Wind Energy

Jenny asks…

How does wind energy techology work?

Good infortaion

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind energy technology is best described through the use of wind turbines. Wind turbines are devices that convert the wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy and electrical energy. The processes involved include the following:

A)Capturing Wind Energy
Wind energy is captured using the wind turbine rotor blades. When wind passes through the blades, two aerodynamic forces are at work. These two forces cause the rotor blades to turn, depending on how much force the wind exerts on them. The process converts the wind’s kinetic energy to mechanical energy (turning of rotor blades). After this, it is time to convert the mechanical energy into electricity.

B)Converting to Electricity
The turning of the rotor blades would simultaneously cause the shaft to turn, which is connected to a generator. When the rotor blades turn, the shaft also turns. This makes the generator produce electricity. In this process, the rotational mechanical energy of the shaft is converted to electricity by the generator.

Mark asks…

What does wind energy fuel?

What does wind energy fuel
Also dont just tell me it fuels anythin. give me examples

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind energy has been used for several jobs. Most recently we are hearing about the production of electricity with wind energy (1), but 100 years ago you would see smaller windmills with a lot more blades on them. This would give the windmill more torque that was needed for pumping water and this was its primary purpose through most of the US at the time.

In times past wind was used to “mill” grains into flour in a “windmill.”

Once we escape from the circular wind device we can’t escape that once most shipping was powered by sailing ships. The sails would capture the wind and it would provide sufficient constant energy for commerce. Based upon the same idea we have land sailors and kite boards as well as recreational sailing today.

Airplanes, hang gliders, and full gliders use similar principals but not the power of the wind. They sometimes use thermal updrafts that help to create wind for power. We can also use thermal power to create wind in Solar Chimneys. Solar Chimneys use the sun’s heat and the greenhouse effect along with the chimney effect to produce an air current (wind) that has been used to cool houses (2) and more recently to make electricity.3

In many ways the wind “fuels” our weather and environment as well. During a storm, hurricane, typhoon, or tornado it is often the wind that does a substantial amount of damage. Wind helps to evaporate water and carry it uphill where it falls as fresh water upon the land. Wind carries seeds of many plants to new locations and the scent that tells animals that there is water, danger or prey upwind. Wind works with fire to clean the land and prepare for a rebirth.

Susan asks…

what’s going on wind energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2008, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 121.2 gigawatts (GW).[1] In 2008, wind power produced about 1.5% of worldwide electricity usage;[1][2] and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the three years between 2005 and 2008. Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration, such as 19% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 11% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.[2]

Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy as a power source is attractive as an alternative to fossil fuels, because it is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions. However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact and other effects on the environment.

Wind power is dispatchable generation and this is well understood, although not as dispatchable as conventional plant, which can be flexed over their whole range.[3] Whilst for economic operation, it is generally desirable that all of the available power is taken when it is available, when wind power forms a high proportion of energy input into a grid, it may be favorable to spill a certain proportion, before the natural limit is reached, by de-exciting the generator or blade feathering. For sudden wind power surges, power can be contrained off for a certain proportion, below the turbines’ nameplate capacity. Conversely, as wind speed drops, power output can be maintained at a constant level by exciting the generator or increasing blade pitch to capture a higher proportion of the available wind power. The effect of this is to reduce the amount of spinning reserve needed from other conventional i.e. Steam plant, at least while the wind is blowing.

Other sources such as hydropower, standard load management techniques, and interconnection with adjacent systems (such as the proposed European super grid) can all be used to match supply with demand as they are with inflexible baseload power sources such as nuclear energy. The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low proportion of total demand. Where wind is to be used for a moderate fraction of demand such as 40%, additional costs for compensation of intermittency are considered to be modest.

Betty asks…

Science: About an alternative energy source (wind energy)?

Well i have this science project and I’m almost half way done.
I decided t do a project on WIND ENERGY.
But, i need a few help about…

How common is this alternative source?
Where is it used in the world?

How does wind form?

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind energy is the oldest form of alternative energy.
Remember- Ships use to sail around the world on wind- The old countries use to use windmills to grind corn, and convert other products into something useful for their everyday life- including carrying water from underground wells.

Wind energy lost its dominance in the world, when machines started generating power.
Wind has to aid a mechanical process-

so the question is- How many mechanical processes can benefit from the use of wind?

Wind energy depends on what type of work needs to be done-
The common use for it,today, is producing electricity;

how common is wind energy?- There are only a few place in the united states and around the world that have high enough winds to power a windmill- california is one-

James asks…

What is wind energy .?

and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind energy is friendly to the surrounding environment, as no fossil fuels are burnt to generate electricity from wind energy.

Wind turbines take up less space than the average power station. Windmills only have to occupy a few square meters for the base, this allows the land around the turbine to be used for many purposes, for example agriculture.

Newer technologies are making the extraction of wind energy much more efficient. The wind is free, and we are able to cash in on this free source of energy.

Wind turbines are a great resource to generate energy in remote locations, such as mountain communities and remote countryside. Wind turbines can be a range of different sizes in order to support varying population levels.

Another advantage of wind energy is that when combined with solar electricity, this energy source is great for developed and developing countries to provide a steady, reliable supply of electricity.

The main disadvantage regarding wind power is down to the winds unreliability factor. In many areas, the winds strength is too low to support a wind turbine or wind farm, and this is where the use of solar power or geothermal power could be great alternatives.

Wind turbines generally produce allot less electricity than the average fossil fuelled power station, requiring multiple wind turbines to be built in order to make an impact.

Wind turbine construction can be very expensive and costly to surrounding wildlife during the build process.

The noise pollution from commercial wind turbines is sometimes similar to a small jet engine. This is fine if you live miles away, where you will hardly notice the noise, but what if you live within a few hundred meters of a turbine? This is a major disadvantage.

Protests and/or petitions usually confront any proposed wind farm development. People feel the countryside should be left in tact for everyone to enjoy it’s beauty.

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Wind Energy Conversion System

Jenny asks…

Smart energy conversions that could be used for power production?

I’m writing a report about smart energy conversions that could be possibly used for power production. Something like piezoelectric flooring and solar energy. However, I wanted to know what more ideas are there for power production?

Windmill Farms answers:

Making wind power

Wind energy is readily available but wind power is not. Unfortunately, the wind power system has not reached the status of becoming a regular power system. However, the good news is that the concept is picking up.

Why is wind power important?
Wind power makes sense in these times when the demand far exceeds the supply. The convention ways of producing electricity make use of the non-renewable fuels, not only making such resources scarce but also affecting the environment negatively. The power generated by wind proves beneficial in the following ways:

• Free source of energy – The wind power makes use of wind energy which is absolutely free, thus saving the non-renewable sources of energy for longer.

• No environmental hazards – The generation of wind power is extremely environment-friendly. It does not emit harmful gases nor does it have any other environment-damaging impact.

• Cost-effective – Using a free energy makes wind turbines extremely cost-effective. Moreover, there remains no worry of sky-rocketing electricity bills.

• 24/7 uninterrupted supply – The wind power ensures that you never have power outages in your house and farm.

• Self-dependent source – Making use of wind power makes you independent. You no longer depend on the government and its agencies for power.

How can we make power from the wind?
A wind turbine is employed to make use of the abundant wind energy. A wind turbine converts wind energy into mechanical energy for mechanical work. Such a wind turbine is generally referred to as a windmill. A wind generator is a wind turbine that further converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy.

A wind turbine typically consists of blades, a tower, a shaft, a base, and a generator. The blades of the wind turbine rotate in the wind to generate mechanical energy. The two pre-requisites for installing a wind turbine are a large area of at least one acre and an average wind speed of 11 miles per hour.

What are the uses of wind power?
The uses of wind power are many. Let’s look at some of the popular ones:
• Running all possible electrical and electronic appliances
• Pumping out water
• Grinding grains and stones

By employing a wind turbine at your home or farm, you definitely make the world a better place. The wind power is a green solution to the power crisis. It does not harm the environment in any way. Moreover, it does not make use of any fuel, thus promising a future of no power-crisis.

Lizzie asks…

how much electricity does a wind power plant generate?

how much electricity will a 1MW wind power plant generate when all it required conditions [ie:-the required speed of the wind, and all other factors] are fulfiled?

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into more useful forms, usually electricity using wind turbines. In 2005, worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was 58,982 megawatts, their production making up less than 1% of world-wide electricity use. Although still a relatively minor source of electricity for most countries, it accounts for 23% of electricity use in Denmark, 4.3% in Germany and around 8% in Spain. Globally, wind power generation more than quadrupled between 1999 and 2005.

Most modern wind power is generated in the form of electricity by converting the rotation of turbine blades into electrical current by means of an electrical generator. In windmills (a much older technology) wind energy is used to turn mechanical machinery to do physical work, like crushing grain or pumping water.

Wind power is used in large scale wind farms for national electrical grids as well as in small individual turbines for providing electricity in isolated locations.

