When considering a off grid or grid connect power system; the two main choices for renewable energy equipment are wind turbines and solar panels. So which is the superior, wind energy or solar power? Let’s examine the solar vs wind debate.

Solar vs wind: Solar panels compared to wind turbines

It really depends on your geographical location and energy requirements, but given the substantial investment involved with either solar vs wind options, it’s critical to select the right system for your needs from the outset. Getting it wrong can cause you not only great expense, but major headaches.

For most suburban and rural settings and applications; solar power is usually the best choice for the following reasons.

A solar power system:

  • Has no moving parts
  • Has better reliability and a 25 year warranty
  • Requires less monitoring
  • Does not require expensive maintenance
  • Provides more predictable energy output based on BOM and NASA data.
  • Better value for money in sites with average wind speeds less than 5 meters per second
  • Is less conspicuous than a wind turbine
  • Is totally silent in operation
  • Allows for quicker installation  with less cable required
  • Is less susceptible to lightning damage
  • Is less susceptible to high wind damage.
  • Requires less space in most cases as the panels can be installed on a roof

Additionally, many local government authorities are rather averse to permitting wind turbines being erected within townships. Even the quietest of turbines do generate some noise, so they really aren’t all that well suited to suburban areas where neighbours may be disturbed and perhaps complain. For a more in-depth look at the suitability of wind power for your location, view our article – “Is Wind Power Right For You“?

The National Wind Farm Commission has more information on larger wind installations.

As mentioned, it really does depend on your needs as to the type of system you should choose as wind energy certainly has its place and is an important part of the renewable energy mix; so if in doubt, please don’t hesitate in contacting our friendly renewable energy experts who will evaluate your situation and provide you with free, no-obligation advice!