Wind Power vs PV

Wind Power vs. Solar Electricity in Syracuse, Ithaca, Rochester, Webster, Lansing, Auburn, Pittsford

Wind Turbine Installation New York

Ideal conditions for solar electricity

  • Unobstructed southern exposure
  • Large roof expanse for modules or space for a ground-anchored or pole-mounted collector rack

Ideal conditions for wind power

  • Average annual wind speeds of 8 to 9 mph
  • A large backyard (at least 4 to 10 acres)
  • Workable zoning restrictions
  • Workable municipal limits on tower heights

When it comes to renewable energy sources, Halco has the experience you’re looking for. In business for over 25 years, we're the company for you when it comes to designing and installing a renewable electric energy system, whether its source is the sun or wind. Which type of system you choose has to do with your site and the surrounding environment.

Wind power, of course, depends upon adequate wind speeds. The rule of thumb is an annual average of 8 to 9 mph. The wind needs to be “clean” or undisturbed by obstructions. Towers typically must be at least 30 feet above any obstruction within 500 ft. of the tower, including buildings and trees. If you live in suburbia or a city, generating a significant share of your electrical load from the wind is not practical.

Wind systems, even under ideal conditions, must be supplemented by the utility grid (if you’re grid tied) or from alternative sources, such as batteries or a gas-engine generator (if you’re off-grid). You’re also going to have to be okay with rotor noise and the aesthetics of a tower with a large rotor on top of it. And don’t be fooled by claims from marketers of mini-wind turbines of various unconventional designs. They are not worth the investment.

Photovoltaic (PV) or solar electric systems depend upon adequate exposure to the sun. While it’s not necessary to have a roof with the perfect slope or to use expensive tracking devices, it is imperative for the roof to be free of shade. Even a small amount of shade on the corner of an array can significantly affect performance. If you live in an area with heavy snow fall, a steeply pitched roof will shed snow that would otherwise block the sun. PV systems may be grid-tied or off-grid. In the case of the former, the utility company credits you for excess production. Off-grid systems require space for a bank of two dozen or more batteries.

Halco has found that in most cases solar PV will out perform wind until you reach approximate annual average wind speeds of 13 mph. We also warn our clients about scams, especially with regard to mini wind turbines.

Hybrid solar and wind systems

In some cases, it makes sense to install a hybrid system that includes both wind and solar energy harvesting. The beauty of such systems is that there is less down time. When the sun is shining but winds are light, you rely on solar energy. When the winds are strong, or at night, wind power takes over. Similarly, such a system can take advantage of a site where the sun is strong in summer but where wind is the dominant energy source in winter.

Contact us today to find out if a renewable energy source is ideal for your New York home. Our company offers Free Estimates on renewable energy upgrades, where our energy specialists will let you know if a renewable energy source will be effective for your home. We service throughout The Finger Lakes including Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse, Lansing, Webster, Auburn, Fairport, Pittsford, Cortland, Canandaigua, Geneva, Penfield, Brockport, Hilton, Spencerport, and more.

our service area

We serve the following areas

Our Locations:

865 County Road 6
Phelps, NY 14532

1730 Mecklenburg Rd Suite B
Ithaca, NY 14850

204 Bass St
Liverpool, NY 13088

140A Metro Park
Rochester, NY 14623
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