Wind energy is abundant, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and mitigates the greenhouse effect if it is used to replace fossil-fuel-derived electricity.
1 Cost and growth
2 Wind energy
2.1 Wind variability and turbine power
2.2 Wind power density classes
3 Turbine siting
3.1 Onshore
3.2 Offshore
3.3 Airborne
3.4 Vertical axis turbines
4 Utilization
4.1 Large scale
4.2 Small scale
5 Debate for and against wind power
5.1 Arguments of supporters
5.1.1 Pollution
5.1.2 Long-term potential
5.1.3 Coping with intermittency
5.1.4 Ecology
5.1.5 Economic feasibility
5.1.6 Aesthetics
5.2 Arguments of opponents
5.2.1 Economics
5.2.2 Yield
5.2.3 CO2 Emissions
5.2.4 Ecological Footprint
5.2.5 Scalability
5.2.6 Aesthetics
6 See also
7 References
8 Sources
8.1 Technical
8.2 Political
8.3 Wind power projects
8.4 Academic Institutions
9 External links
9.1 Manufacturers

Cost and growth
- The cost of wind-generated electric power has dropped substantially. Since 2004, according to some sources, the price in the United States is now lower than the cost of fuel-generated electric power, even without taking externalities into account.[1][2][3] In 2005, wind energy cost one-fifth as much as it did in the late 1990s, and that downward trend is expected to continue as larger multi-megawatt turbines are mass-produced.[4] A British Wind Energy Association report gives an average generation cost of onshore wind power of around 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour. [5]

- Wind power is growing quickly, at about 38%,[6] up from 25% growth in 2002. In the United States, as of 2003, wind power was the fastest growing form of electricity generation on a percentage basis.[7]

Wind energy
Main article: Wind
An estimated 1 to 3% of energy from the Sun that hits the earth is converted into wind energy. This is about 50 to 100 times more energy than is converted into biomass by all the plants on earth through photosynthesis. Most of this wind energy can be found at high altitudes where continuous wind speeds of over 160 km/h (100 mph) occur. Eventually, the wind energy is converted through friction into diffuse heat all through the earth’s surface and atmosphere.

The origin of wind is simple. The earth is unevenly heated by the sun resulting in the poles receiving less energy from the sun than the equator does. Also the dry land heats up (and cools down) more quickly than the seas do. The differential heating powers a global atmospheric convection system reaching from the earth’s surface to the stratosphere which acts as a virtual ceiling.

The change of seasons, change of day and night, the Coriolis effect, the irregular albedo (reflectivity) of land and water, humidity, and the friction of wind over different terrain are some of the factors which complicate the flow of wind over the surface.

Wind variability and turbine power
A Darrieus wind turbine.The power in the wind can be extracted by allowing it to blow past moving wings that exert torque on a rotor. The amount of power transferred is directly proportional to the density of the air, the area swept out by the rotor, and the cube of the wind speed.

The mass flow of air that travels through the swept area of a wind turbine varies with the wind speed and air density. As an example, on a cool 15°C (59°F) day at sea level, air density is about 1.22 kilograms per cubic metre (it gets less dense with higher humidity). An 8 m/s breeze blowing through a 100 meter diameter rotor would move about 76,000 kilograms of air per second through the swept area.

The kinetic energy of a given mass varies with the square of its velocity. Because the mass flow increases linearly with the wind speed, the wind energy available to a wind turbine increases as the cube of the wind speed. The power of the example breeze above through the example rotor would be about 2.5 megawatts.

As the wind turbine extracts energy from the air flow, the air is slowed down, which causes it to spread out and diverts it around the wind turbine to some extent. Albert Betz, a German physicist, determined in 1919 that a wind turbine can extract at most 59% of the energy that would otherwise flow through the turbine’s cross section. The Betz limit applies regardless of the design of the turbine. More recent work by Gorlov shows a theoretical limit of about 30% for propeller-type turbines.[8] Actual efficiencies range from 10% to 20% for propeller-type turbines, and are as high as 35% for three-dimensional vertical-axis turbines like Darrieus or Gorlov turbines.

Distribution of wind speed (red) and energy (blue) for all of 2002 at the Lee Ranch facility in Colorado. The histogram shows measured data, while the curve is the Rayleigh model distribution for the same average wind speed. Energy is the Betz limit through a 100 meter diameter circle facing directly into the wind. Total energy for the year through that circle was 15.4 gigawatt-hours.Windiness varies, and an average value for a given location does not alone indicate the amount of energy a wind turbine could produce there. To assess the climatology of wind speeds at a particular location, a probability distribution function is often fit to the observed data. Different locations will have different wind speed distributions. The distribution model most frequently used to model wind speed climatology is a two-parameter Weibull distribution because it is able to conform to a wide variety of distribution shapes, from gaussian to exponential. The Rayleigh model, an example of which is shown plotted against an actual measured dataset, is a specific form of the Weibull function in which the shape parameter equals 2, and very closely mirrors the actual distribution of hourly wind speeds at many locations.

Because so much power is generated by higher windspeed, much of the average power available to a windmill comes in short bursts. The 2002 Lee Ranch sample is telling: half of the energy available arrived in just 15% of the operating time. The consequence of this is that wind energy is not dispatchable as for fuel-fired power plants; additional output cannot be supplied in response to load demand. – - Since wind speed is not constant, a wind generator’s annual energy production is never as much as its nameplate rating multiplied by the total hours in a year. The ratio of actual productivity in a year to this theoretical maximum is called the capacity factor. A well-sited wind generator will have a capacity factor of as much as 35%. This compares to typical capacity factors of 90% for nuclear plants, 70% for coal plants, and 30% for oil plants.[9] When comparing the size of wind turbine plants to fueled power plants, it is important to note that 1000 kW of wind-turbine potential power would be expected to produce as much energy in a year as approximately 500 kW of coal-fired generation. Though the short-term (hours or days) output of a wind-plant is not completely predictable, the annual output of energy tends to vary only a few percent points between years. – - When storage, such as with pumped hydroelectric storage, or other forms of generation are used to “shape” wind power (by assuring constant delivery reliability), commercial delivery represents a cost increase of about 25%, yielding viable commercial performance.[1] Electricity consumption can be adapted to production variability to some extent with Energy Demand Management and smart meters that offer variable market pricing over the course of the day. For example, municipal water pumps that feed a water tower do not need to operate continuously and can be restricted to times when electricity is plentiful and cheap. Consumers could choose when to run the dishwasher or charge an electric vehicle.

Wind power density classes
Turbine siting
Map of available wind power over the United States. Color codes indicate wind power density class.As a general rule, wind generators are practical where the average wind speed is 10 mph or greater. Obviously, meteorology plays an important part in determining possible locations for wind parks, though it has great accuracy limitations. Meteorological wind data is not usually sufficient for accurate siting of a large wind power project. An ‘ideal’ location would have a near constant flow of non-turbulent wind throughout the year and would not suffer too many sudden powerful bursts of wind.

The wind blows faster at higher altitudes because of the reduced influence of drag of the surface (sea or land) and the reduced viscosity of the air. The increase in velocity with altitude is most dramatic near the surface and is affected by topography, surface roughness, and upwind obstacles such as trees or buildings. Typically, the increase of wind speeds with increasing height follows a logarithmic profile that can be reasonably approximated by the wind profile power law, using an exponent of 1/7th, which predicts that wind speed rises proportionally to the seventh root of altitude. Doubling the altitude of a turbine, then, increases the expected wind speeds by 10% and the expected power by 34%.[citation needed]

Wind farms or wind parks often have many turbines installed. Since each turbine extracts some of the energy of the wind, it is important to provide adequate spacing between turbines to avoid excess energy loss. Where land area is sufficient, turbines are spaced three to five rotor diameters apart perpendicular to the prevailing wind, and five to ten rotor diameters apart in the direction of the prevailing wind, to minimize efficiency loss. The “wind park effect” loss can be as low as 2% of the combined nameplate rating of the turbines.

Utility-scale wind turbine generators have minimum temperature operating limits which restrict the application in areas that routinely experience temperatures less than ?20°C. Wind turbines must be protected from ice accumulation, which can make anemometer readings inaccurate and which can cause high structure loads and damage. Some turbine manufacturers offer low-temperature packages at a few percent extra cost, which include internal heaters, different lubricants, and different alloys for structural elements, to make it possible to operate the turbines at lower temperatures. If the low-temperature interval is combined with a low-wind condition, the wind turbine will require station service power, equivalent to a few percent of its output rating, to maintain internal temperatures during the cold snap. For example, the St. Leon, Manitoba project has a total rating of 99 MW and is estimated to need up to 3 MW (around 3% of capacity) of station service power a few days a year for temperatures down to ?30°C. This factor affects the economics of wind turbine operation in cold climates.[citation needed]

Wind turbines near Walla Walla in WashingtonOnshore turbine installations tend to be along mountain ridges or passes, or at the top of cliff faces. The change in ground elevation causes the wind velocities to be generally higher in these areas, although there may be variation over short distances (a difference of 30 m can sometimes mean a doubling in output). Local winds are often monitored for a year or more with anemometers and detailed wind maps constructed before wind generators are installed.

For smaller installations where such data collection is too expensive or time consuming, the normal way of prospecting for wind-power sites is to directly look for trees or vegetation that are permanently “cast” or deformed by the prevailing winds. Another way is to use a wind-speed survey map, or historical data from a nearby meteorological station, although these methods are less reliable.

