RVers are always on the look out for clean sources of renewable energy. Whether you are an avid boondocker engrossed in the off-grid lifestyle or a proud “glamper” who is looking to cut down on the costs of running your big rig, harnessing the power of the wind might have piqued your interest. If you’re curious about wind turbine generators, check out the information below and learn how to use those breezy days to benefit your battery bank!
How They Work
While it may seem like an act of magic that those gigantic pinwheels in the sky can somehow produce power, it’s actually more of an act of engineering genius that is used in a range of everyday machines. The technology used in wind turbines can be found in various industries, including the aerospace and locomotive industries. In a nutshell, here's how they work: The curved blades are turned by the wind, which turns the internal gearbox and driveshaft. Then the generator turns the energy from the driveshaft into electrical energy. Voila, you have power for your RV!
How Effective Are They?
If you add a mini wind turbine generator to your RV, it can be equated to adding one solar panel to an existing RV solar panel system. How effective are they when you're RVing? That depends completely on the wind! States prone to heavy winds include Texas, Kansas, North Dakota, and Minnesota, so if you're camping in one of these states, a wind turbine would be a great idea. However, without the wind, your wind turbine generator becomes a decorative whirligig that just takes up storage space in your RV.
The obvious advantage to using wind turbine generators is that they can be used as a source of energy when you don’t have any hookups. For dry camping, it offers a reliable source of renewable energy. They also don’t produce any pollution, which is great for the environment. Comparing them to solar panels, they create energy even when the sun has gone down (as long as the wind is blowing!).
Anyone who has spent time in an RV knows that space is a valuable and limited resource. So the number one disadvantage to using a wind turbine when RVing is that they take up so much room! RVs hardly offer enough storage space for your clothes and camping accessories, let alone a large propeller. Also, they unfortunately create a vibration that can get annoying when hanging out inside your RV. Luckily you can invest in a vibration controlling mount to help counteract this. Another disadvantage is that they have to be put together and taken apart when you travel from one destination to another. As if you need one more thing to do to prepare for hitting the road, right?
If you are considering a wind turbine generator for your RV, be conscience of how advantageous they are for your geographical weather patterns. While wind turbine generators are a smart source of renewable energy, you’ve got to have that key component, the almighty power of wind, in order to see any of the benefits to your battery bank.