When evaluating wind power and solar there are several things to consider ranging from the environment, to maintenance, to the impact on the aesthetics of your home.
Residential wind power generators have a lot of moving parts, whereas solar panels do not. Therefore, the operation of residential wind power generators can be noisy compared to that of solar panels which is silent. Residential wind power generators may also have less reliability and a shorter battery life (from 10-20) years compared to solar power equipment that has a life of approximately 25 years.
There are also a lot of further differences between wind and solar energy. Wind power equipment requires greater monitoring compared to solar power. It also may require more expensive maintenance compared to solar power. Also, residential wind power generators can be more conspicuous compared to solar panels that become less obvious when installed on rooftops. Installation with solar power can also be quicker compared to that of wind power and less cable may be required. Solar may also be less affected by damage caused by lightening and less averse to damage by high speed winds.
A lot of legal regulations also apply in case of wind power. Also, in some countries governments are averse to the idea of installation of residential wind power generators and permission is difficult to obtain compared to that for solar power. Also, the wind turbines and generators may be hazardous to flying creatures such as birds that get trapped into the fan and lose their life.
Residential power generators may also spoil the attractiveness of a house by becoming too prominent in the landscape. As a result the value of real estate may go down. Wind power equipment may also require more space compared to that for solar power which can easily be built onto rooftops.
Pros of Wind Power
One of the most obvious advantages of using wind power is that they can use wind day or night or 24 hours as long as wind is blowing, whereas, in the case of solar power, energy can be obtained only during daylight hours. Also, the installation of residential wind power generators is often less expensive than that of solar power panels and the production of solar panels consumes greater resources. Furthermore, wind power often produces greater amount of energy compared to solar power which is suited for low-energy consumption appliances such as charging batteries etc.
Cons of Wind Power
Output from wind power is not as predictable and consistent as that from solar power, according to research by NASA. In areas where the average wind speed is less than 5 meter per second, solar power provides greater value for money compared to wind power. Its credibility is further weakened by issues such as dependency on speed, intensity and direction of wind. The operation of wind power equipment is noisy and according to one research can produce the same noise as a car travelling at the speed of 70 mph. The production of wind power equipment can also results in pollution; therefore, their use is not technically free from pollution.