Sea shores also tend to be windy areas and good sites for turbine installation, because a primary source of wind is convection from the differential heating and cooling of land and sea over the course of day and night. Winds at sea level carry somewhat more energy than winds of the same speed in mountainous areas because the air at sea level is more dense.

Wind farm siting can sometimes be highly controversial, particularly as the hilltop, often coastal sites preferred are often picturesque and environmentally sensitive (for instance, having substantial bird life). Local residents in a number of potential sites have strongly opposed the installation of wind farms, and political support has resulted in the blocking of construction of some installations [10].

Wind blows briskly and smoothly over water since there are no obstructions. The large and slow turning turbines of this offshore wind farm near Copenhagen take advantage of the moderate yet constant breezes here.Offshore wind turbines cause less aesthetic controversy since they often cannot be seen from the shore. Because there are fewer obstacles and stronger winds, such turbines also don´t need to be built as high into the air. However, offshore turbines are more inaccessible and offshore conditions are harsh, abrasive, and corrosive, thereby increasing the costs of operation and maintenance compared to onshore turbines.

In areas with extended shallow continental shelves and sand banks (such as Denmark), turbines are reasonably easy to install, and give good service. At the site shown, the wind is not especially strong but is very consistent. The largest offshore wind turbines in the world are seven 3.6 MW rated machines off the east coast of Ireland about sixty kilometres south of Dublin. The turbines are located on a sandbank approximately ten kilometres from the coast that has the potential for the installation of 500 MW of generation capacity. As of 2006, the largest offshore wind farm is the Nysted Offshore Wind Farm at Rødsand, located about ten kilometres south of Nysted and thirteen kilometres west of Gedser Denmark. The wind farm consists of seventy two turbines of 2.3 MW, which produces 165.6 MW of power at rated wind speed.[11]. Three offshore wind farms in the United Kingdom are currently operating, North Hoyle (30 x 2 MW), Scroby Sand (30 x 2 MW) and Kentish flat (30 x 3 MW). Another offshore wind farm, Barrow (30 x 3 MW), is under construction. Under the energy policy of the United Kingdom further offshore facilities are feasible and expected by the year 2010.

Not all offshore wind farms have been without siting controversies, such as the proposed Cape Wind offshore development in the United States.

Main article: Airborne wind turbine
Wind turbines might also be flown in high speed winds at altitude[12], although no such systems currently exist in the marketplace. An Ontario company, Magenn Power, Inc., is attempting to commercialize tethered aerial turbines suspended with helium[13]

Vertical axis turbines
A prototype of vertical axis wind turbine is the italian project called “Kitegen”. It is an innovative plan (still in phase of construction) that consists in one wind farm with a vertical spin axis, and employs kites to exploit high-altitude winds.

The Kite Wind Generator (KWG) or KiteGen is claimed to eliminate all the static and dynamic problems that prevent the increase of the power (in terms of dimensions) obtainable from the traditional horizontal axis wind turbine generators. According to its developers, a one GigaWatt installation will be 1/40 the cost of the corresponding nuclear powerplant.

The project kitegen has received 15 million euro financing from the Italian state. It will begun with a 1 MW prototype and then with the planning of a power kitegen of 20 MW. [citation needed]

Large scale
Total installed windpower capacity
(end of year & latest estimates)[14] Capacity (MW)
Rank Nation Latest 2005 2004
1 Germany 18,428 16,629
2 Spain 10,941 10,027 8,263
3 USA 10,000 9,149 6,725
4 India 5,340 4,430 3,000
5 Denmark 3,128 3,124
6 Italy 1,717 1,265
7 United Kingdom 1,936.65 1,353 888
8 China 1,260 764
9 Netherlands 1,219 1,078
10 Japan 1,040 896
11 Portugal 1,022 522
12 Austria 819 606
13 France 918 757 386
14 Canada 1,049 683 444
15 Greece 573 473
16 Australia 738 572 379
17 Sweden 510 452
18 Ireland 496 339
19 Norway 270 270
20 New Zealand 168 168
21 Belgium 167 95
22 Egypt 145 145
23 South Korea 119 23
24 Taiwan 103 13
25 Finland 82 82
26 Poland 73 63
27 Ukraine 73 69
28 Costa Rica 70 70
29 Morocco 64 54
30 Luxembourg 35 35
31 Iran 32 25
32 Estonia 30 3
33 Philippines 29 29
34 Brazil 79 29 24
35 Czech Republic 28 17
World total ~63,000 58,982 47,671
There are many thousands of wind turbines operating, with a total capacity of 58,982 MW of which Europe accounts for 69% (2005). One megawatt of power provides for about 160 average American households. Wind power was the most rapidly-growing means of alternative electricity generation at the turn of the century and provides a valuable complement to large-scale base-load power stations. World wind generation capacity more than quadrupled between 1999 and 2005. 90% of wind power installations are in the US and Europe, but the share of the top five countries in terms of new installations fell from 71% in 2004 to 55% in 2005. By 2010, World Wind Energy Association expects 120,000 MW to be installed worldwide.[14]

Germany, Spain, the United States, India and Denmark have made the largest investments in wind generated electricity. Denmark is prominent in the manufacturing and use of wind turbines, with a commitment made in the 1970s to eventually produce half of the country’s power by wind. Denmark generates over 20% of its electricity with wind turbines, the highest percentage of any country and is fifth in the world in total power generation (which can be compared with the fact that Denmark is 56th on the general electricity comsumption list). Denmark and Germany are leading exporters of large (0.66 to 5 MW) turbines.

Wind accounts for 1% of the total electricity production on a global scale (2005). Germany is the leading producer of wind power with 32% of the total world capacity in 2005 (6% of German electricity); the official target is that by 2010, renewable energy will meet 12.5% of German electricity needs – it can be expected that this target will be reached even earlier. Germany has 16,000 wind turbines, mostly in the north of the country – including three of the biggest in the world, constructed by the companies Enercon (4.5 MW), Multibrid (5 MW) and Repower (5 MW). Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein province generates 25% of its power with wind turbines.

Spain and the United States are next in terms of installed capacity. In 2005, the government of Spain approved a new national goal for installed wind power capacity of 20,000 MW by 2012. According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind generated enough electricity to power 0.4% (1.6 million households) of total electricity in US, up from less than 0.1% in 1999. In 2005, both Germany and Spain have produced more electricity from wind power than from hydropower plants. US Department of Energy studies have concluded wind harvested in just three of the fifty U.S. States could provide enough electricity to power the entire nation, and that offshore wind farms could do the same job.[1] Wind power could grow by 50% in the U.S. In 2006.[15]

India ranks 4th in the world with a total wind power capacity of 5,340 MW. Wind power generates 3% of all electricity produced in India. The World Wind Energy Conference in New Delhi in November 2006 will give additional impetus to the Indian wind industry.[14] In December 2003, General Electric installed the world’s largest offshore wind turbines in Ireland, and plans are being made for more such installations on the west coast, including the possible use of floating turbines.

On August 15, 2005, China announced it would build a 1000-megawatt wind farm in Hebei for completion in 2020. China reportedly has set a generating target of 20,000 MW by 2020 from renewable energy sources – it says indigenous wind power could generate up to 253,000 MW. Following the World Wind Energy Conference in November 2004, organised by the Chinese and the World Wind Energy Association, a Chinese renewable energy law was adopted. In late 2005, the Chinese government increased the official wind energy target for the year 2020 from 20 GW to 30 GW.[citation needed]

Another growing market is Brazil, with a wind potential of 143 GW.[16] The federal government has created an incentive program, called Proinfa,[17] to build production capacity of 3300 MW of renewable energy for 2008, of which 1422 MW through wind energy. The program seeks to produce 10% of Brazilian electricity through renewable sources. Brazil produced 320 TWh in 2004. France recently annonced a very ambiious target of 12 500 MW installed by 2010.

Over the 6 years from 2000-2005, Canada experienced rapid growth of wind capacity – moving from a total installed capacity of 137 MW to 943 MW, and showing a growth rate of 38% and rising.[18] This growth was fed by provincial measures, including installation targets, economic incentives and political support. For example, the government of the Canadian province of Ontario announced on 21 March 2006 that it will introduce a feed-in tariff for wind power, referred to as ‘Standard Offer Contracts’, which may boost the wind industry across the entire country.[19] In the Canadian province of Quebec, the state-owned hydroelectric utility plans to generate 2000 MW from wind farms by 2013.[20]
Small scale
Main article: Small wind turbine
This rooftop-mounted urban wind turbine charges a 12 volt battery and runs various 12 volt appliances within the building on which it is installed.Wind turbines have been used for household electricity generation in conjunction with battery storage over many decades in remote areas. Household generator units of more than 1 kW are now functioning in several countries.

To compensate for the varying power output, grid-connected wind turbines may utilise some sort of grid energy storage. Off-grid systems either adapt to intermittent power or use photovoltaic or diesel systems to supplement the wind turbine.

Wind turbines range from small four hundred watt generators for residential use to several megawatt machines for wind farms and offshore. The small ones have direct drive generators, direct current output, aeroelastic blades, lifetime bearings and use a vane to point into the wind; while the larger ones generally have geared power trains, alternating current output, flaps and are actively pointed into the wind. Direct drive generators and aeroelastic blades for large wind turbines are being researched and direct current generators are sometimes used.

