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Solar vs Wind

Are you interested in saving money on your utility bills? Whether it be wind or solar, installing a renewable energy system on your property can be one of the best investments you will ever make.

As a homeowner, you have probably already done research and now it's time to make some decisions. But, there is still a question, "Do you go with wind or do you go solar?" This page has been designed to outline the benefits and differences between the two so that you can make a choice you can be confident in.

Solar vs. Wind in Northern California:


Solar - For a standard solar system that includes a grid-tie inverter or micro inverter, there is very little maintenance other than checking connections, tightening bolts and cleaning the panels. Even that is just once a year. One of the most significant benefits of solar is that there are no moving parts. Bottom line, the sun shines on the panels and energy is produced, period.

Wind - Maintenance on a wind turbine is slightly different and varies dramatically depending on the manufacturer. For example, direct drive turbines requires very little maintenance because they have only moving parts. However, if you have a wind turbine that has a gearbox it will need an annual maintenance checkup. Yes, of course, you can depend on the experts at Wing Solar & Wood Energy, Inc. for all maintenance checkups.

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Integration Options:

Solar - As long as they are facing the sun, solar panels can be mounted anywhere and they will produce power. You can mount them on the roof, on the ground, even on the side of a pole. Your options are virtually endless.

Wind - Wind turbines need to be mounted at least 30 feet above anything and within 500 feet. This is a problem if you live in an urban environment or near trees. In addition, there are usually ordinances in place for maximum structure heights.

Energy Output Predictability:

Solar - When calculating estimated energy production of a solar system you can safely use the same daily average for all of Northern California. After all, it is said, that we do live in "Sunny California" for a reason.

Wind - The average wind speed is a bit more complicated to calculate for a variety of reasons that include surrounding trees, buildings, terrain, etc. For example, the wind speed at one location could be at an average of 12 mph, while just a half a mile down the road it could be at just 8 mph. If the wind turbine is not installed at the perfect location then your investment in wind could be a disappointment. Don't worry, by just touring this site, you have put your trust into the very best in the alternative energy industry. Our experts will work with you every step of the way.

Warranties & Design Life:

Solar - Most solar equipment manufacturers offer a comprehensive 10-25 year warranty on equipment, including inverters. The design life of a solar system is between 30-40 years.

Wind - Most wind turbine manufacturer's product warranty is just 5-10 years. However, extended warranty are available. In addition, a wind turbine has an average life span of up to 25 years. Please keep in mind that it will be essential to maintain an annual maintenance program so to maximize the life expectancy of the turbine.

For further questions you have in your wind vs. solar journey, we have included a few of the most commonly asked questions we hear from our clients.

Wind vs. Solar Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you use a small wind turbine to pump water?

Absolutely! For centuries windmills have been used to pump water on ranches and farms. In reality, there are over a million windmills throughout the United States that are used for exactly that.

Are solar and/or wind power systems complicated?

Residential solar systems are actually extremely easy to understand. Even more importantly, maintenance is a breeze. Simply call our experts at Wing & Wood Energy, Inc. if you need anything. But remember, wind turbine systems have more moving parts and require some level of knowledge if a repair is needed. Again, give us a call.

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What is "net metering"?

Net metering is "sharing" extra electricity that is produced by your solar/wind system with your local utility's power grid. In short, if you put more power into the grid than you use, you will actually be paid by the utility company for that excess energy.

What is a residential "hybrid" solar/wind system?

A residential solar/wind hybrid power system combines a solar system with a wind turbine system so that you have a more consistent and reliable energy source. If you cannot generate all of your electricity needs from solar or with wind, then you combine the two to maximize all of you energy need. These are typical systems are used by customers who are totally "off-the-grid."

Will solar panels require holes in my roof?

Unfortunately, yes, however, the holes are very small and our solar installation experts at Wing Solar & Wood Energy, Inc. will ensure the holes will leave you leak free and maintain the integrity of your current roofing system.

What does 'community wind' mean?

"Community wind" refers to wind turbine projects that utilize local financial assistance. They are usually owned by local businesses, schools, farmers, etc. to reduce community energy expense. Community wind projects vary in size from a single turbine to a commercial-scale wind farm.

Aren't solar and wind power systems ugly?

The answer to the question is; "Beauty is what you make it." Saving valuable dollars, helping others and saving our environment is definitely, "Beautiful."

Even though solar power obviously dominates as a residential renewable energy source, it is clear that wind power is truly a great option. When considering your energy source it is truly all about your needs and what is best for your home or business. The good news is that whether it be solar or wind, your system by Wing Solar & Wood Energy, Inc. will be custom designed to meet your needs while exceeding your expectations.

We hope that this page has answered some questions and has been helpful as you continue your journey to "green." If you have further questions or would like to schedule a consultation with our client care specialist, please contact Wing Solar & Wood Energy, Inc. toll-free at 1-800-492-4061. For your convenience, you may also request more information from this site.

Thank you for your interest in Wing Solar & Wood Energy, Inc. We look forward to serving you in the near future.

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