the finances of the project are reasonable to the candidate.

The ideal site for an anemometer tower is one that is flat, free of obstructions for about 300 feet around the site, has access for vehicles, and is at a location where you'd like to install a wind turbine. You can have varied wind resources within the same property. The anemometer tower is left in place and canot be moved for a year after it is installed, so the location should also be where the best wind is located at the site. You also need to know about the prevailing directions of the wind at your site. If you live in complex terrain, take care in selecting the installation site. If you site your wind turbine on the top of or on the windy side of a hill, for example, you will have more access to prevailing winds than in a gully or on the leeward (sheltered) side of a hill on the same property. In addition to geologic formations, you need to consider existing obstacles such as trees, houses, and sheds, and you need to plan for future obstructions such as new buildings or trees that have not reached their full height.

Your turbine needs to be sited upwind of buildings and trees, and it needs to be 30 feet above anything within 300 feet. The farther you place your wind turbine from obstacles such as buildings or trees, the less turbulence you will encounter and the longer your wind turbine will last. You also need enough room to raise and lower the tower for maintenance, and if your tower is guyed, you must allow room for the guy wires.

Whether the system is stand-alone or grid-connected, you will also need to take the length of the wire run between the turbine and the load (house, batteries, water pumps, etc.) into consideration. A substantial amount of electricity can be lost as a result of the wire resistance - the longer the wire run, the more electricity is lost. Using more or larger wire will also increase your installation cost. Your wire run losses are greater when you have direct current (DC) instead of alternating current (AC). So, if you have a long wire run, it is advisable to invert DC to AC.

For further guidance, you should review the Small Wind Electric Systems: A Colorado Consumer's Guide available from the DOE Wind Powering America site or download a copy of the guide here.

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Last updated: June 2009
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