In urban locations, where it is difficult to obtain large amounts of wind energy, smaller systems may still be used to run low power equipment. Distributed power from rooftop mounted wind turbines can also alleviate power distribution problems, as well as provide resilience to power failures. Equipment such as parking meters or wireless internet gateways may be powered by a wind turbine that charges a small battery, replacing the need for a connection to the power grid and/or maintaining service despite possible power grid failures.
Small-scale wind power in rural Indiana.Small scale turbines are available that are approximately 7 feet (2 m) in diameter and produce 900 watts. Units are lightweight, e.g. 16 kilograms (35 lbs), allowing rapid response to wind gusts typical of urban settings and easy mounting much like a television antenna. It is claimed that they are inaudible even a few feet under the turbine.[citation needed] Dynamic braking regulates the speed by dumping excess energy, so that the turbine continues to produce electricity even in high winds. The dynamic braking resistor may be installed inside the building to provide heat (during high winds when more heat is lost by the building, while more heat is also produced by the braking resistor). The proximal location makes low voltage (12 volt, or the like) energy distribution practical. An additional benefit is that owners become more aware of electricity consumption, possibly reducing their consumption down to the average level that the turbine can produce.

According to the World Wind Energy Association, it is difficult to assess the total number or capacity of small-scaled wind turbines, but in China alone, there are roughly 300,000 small-scale wind turbines generating electricity.[14]
Debate for and against wind power
Arguments for and against wind power are listed below.
Arguments of supporters
Erection of an Enercon E70-4Supporters of wind energy state that:Pollution
Wind power is a renewable resource, which means using it will not deplete the earth’s supply of fossil fuels. It also is a clean energy source, and operation does not produce carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury, particulates, or any other type of air pollution, as do conventional fossil fuel power sources.

During manufacture of the wind turbine, however, steel, concrete, aluminium and other materials will have to be made and transported using energy-intensive processes, generally using fossil energy sources. Nevertheless, the energy used for manufacture of a wind turbine is earned back in four to six months of operation.
Long-term potential
Wind’s long-term theoretical potential is much greater than current world energy consumption. The most comprehensive study to date[21] found the potential of wind power on land and near-shore to be 72 TW (~54,000 Mtoe), or over five times the world’s current energy use and 40 times the current electricity use. The potential takes into account only locations with Class 3 (mean annual wind speeds ? 6.9 m/s at 80 m) or better wind regimes, which includes the locations suitable for low-cost (0.03–0.04 $/kWh) wind power generation and is in that sense conservative. It assumes 6 turbines per square km for 77-m diameter, 1,5 MW turbines on roughly 13% of the total land area. This potential assumes a capacity factor of 48% and does not take into account the practicality of reaching the windy sites or of transmission (including ‘choke’ points) or of competing land uses or of wheeling power over large distances or of switching to wind power.

To determine the more realistic technical potential it is essential how large a fraction of this land could be made available to wind power. In the 2001 IPCC report, it is assumed that a use of 4% – 10% of that land area would be practial. Even so, the potential comfortably exceeds current world electricity demand.

Offshore resources experience mean wind speeds ~90% greater than that of land, so offshore resources could contribute about seven times more energy than land.[22][23] This number could also increase with higher altitude or airborne wind turbines.[24]
Coping with intermittency
As the fraction of energy produced by wind (“penetration”) increases, different technical and economic factors affect the need, if there is one, for grid energy storage facilities. Large networks, connected to multiple wind plants at widely separated geographic locations, may accept a higher penetration of wind than small networks or those without storage systems or economical methods of compensating for the variability of wind. In systems with significant amounts of existing pumped storage (e.g. UK, eastern US) this proportion may be higher. Isolated, relatively small systems with only a few wind plants may only be stable and economic with a lower fraction of wind energy (e.g. Ireland).
On most large power systems a moderate proportion of wind generation can be connected without the need for storage. For larger proportions, storage may be economically attractive or even technically necessary.
Long-term storage of electrical energy involves substantial capital costs, space for storage facilities, and some portion of the stored power will be lost during conversion and transmission. The percentage retrievable from stored power is called the “efficiency of storage.” The cost incurred to “shape” intermittent wind power for reliable delivery is about a 20% premium for most wind applications on large grids, but approaches 50% of the cost of generation when wind comprises more than 70% of the local grid’s input power. See: Grid energy storage

