For those of you who, based on my tips from last time, decided that wind energy is more suitable for them, here I am with some information about wind turbines. They have some pretty good qualities: they are environmentally friendly energy sources, they are quiet, relatively inexpensive, and excellent solutions for people looking to invest in renewable energy systems.
So if you’ve decided to buy a wind turbine here are a few things you should know.
Swept areas and energy products
The swept area of wind turbine units reflects the size of the unit itself and varies from system to system. The swept area is defined by the diameter of the wind turbine rotor. The swept area makes a significant difference in the amount of energy that is generated by the unit.
A small swept area – or “small wind” turbine – will have a swept area of about 8 feet in diameter, which amounts to about 50 square feet of swept area (the area within the circumference of the swept area). Small swept wind turbines peak at 1,000 Watts of energy, which is about 75 kilowatt-hours per month. The average wind speed is generally around 10 miles per hour. This type of wind turbine is ideal for sailboats, cabins, and other installations where only a small amount of energy is required.
In contrast, a large wind turbine may have a swept area of up to 56 feet in diameter, which amounts to 2,500 square feet of swept area. Large wind turbines may peak at 90,000 Watts, which translates to 3,000 to 5,000 kilowatt-hours generated per month. The average wind speed can still be about 10 miles per hour even with large turbines. These larger turbines are generally used on farms, schools, small towns, and other areas where a significant amount of energy generation is required.
There are many different wind turbine sizes between 8 feet and 56 feet. In order to select the right wind turbine size for your needs, it is important that you have a very good idea of how much energy you need produced by the wind turbine. The swept area should match your energy needs.
There are many different types of wind turbine machines for you to choose from. These machines may not only be products of the U.S., but you may also find wind turbine machines that are produced in China, Germany, and other parts of the world. If you decide to import a wind turbine from another country, make sure that it is supported in America before you buy it.
As you begin your search for a wind turbine system, some models you may want to research include Aeromax Lakota, Air-O-Power, Anhua, Exmok, E-Mark, Gryphon, Trillium, and Cyclone. Also, here are brief descriptions of a few types of wind turbine machines to give you a better idea of the breadth of options available:
- Alrcon – This turbine motor type is made in Germany and comes with a 23-foot diameter rotor.
- Energie PGE – This Canadian turbine has a rotor diameter of 36 feet.
- Iskrawind – The UK turbine machine has a rotor diameter that stretches 18 feet.
- Tullpo – The Tullpo machine is Dutch and has a modest 16 foot motor.
The wind turbines are supported by a system of components that make the system work. In order to have a functional wind turbine system, it is important to have all of the components installed properly and working together. Here’s what you’ll need to have a fully functional wind turbine system:
- Turbine – the turbine is the component that generates electricity as it turns
- Tower – the tower is rooted to the ground and supports the turbine as it spins. The tower is essential in getting the turbine into the most ideal wind zone.
- Wiring and conduit – these components carry the electricity generated by the spinning turbine down through the tower and into the power-conditioning equipment on the ground.
- Controllers and electronics – the controllers and electronics are responsible for controlling the battery charge or the input to the power inverter.
- Batteries – batteries store power in off-grid systems and in grid systems that have battery back-up.
- Inverter – the inverter carries the DC electricity from the batteries to the AC receptacle for the home or grid.
- Metering – the metering system allows you to keep track of how power is used and generated.
This all may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but it is important that you first understand all aspects of wind generated power. You not only need to be sure that you install your system in an area that will have direct exposure to wind resources, but you want to be sure that you are buying the right components and installing them correctly for the best results. If you’re not sure you can do it right, just call an expert, it will pay off.
We’ll be coming back to the topic of wind energy pretty soon, but for next time, I can’t wait to tell you what Bob taught me on cleaning my solar panels.