Cement works in New South Wales, Australia. Energy-intensive process like this could utilize burst electricity from wind.Electricity demand is variable but generally very predictable on larger grids; errors in demand forecasting are typically no more than 2%. Because conventional powerplants can drop off the grid within a few seconds, for example due to equipment failures, in most systems the output of some coal or gas powerplants is intentionally part-loaded to follow demand and to replace rapidly lost generation. The ability to follow demand (by maintaining constant frequency) is termed “response.” The ability to quickly replace lost generation, typically within timescales of 30 seconds to 30 minutes, is termed “spinning reserve.” Nuclear power plants in contrast are not very flexible and are not intentionally part-loaded. A power plant that operates in a steady fashion, usually for many days continuously, is termed a “base load” plant. Generally thermal plants running as “peaking” plants will be less efficient than if they were running as base load.
What happens in practice therefore is that as the power output from wind varies, part-loaded conventional plants, which must be there anyway to provide response (due to continuously changing demand) and reserve , adjust their output to compensate; they do this in response to small changes in the frequency (nominally 50 or 60 Hz) of the grid. In this sense wind acts like “negative” load or demand.
The maximum proportion of wind power allowable in a power system will thus depend on many factors, including the size of the system, the attainable geographical diversity of wind, the conventional plant mix (coal, gas, nuclear) and seasonal load factors (heating in winter, air-conditioning in summer) and their statistical correlation with wind output. For most large systems the allowable penetration fraction (wind nameplate rating divided by system peak demand) is thus at least 15% without the need for any energy storage whatsoever. Note that the interconnected electrical system may be much larger than the particular country or state (e.g. Denmark, California) being considered.
It should also be borne in mind that wind output, especially from large numbers of turbines/farms can be predicted with a fair degree of confidence many hours ahead using weather forecasts.
The allowable penetration may of course be further increased by increasing the amount of part-loaded generation available, or by using energy storage facilities, although if purpose-built for wind energy these may significantly increase the overall cost of wind power.
Existing European hydroelectric power plants can store enough energy to supply one month’s worth of European electricity consumption. Improvement of the international grid would allow using this in the relatively short term at low cost, as a matching variable complementary source to wind power. Excess wind power could even be used to pump water up into collection basins for later use.
Energy Demand Management or Demand-Side Management refers to the use of communication and switching devices which can release deferrable loads quickly to correct supply/demand imbalances. Incentives can be created for the use of these systems, such as favorable rates or capital cost assistance, encouraging consumers with large loads to take advantage of renewable energy by adjusting their loads to coincide with resource availability. For example, pumping water to pressurize municipal water systems is an electricity intensive application that can be performed when electricity is available.[25] Real-time variable electricity pricing can encourage all users to reduce usage when the renewable sources happen to be at low production.
In energy schemes with a high penetration of wind energy, secondary loads, such as desalination plants and electric boilers may be encouraged because their output (water and heat) can be stored. The utilization of “burst electricity”, where excess electricity is used on windy days for opportunistic purposes greatly improves the economic efficiency of wind turbine schemes. An ice storage device has been invented which allows cooling energy to be consumed during resource availability, and dispatched as air conditioning during peak hours.
Multiple wind farms spread over a wide geographic area and gridded together produce power much more constantly.
Electricity produced from solar energy could be a counter balance to the fluctuating supplies generated from wind. It tends to be windier at night and during cloudy or stormy weather, so there is likely to be more sunshine when there is less wind.
Because it uses energy already present in the atmosphere, and can displace fossil-fuel generated electricity (with its accompanying carbon dioxide emissions), wind power mitigates global warming. If the entire world’s nameplate electrical demand expected in 2010 were served from wind power alone, the amount of energy extracted from the atmosphere would be less than the increase added by radiative forcing by additional carbon dioxide at 2000 levels above those of the year 1500, before fossil fuel consumption became significant.[citation needed]
Energy payback ratio (ratio of energy produced compared to energy expended in construction and operation) for wind turbines has been estimated in one report to be between 17 and 39 (i.e. Over its life-time a wind turbine produces 17-39 times as much energy as is needed for its manufacture, construction, operation and decomissioning). A similar Danish study determined the payback ratio to be 80, which means that a wind turbine system pays back the energy invested within approximately 3 months. [26] This is to be compared with payback ratios of 11 for coal power plants and 16 for nuclear power plants, though such figures do not take into account the energy content of the fuel itself, which would lead to a negative energy ‘payback’.[27]
Unlike fossil or nuclear power stations, which circulate large amounts of water for cooling, wind turbines do not need water to generate electricity.
Studies show that the number of birds killed by wind turbines is negligible compared to the amount that die as a result of other human activities such as traffic, hunting, power lines and high-rise buildings and especially the environmental impacts of using non-clean power sources. For example, in the UK, where there are a few hundred turbines, about one bird is killed per turbine per year; 10 million per year are killed by cars alone.[28] In the United States, turbines kill 70,000 birds per year, compared to 57 million killed by cars and 97.5 million killed by collisions with plate glass.[29] Another study suggests that migrating birds adapt to obstacles; those birds which don’t modify their route and continue to fly through a wind farm are capable of avoiding the newer, larger, slower turning windmills,[30] at least in the low-wind non-twilight conditions studied. In the UK, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) concluded that “The available evidence suggests that appropriately positioned wind farms do not pose a significant hazard for birds.”[31] It notes that climate change poses a much more significant threat to wildlife, and therefore supports wind farms and other forms of renewable energy.
Clearing of wooded areas is often unnecessary, as the practice of farmers leasing their land out to companies building wind farms is common. Farmers receive annual lease payments of two thousand to five thousand dollars per turbine.[32] The land can still be used for farming and cattle grazing.
The ecological and environmental costs of wind plants are paid by those using the power produced, with no long-term effects on climate or local environment left for future generations.
Less than 1% of the land would be used for foundations and access roads, the other 99% could still be used for farming.[33] Turbines can be sited on land unused in techniques such as center-pivot irrigation.
After decommissioning wind turbines, even the foundations are removed.
Economic feasibility
Conventional and nuclear power plants receive massive amounts of direct and indirect governmental subsidies. If a comparison is made on real production costs, wind energy is competitive in many cases. If the full costs (environmental, health, etc.) are taken into account, wind energy is competitive in most cases. Furthermore, wind energy costs are continuously decreasing due to technology development and scale enlargement.
Nuclear power plants receive special immunity from the disasters they may cause, which prevents victims from recovering the cost of their continued health care from those responsible, even in the case of criminal malfeasance.
Conventional and nuclear plants also have sudden unpredictable outages (see above). Statistical analysis shows that 1000 MW of wind power can replace 300 MW of conventional power.
Wind power is nothing new. Windmills at La Mancha, Spain.Improvements in blade design and gearing have quietened modern turbines to the point where a normal conversation can be held underneath one
Newer wind farms have more widely spaced turbines due to the greater power of the individual wind turbines, and so look less cluttered
Wind turbines can be positioned alongside motorways, significantly reducing aesthetic concerns
The aesthetics of wind turbines have been compared favourably to those of pylons from conventional power stations
Areas under windfarms can be used for farming, and are protected from development
Offshore sites have on average a higher energy yield than onshore sites, and often cannot be seen from the shore.
Arguments of opponents
Some of the over 4000 wind turbines at Altamont Pass, in California. Developed during a period of tax incentives in the 1980s, this wind farm has more turbines than any other in the United States. These turbines are only a few tens of kilowatts each. They cost several times more per kWh and spin much more quickly than modern megawatt turbines, endangering birds and making noise.[edit]
To compete with traditional sources of energy, wind power often receives financial incentives. In the United States, wind power receives a tax credit of 1.9 cents per kilowatt-hour produced, with a yearly inflationary adjustment. However, in 2004 when the U.S. Production tax credit had lapsed for nine months, wind power was still a rapidly growing form of electrical generation, calling into question the value of these production tax credits. Another tax benefit is accelerated depreciation. Many American states also provide incentives, such as exemption from property tax, mandated purchases, and additional markets for “green credits.” Countries such as Canada and Germany also provide tax credits and other incentives for wind turbine construction.
Many potential sites for wind farms are far from demand centers, requiring substantially more money to construct new transmission lines and substations.
The goals of renewable energy development are reduction of reliance on fossil and nuclear fuels, reduction of greenhouse gas and other emissions, and establishment of more sustainable sources of energy. Some critics question wind energy’s ability to significantly move society towards these goals. They point out that 25-30% annual load factor is typical for wind facilities. The intermittent and non-dispatchable nature of wind turbine power requires that “spinning reserves” are kept burning for supply security. The fluctuation in wind power requires more frequent load ramping of such plants to maintain grid system frequency. This can force operators to run conventional plants below optimal thermal efficiency resulting in greater emissions. A recent European Nuclear Society study estimates that the equivalent of one third of energy saved from wind generation is lost to these inefficiencies.[citation needed]
CO2 Emissions
Electric power production is only part (about 39% in the USA[34]) of a country’s energy use, so wind power alone does little to mitigate the larger part of the effects of energy use (except with a potential transition to electric or hydrogen vehicles). For example, despite more than doubling the installed wind power capacity in the U.K. From 2002 to 2004, wind power contributed less than 1% of the national electricity supply,[5] and that country’s CO2 emissions continued to rise in 2002 and 2003 (Department of Trade and Industry). Six of the U.K.’s nuclear reactors were closed in this period.[35]
Groups such as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change state that the desired mitigation goals can be achieved at lower cost and to a greater degree by continued improvements in general efficiency — in building, manufacturing, and transport — than by wind power.[citation needed] Such statements, however, do not take into account long-term costs and calculations, like drastically increasing prices for oil, gas, uranium etc. Also once an investment in a wind turbine is made, the electricity produced by that turbine is fixed for a period of 20 years.
Ecological Footprint
The clearing of trees may be necessary since obstructions reduce yield, though this is obviously not the case with most already-cleared farmland sites.
Wind turbines should ideally be placed about ten times their diameter apart in the direction of prevailing winds and five times their diameter apart in the perpendicular direction for minimal losses due to wind park effects. As a result, wind turbines require roughly 0.1 square kilometres of unobstructed land per megawatt of nameplate capacity. A wind farm that produces the energy equivalent of a conventional power plant might have turbines spread out over an area of approximately 200 square kilometres. A nuclear plant of comparable capacity would be surrounded of a 100 square kilometre exclusion zone, and strip mines supplying coal power plants claim large tracts of land. Though restrictions in land use possibilities are different in the three cases, the area needed for wind farming is not excessive compared to conventional power.[36]

A wind turbine at Greenpark, Reading, EnglandWindmills kill birds, especially birds of prey. Siting generally takes into account known bird flight patterns, but most paths of bird migration, particularly for birds that fly by night, are unknown. Although a Danish survey in 2005 (Biology Letters 2005:336) showed that less than 1% of migrating birds passing a wind farm in Rønde, Denmark, got close to collision, the site was studied only during low-wind non-twilight conditions. A survey at Altamont Pass, California conducted by a California Energy Commission in 2004 showed that turbines killed 4,700 birds annually (1,300 of which are birds of prey). Radar studies of proposed sites in the eastern U.S. Have shown that migrating songbirds fly well within the reach of large modern turbines. Many more birds are killed by cars, and this is a widely accepted cost {POV}.
A wind farm in Norway’s Smøla islands is reported to have destroyed a colony of sea eagles according to the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.[37] The society said turbine blades killed nine of the birds in a 10 month period, including all three of the chicks that fledged that year. Norway is regarded as the most important place for white-tailed eagles.

In 1989, Smøla was designated as having one of the highest densities of white-tailed eagles in the world. But the society now fears the 100 or so more wind farms planned in the rest of Norway could have a similar impact.

“Smøla is demonstrating the damage that can be caused by a wind farm in the wrong location. The RSPB strongly supports renewable energies including wind, but the deaths of adult birds and the three young born last year make the prospects for white-tailed eagles on the island look bleak,” said Dr. Rowan Langston, senior research biologist at the RSPB.
The numbers of bats killed by existing facilities has troubled even industry personnel.[38] A six-week study in 2004 estimated that over 2200 bats were killed by 63 turbines at two sites in the Eastern US.[39] This study suggests some site locations may be particularly hazardous to local bat populations, and that more research is urgently needed. Migratory bat species appear to be particularly at risk, especially during key movement periods (spring and more importantly in fall). Lasiurines such as the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus), and red bat (Lasiurus borealis) along with semi-migratory silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans) appear to be most vulnerable at North American sites. Almost nothing is known about current populations of these species and the impact on bat numbers as a result of mortality at windpower locations.
To meet the energy demands worldwide in the future in a sustainable way, a much larger number of turbines than we have today will be required. Naturally this will affect more people and wildlife habitat. In Denmark, wind power now accounts for close to 20% of electricity consumption [40] and a recent poll of Danes show that 90% want more wind power installed [41]. Danish wind power is dependent on the import and export of electricity to Germany, Sweden, and Norway at short notice when wind generated power is less than or greater than current demand, respectively. Denmark has access to dispatchable Norwegian hydroelectric power and is leading the development of wind prediction science and technology. [42] [43] [44]
Perceptions that wind turbines are noisy and contribute to “visual pollution” creates resistance to the establishment of land-based wind farms in some places. Moving the turbines offshore mitigates the problem, but offshore wind farms are more expensive to maintain and there is an increase in transmission loss due to longer distances of power lines. One solution to such objections is the early and close involvement of the local population, as recommended in the sustainability guidelines of the World Wind Energy Association[14] – in the ideal case through community/citizen ownership of wind farms.
Some residents near windmills complain of “shadow flicker,” which is the alternating pattern of sun and shade caused by a rotating windmill casting a shadow over residences. Efforts are made when siting turbines to avoid this problem.

Sharon asks…

What are the basic element in wind energy conversion device?

I have to build a wind energy conversion device for my design subject. However, I can’t use toothed gears, gearboxes, energy storage systems (e.g. flywheels, batteries, pressurised fluids, etc), rolling
element bearings and existing (pre-made) fan impellers.

So I need rough ideas on what are the things that can replace those items which can make the device moving.

Windmill Farms answers:

Hair like structures which work based on Piezoelectric effect…

Donald asks…

Renewable energy ideal – wind turbine on wheels to capture hurricane power?

Is it possible to get a giant mobile wind turbine on wheels that can be placed in hurricanes in order to collect large amounts of energy?

For example, how about a very rugged turbine(like propeller you would use for planes going 500 MPH) and a energy storage device that converts aluminum oxide to aluminum(high energy potential material/released energy = thermite reaction) for example. With hydrogen, you waste energy compressing… so preferrably some energy conversion system that gives solids or liquids. Then just pump the fuel to anywhere and convert it to electricity.

Of course you take the wheels off and lock in down once on location… materials for construction can be very cheap I think if they REALLY REALLY tried to build using already made parts.

Windmill Farms answers:

It is not possible to make strong enough and big enough turbines that are also portable, and any way, hurricanes do not happen often enough. And just imagine the amount of fuel and number of workers and the time that would be needed to move these giant machines! Far better to build thousands of turbines permanently installed in locations that see moderately strong winds most of the year. Winds strong enough to make lots of power but not so strong as to damage the turbines. Winds than blow almost every day and not only one or two days out of the year. That is being done already.

And your energy storage ideas sound like they would store very little energy and require a great deal of trouble to implement.

Mary asks…

What are the energy conversions of the following:?

-coal- fired power plant
-CANDU nuclear power plant
-hydroelectric power generated facility
-tidal power generating facility
-wind turbine
-solar collector
-earth energy system
-photovoltaic cell
-geothermal heating
-geothermal electricity generating facility
-ethanol fuel
-hydrogen fuel cell (automobile)

Please help need answers ASAP thanks :)
(also if you can tell me if each one is renewable or non renewable that would be helpful)

Windmill Farms answers:

Coal fired plant:- (Heat energy) by burning the coal is used to rotate a turbine(Mechanical energy)which in turn produces electricity(Electrical energy). This is Non-renewable.

Hydroelectric plant: Static energy(water stored in dam) is converted to kinetic energy(water in motion while the water is released)and converted to Mechanical energy(rotation of turbines) and in turn(Electrical energy). RENEWABLE

Tidal: High tide and low tide makes water to flow from on direction to another (kinetic energy) is converted to mechanical energy(turbines)and to electrical energy. RENEWABLE.

Wind : Wind energy causes the turbines to rotate (mechanical energy) and gives out electrical energy. RENEWABLE

Solar: Heat energy (from sun) is used to produce electricity either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP).Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photoelectric effect. RENEWABLE

Photovoltaic :The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. Directly converts light energy to electricity. RENEWABLE

Geothermal and geothermal electricity : Heat energy produced by earth converted to electricity by turbines(mechanical energy). RENEWABLE

ethanol fuel: Burns out producing heat energy converted to mechanical by turbines. In cars, by pistons and connected to camshafts that are connected to vehicle tyres making it to rotate causing the battery to charge(electrical energy) NON-RENEWABLE

hydrogen fuel cell: converts the chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical energy either by burning hydrogen in an internal combustion engine, or by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to run electric motors NON-RENEWABLE

Hope this answer helps u…

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Uses Of Wind Energy In Rural Areas

Daniel asks…

Help with wind turbine question?

Would like to buy a wind turbine which would be to power 3 x 135kw tubular heaters and 4 energy saving light bulbs, live in a very rural windy area in Scotland so windiness not a problem! There are so many different ones and it’s all a little confusing, budget is about £600, any ideas for which one to buy?
The heaters are 180w, sorry, my mistake, we are on the grid, just want to be able to use 3 of the heaters, 4 energy efficient light bulbs and a radio for. We are on the grid.

Windmill Farms answers:

But are the winds consistent? Wind turbines only operate in limited ranges. You first have to ask yourself how are you going to store the power. If you are on a grid, you can sell the power that you produce to the utilities and buy back what you need, it’s called net metering. This avoids paying the cost of batteries and the fact that batteries are only 50% efficient at charging.

However if you are truly remote, you will have to charge lead acid batteries and run a DC circuit for DC lights and appliances. They sell many 12 Volt appliances and lights for the RV market so DC wiring is quite easy to do.

You need to estimate how much power you use, not just the wattage but for how long you run the devices, you want the watt hours over a period of time. You’ll need to get weather data from your weather office about how many hours per day you can expect the power to be within an appropriate range. On average a wind turbine only produces usable power for 1/6th of the time.

Let’s say you get 4 hours of usable wind per day ( 1/6 of 24 hours ), your 135 kw heaters run at 50% duty cycle but are on all day so you use 4,860 kwh of power per day for heat and you use 4 12 watt CFL light bulbs for 4 hours a day, that’s 192 wh per day so your energy usage is 4,860.192 kwh per day. Let’s imagine the power draw was constant which of course it isn’t but this makes it easier, when the wind turbines are running, you can use the power directly and the surplus goes to charge the batteries at 50% efficiency, and the rest of the time, you are running off batteries. This means you need 4,860.192 kwh / 24h * ( 2 * 20h + 4h ) = 8,910.352 kwh per day ( that’s actually 9 times the average US monthly household energy use, but in a single day so you are using more energy then 270 US homes, I presume you are doing a lot of heating ). All of this power needs to be generated in the 4 hours of usable wind so you would need 2,227.59 kw of wind turbines, most small turbines are about 720 watts because they are based on an automobile alternator so you would need 3,094 small scale wind turbines or two of those giant megawatt turbines. For batteries, you would need 4,860.192 kwh / 24 * 20h = 4,050.16 kwh which with 12 V 100 AH batteries would be 3,375 batteries.

I think you need to revise your energy requirements especially since 3 x 135 kw tubular heaters are the same as 338 blow dryers. It’s 540 HP of heat, probably enough to heat a small village. I really think you need to take a more careful look at those heaters, they can’t possibly be that large.

Note that a megawatt wind turbine is dozens of millions of dollars and I suspect that blows your £600 budget many many times over.

Carol asks…

I am interested in wind power and its practicality in my area.?

I would like to find out cost vs. output, average wind speeds and generally how cost relates to the use of wind for private and comercial use. Any input would be appreciated.

Windmill Farms answers:

For private use you are likely only going to be allowed to use a small wind turbine, depending on where you live (rural areas are best for wind energy). For commercial use, I don’t see much promise in wind energy since commercial zones are usually in urban areas where the strong winds are dispersed by many buildings.

Anyway, to find how practical a wind system will be in your area you will need to make some estimates. First, how much will the wind turbine(s), generator(s) and supporting equipment such as wire cables cost? Second, about how much energy will the system generate in a year (in kW-hr)? The amount of energy produced can be translated to dollars by checking how much you pay for electricity (usually around $0.10 per kW-hr). Then you ask yourself: how long will it take to be reimbursed on my initial investment? If you estimate that your system will last longer than the time it takes to pay for itself, then it is a practical idea. If it turns out that your system will not be economically practical, you would probably be better off donating your money to renewable energy (via carbon credits or something).

The trouble is in the estimation… Which may take some science/engineering know-how along with data research. If you are in the United States, the gov’t Dep’t of Energy collects a lot of energy data (see links below). As far as estimating how much power your system can produce for a given wind speed, you will have to see the manufacturer data for your wind turbine and generator. You can also educate yourself in turbine location and wind energy in general at the third link below (lots of neat info there). Maybe you can purchase an anemometer to test different locations around your property on “windy” days to relatively gauge the optimal location.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider, but I hope this gets you started in the right direction. Also, contact your utility company before actually buying components for your system to set up an arrangement with them (equipment needs to be installed on their side of the line before you can supply power to the grid).

Chris asks…

What are the pros of using wind as a power source?

Windmill Farms answers:

1. Renewable source of energy
2. Cheaper than solar
3. Non-polluting, eco-friendly–no carbon emmissions so reduces global warming
4. Set up away from cities, so energy can be used in agricultural areas–that is develop rural economies
5. More output
6. Best form of energy to be used in coastal areas where wind speed is high

William asks…

science question about energy sources?

a. animal power
b. coal
c. oil and gas
d. moving water
e. wind power

1. how do people use these things? what do they give power too? (use sentences)
2. how do people use resources differently now than 200 years ago? (use sentences)

thank so much

Windmill Farms answers:

A. Animal power -People use the power of animals to plow ground, harvest food, pull up trees etc.

B. Coal-People use coal for producing electricity, and generating heat in homes.

C. Oil and gas. (think of transporation!)

D. Moving water-The movement of water is currently used in generating electricity. (Ex. Hoover Dam) In previous generations people used water to turn mill stones to grind corn and wheat for flour.

E. Wind power-We currently harvest electricity from wind farms in some states. Years ago, and still in rural areas, will power drives water pumps and aerates ponds.

Charles asks…

How cost effective are wind turbines?

I watched Windfall, a documentary which argues that wind turbines only exist because of subsidies. A $3M turbine receives, in NY state, $1M federal subsidy and $1M state subsidy or tax incentive.

Do they cost $3M? Do they produce enough electricity with enough efficiency to justify their existence, even without subsidies?

The documentary mentioned Tug Hill, NY but I would also like to see data for other areas like desert passes in California.
How much electricity does a wind turbine generate, what is the value of that electricity, and how long does it take to break even on a $3M investment?

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey Tolstoi, you’ll be hardpressed to get to the actual final numbers on subsidies, there are lots of smoke and mirrors. Some installations receive tariff feed ins, which have to do with their actual output, not the size or capacity of the project. Others get subsidies based on timing on installations, and they differ on which governing agency is involved. But take a look at the electrification history of the US as a whole to get a better picture. In the 1930′s, huge subsidies were used to promote rural electrification. At the time there were well over 2 million working wind turbines in the country, most on rural farms. By 1950, virtually all of them were left to rust, replaced by long distance wiring and coal plants. The US government saw it as a way to improve the health and working conditions of the rural set in America, and by that increase commerce, which was exactly what was needed during the great depression. Until just a few years ago, most coal plants, and still most grid operators continue to get breaks from the government, in terms of taxes, land use permits, and so on. I have no problem with this, it was needed then, and you can thank those expenses for having power in virtually any home in our country today, without them, many of us would still be sitting in the dark.

The purpose of the subsidies to the wind and solar industries is there for similar reasons. Our government feels that having a more forward position in the use of these technologies can reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources, improve the air quality, and by that the working conditions in our country, as well as move us forward in the developement of these technologies for foreign sale. Boeing corporation today is the largest exporter of technology in the US in dollar terms because they have gotten so good at building planes and space technology, something they could not have done without subsidies and government contracts. It would be in our interest to do the same for renewable energy. Nobody was complaining in 1950 about subsidies to the coal industry, or the electric grid, I can’t think of one rational reason why we should be complaining about doing the same thing for wind, solar, and even nuclear research. The big difference for nuclear when you talk to most environmentalists is that the technology is still not where they would like it to be for mass production. It still holds promise.

There was a great article last spring in Financial Times with the outgoinig CEO of BP Inc. He was stating that since wind had already surpassed nuclear in cost of energy production, he fully expected any resurgence in nuclear to be far in the future given current day technology, and that most likely the same would happen to coal in the next 10 years. It is starting now, just the way he had predicted. This was an oil man talking, and he is probably right. As far as these wind turbines producing that amount of power to justify the expense, consider a coal plant, which costs millions to build, but then needs to be fed fuel each day for the rest of its life. At least a wind turbine has a chance to get even some day, since the fuel it needs is free. This is the reason all the utility companies are busy putting them up, they look great on the balance sheet once you have one installed on a windy site. You mentioned the Windfall Documentary arguing that the turbines are too expensive to justify the cost. I think you made your own point there. They are busy arguing, everyone else is busy putting up turbines. We have a turbine in our back yard by the way. It’s virtually silent, it doesn’t cause any flicker, beyond what our ceiling fan does already, and all the plants and animals that used to live under it are still there. And, we didn’t receive any subsidies for putting it up. Will it pay for itself one day? It’s hard to say, depends on what the electric rates do in the future. Even if it doesn’t, I’m okay with it. In the last 11 years since we installed it, our home has not been without electricity for even a minute, hard to put a price tag on that. As far as the environment, many people today think buring coal to run an airconditioner is totally safe and reasonable. Thirty years ago many people argued that cigarettes were too. Sometimes it takes a generation to see what we were doing wrong back then. Take care Tolstoi, Rudydoo

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Wind Power Pros And Cons

Mandy asks…

What can we use instead of nuclear energy?

Can we use wind power instead and biomass. Pros and cons please!

Windmill Farms answers:

A WISE combination of renewables (i.e. Clean, SAFE energy),
to include:
1). Mini wind turbines fitted onto / nearby buildings
(no metal blades to cut, for safety),
2). Corporation strength solar storage cells, (with magnifying mirrors / recollect light too), (also use lasers…)
3). Water wheels in mains water pipes, in rivers, along coasts etc.,
4).kinetic energy on moving vehicles – cars, planes, ships etc.,
5) + some human power (optional) EG excercise bikes that generate elec.

Mary asks…

What is the power generating output of a typical coal-fired and/or natural gas- fired power plant?

If I remember right a single large wind turbine only generates 1.5 MW peak output. I know a nuclear plant can generate more than a 1000 MW and I am unsure about a hydro plant. It just seems to me that solar and wind power can’t create enough power for the demands of society. A lot of wind turbines would have to be built!

Windmill Farms answers:

I could site many references to the pros/cons of all you have mentioned along with their outputs. This document from the WSGS can answer all you questions completely, if you take the time to read it.

Many things go into choosing which source for power production is best and when, Just because something makes more energy than consumed, does not make it efficient.


Lizzie asks…

What is the most efficient way of powering your home? Do you use solar power, wind turbine, coal?

fire, gas, electric, wood fire, ice blocks and a fan? What works for you, how green is it and why it works for you? Anyone have any additional costs associated with installing or using these options? Any installation professional, or self? What would you say are pros and cons to alternative power sources? What do you think is the cheapest, easiest way to power a home? Would like to hear from folks who have added alternative power sources to their homes and hear your experiences.

Windmill Farms answers:

I have just answered a Q. Similar to this,My G/Fs small holding has no mains, water, sewage,gas or electricity we have a genny that runs the washing machine, T.V & charges a large battery pack we have bottled gas for cooking & heating filtered rain water for showering & washing clothes, a composting toilet, all waste water is collected to water the veggys, when we’ve finished our waste ‘gulper’ we should be able to produce our own gas, the genny runs on bio fuel which we produce & the back up petrol genny runs on methenol, which we also produce, we dont pay any utility bills, how cheap do you want to run? You can only watch T.V for a couple of hours a night, but we’ve got all mod cons!

Jenny asks…

What portion of Ontario’s energy needs is served by solar and wind technologies?

What portion of Ontario’s energy needs is served by solar and wind technologies?

Also, what are the pros and cons of expanding the availability of these technologies?

Windmill Farms answers:

They used solar for both residential and commercial water heating systems, space heating, and to dry crops and lumbers, also to distribute solar powered electricity to power homes in remote areas.

George asks…

In your opinion what is the most efficient energy alternative?

K Im doing a survey to see what the most efficient energy alternative is. The choices for the survery are water power, wind power, geothermal power, nuclear power, biomass power, or solar power.
*Note if you can, give reasons why this is the best one

Windmill Farms answers:

I believe that water power is superior


Can be stored
High efficiency (water is used to turn a turbine to generate electricity)
High concentrations able to provide a reasonable amount of homes
Expensive but tends to pay off extremely fast


handful of suitable locations
slows river and effects wildlife

Solar Power

Can be used anywhere

Can’t be stored naturally
low efficiency
low concentrations
expensive to produce, takes forever to pay off
easily damaged
dependent on weather


Exhaust Steam can be used for heating
Provides a reasonable amount of electricity

Handful of suitable locations
Possible harmful effects can occur like molten iron core hardening or earthquakes. Molten Iron core solidifying will assuredly end all life on earth.


dependent on weather
low energy concentration
repairs are difficult, damage frequent
harmful to birds

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Renewable Energy World

Mark asks…

What is renewable energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable energy or non-conventional energy are such sources as the sun, wind, water, agricultural residue, firewood, and animal dung. The non-renewable sources are the fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil, and natural gas. Energy generated from the sun is known as solar energy. Hydel is the energy derived from water. Biomass –firewood, animal dung, biodegradable waste from cities and crop residues- is a source of energy when it is burnt. Geothermal energy is derived from hot dry rocks, magma, hot water springs, natural geysers, etc. Ocean thermal is energy derived from waves and also from tidal waves.

Through the method of co-generation a cleaner and less polluting form of energy is being generated. Fuel cells are also being used as cleaner energy source.

N the past century, it has been seen that the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy has caused more environmental damage than any other human activity. Electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil has led to high concentrations of harmful gases in the atmosphere. This has in turn led to many problems being faced today such as ozone depletion and global warming. Vehicular pollution has also been a major problem.

Therefore, alternative sources of energy have become very important and relevant to today’s world. These sources, such as the sun and wind, can never be exhausted and therefore are called renewable. They cause less emissions and are available locally. Their use can, to a large extent, reduce chemical, radioactive, and thermal pollution. They stand out as a viable source of clean and limitless energy. These are also known as non-conventional sources of energy. Most of the renewable sources of energy are fairly non-polluting and considered clean though biomass, a renewable source, is a major polluter indoors.

Nancy asks…

Renewable energy?

What are the best sources for someone to learn more about renewable energy? What renewable energy source do you think is ideal? What articles/books/podcasts/etc do you recommend on the subject? What do you think America’s plan should be in creating a more sustainable world?

Windmill Farms answers:

The internet is an amazing tool. As mentioned previously ,Union of Concerned Scientists of which I belong. Leonardo Energy, Earth Justice, Earth First, and Fixing the Planet are all good resources and chocked full of information and like minded people willing to help and educate.
At present there are many renewables vying for the front seat and only the future and research monies will tell. Bio mass looks promising if we can nail down the processing costs. Wind and solar need a shot in the arm for efficiency. Nuclear, heaven forbid as far as I’m concerned may become a player again.
There are plenty of blogs out there where a person can glean enough useful information without leaving your chair. Become part of the answer and you will learn exponentially, I guarantee it.
The US needs to heed the IPCC and make some sacrifices. The upper court system in this country is stacked with eco unfriendlies,Thanks to G.W. Which makes it very hard to win environmental cases in this day and age. I think a restructure is in order, the checks and balance system is out of balance. More research money and grants need to be slated for private individuals, to utilize and further the advancement of GREEN power.

Mary asks…

How much of the World’s energy consumption is renewable?

I know that the World‘s Energy Consumption is 483.6 Q, and the United States energy consumption is 101.55. The United States renewable energy consumption is 6.81 Q.

I can’t find any information the world‘s renewable energy consumption. Does anybody know what it is?


Windmill Farms answers:

Well since “in 2010 86,4 % of global energy use came from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and you know that the World’s Energy Consumption is 483.6 Q then you can easily calculate the share of renewables.


Helen asks…

world ecosystem. energy?

how the renewable resource become non renewable??

Windmill Farms answers:

Think about what makes non-renewable energy “non-renewable”. Oil and coal, for example. Why are they non-renewable? Because to make them a massive amount of organic matter (dead things) has to be preserved and transformed under very specific conditions and for a very, very long time. The amount of organic material and the specific conditions don’t exist anymore and, even if they did, we’re using up oil and coal faster than they could be produced.

Certain trees like some pines are a renewable resource because we can grow them faster than we can use them up. Other trees like redwoods are non-renewable because they take hundreds of years to grow. We use them up faster than we could grow them.

Wind and solar power are renewable because, so far, the wind always blows and the sun always shines. They become non-renewable if the wind stops and the sun gets weak or goes out so we can’t get anymore of them.

So there are a number of ways for renewable to become non-renewable: the stuff used to make the resource disappears, the conditions needed to make the resource no long exist or we use it up faster than it can be produced.

Hope this helps.

Thomas asks…

Give some renewable sources of energy ?

Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable energy effectively uses natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat, which may be naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity/micro hydro, biomass and biofuels for transportation.

In 2006, about 18% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, like wood-burning. Hydropower was the next largest renewable source, providing 3%, followed by hot water/heating which contributed 1.3%. Modern technologies, such as geothermal, wind, solar, and ocean energy together provided some 0.8% of final energy consumption.[1] The technical potential for their use is very large, exceeding all other readily available sources.[2][3]

Renewable energy technologies are sometimes criticised for being intermittent or unsightly, yet the market is growing for many forms of renewable energy. Wind power is growing at the rate of 30% p.a. Has a worldwide installed capacity of over 100 GW [4] and is widely used in several European countries and the USA.[5] The manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached more than 2,000 MW in 2006,[6] and PV power plants are particularly popular in Germany.[7] Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert. [8]. The world’s largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW.[9] Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18 percent of the country’s automotive fuel.[10] Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA.

While there are many large-scale renewable energy projects and production, renewable technologies are also suited to small off-grid applications, sometimes in rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development.[11] Kenya has the world’s highest household solar ownership rate with roughly 30,000 small (20–100 watt) solar power systems sold per year.[12]

Climate change concerns coupled with high oil prices, peak oil and increasing government support are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. European Union leaders reached an agreement in principle in March 2007 that 20 percent of their nations’ energy should be produced from renewable fuels by 2020, as part of its drive to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, blamed in part for global warming.[13] Investment capital flowing into renewable energy climbed from $80 billion in 2005 to a record $100 billion in 2006.[14] This level of investment combined with continuing double digit percentage increases each year has moved what once was considered alternative energy to mainstream. Wind was the first to provide 1% of electricity, but solar is not far behind.[15] Some very large corporations such as BP, General Electric, Sharp, and Royal Dutch Shell are investing in the renewable energy sectorThe majority of renewable energy technologies are directly or indirectly powered by the sun. The Earth-Atmosphere system is in equilibrium such that heat radiation into space is equal to incoming solar radiation, the resulting level of energy within the Earth-Atmosphere system can roughly be described as the Earth’s “climate.” The hydrosphere (water) absorbs a major fraction of the incoming radiation. Most radiation is absorbed at low latitudes around the equator, but this energy is dissipated around the globe in the form of winds and ocean currents. Wave motion may play a role in the process of transferring mechanical energy between the atmosphere and the ocean through wind stress.[18] Solar energy is also responsible for the distribution of precipitation which is tapped by hydroelectric projects, and for the growth of plants used to create biofuels.

Renewable energy flows involve natural phenomena such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat, as the International Energy Agency explains:

“Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources.”[19]

Each of these sources has unique characteristics which influence how and where they are used.

Wind power

Main article: Wind power

Vestas V80 wind turbines
Vestas V80 wind turbines

Airflows can be used to run wind turbines. Modern wind turbines range from around 600 kW to 5 MW of rated power, although turbines, with rated output of 1.5–3 MW, have become the most common for commercial use; the power output of a turbine is a function of the cube of the wind speed, so as wind speed increases, power output increases dramatically.[20] Areas where winds are stronger and more constant, such as offshore and high altitude sites, are preferred locations for wind farms.

Since wind speed is not constant, a wind farm’s annual energy production is never as much as the sum of the generator nameplate ratings multiplied by the total hours in a year. The ratio of actual productivity in a year to this theoretical maximum is called the capacity factor. Typical capacity factors are 20-40%, with values at the upper end of the range in particularly favourable sites.[21][22] For example, a 1 megawatt turbine with a capacity factor of 35% will not produce 8,760 megawatt-hours in a year, but only 0.35x24x365 = 3,066 MWh, averaging to 0.35 MW. Online data is available for some locations and the capacity factor can be calculated from the yearly output.[23][24]

Globally, the long-term technical potential of wind energy is believed to be five times total current global energy production, or 40 times current electricity demand. This could require large amounts of land to be used for wind turbines, particularly in areas of higher wind resources. Offshore resources experience mean wind speeds of ~90% greater than that of land, so offshore resources could contribute substantially more energy.[25] This number could also increase with higher altitude ground-based or airborne wind turbines.[26]

Wind power is renewable and produces no greenhouse gases during operation, such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Water power

Main article: Hydropower

Energy in water (in the form of motive energy or temperature differences) can be harnessed and used. Since water is about 800 times denser than air,[27][28] even a slow flowing stream of water, or moderate sea swell, can yield considerable amounts of energy.
One of 3 PELAMIS P-750 Ocean Wave Power engines in the harbour of Peniche/ Portugal.
One of 3 PELAMIS P-750 Ocean Wave Power engines in the harbour of Peniche/ Portugal.

There are many forms of water energy:

* Hydroelectric energy is a term usually reserved for large-scale hydroelectric dams. Examples are the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State and the Akosombo Dam in Ghana.
* Micro hydro systems are hydroelectric power installations that typically produce up to 100 kW of power. They are often used in water rich areas as a Remote Area Power Supply (RAPS). There are many of these installations around the world, including several delivering around 50 kW in the Solomon Islands.
* Damless hydro systems derive kinetic energy from rivers and oceans without using a dam.
* Wave power uses the energy in waves. The waves will usually make large pontoons go up and down in the water, leaving an area with reduced wave height in the “shadow”. Wave power has now reached commercialization.
* Tidal power captures energy from the tides in a vertical direction. Tides come in, raise water levels in a basin, and tides roll out. Around low tide, the water in the basin is discharged through a turbine.
* Tidal stream power captures energy from the flow of tides, usually using underwater plant resembling a small wind turbine. Tidal stream power demonstration projects exist, and the first commercial prototype will be installed in Strangford Lough in September 2007.
* Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature difference between the warmer surface of the ocean and the colder lower recesses. To this end, it employs a cyclic heat engine. OTEC has not been field-tested on a large scale.
* Deep lake water cooling, although not technically an energy generation method, can save a lot of energy in summer. It uses submerged pipes as a heat sink for climate control systems. Lake-bottom water is a year-round local constant of about 4 °C.
* Blue energy is the reverse of desalination. This form of energy is in research.

Solar energy use

Main article: Solar energy

Monocrystalline solar cell
Monocrystalline solar cell

In this context, “solar energy” refers to energy that is collected from sunlight. Solar energy can be applied in many ways, including to:

* Generate electricity using photovoltaic solar cells.
* Generate electricity using concentrated solar power.
* Generate electricity by heating trapped air which rotates turbines in a Solar updraft tower.
* Heat buildings, directly, through passive solar building design.
* Heat foodstuffs, through solar ovens.
* Heat water or air for domestic hot water and space heating needs using solar-thermal panels.
* Heat and cool air through use of solar chimneys.
* Generate electricity in geosynchronous orbit using solar power satellites.
* Solar air conditioning


Main article: Biofuel

Plants use photosynthesis to grow and produce biomass. Also known as biomatter, biomass can be used directly as fuel or

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Micro Wind Power

Jenny asks…

Anybody knows the price for a solar – PV and Thermal – system and the price of a micro wind power system?

I’m doing a research regarding the installation of a fuel cell inside a house and I want to compare the price of this system with a PV and thermal solar system and also the price of a micro wind power to use in residential buildings. Prices would be suitable in installed KW or KWh of energy…source? Thanks

Windmill Farms answers:

What should be a relatively straightforward answer, like it will cost you $14/watt for solar and $7/watt for wind power is not so easy in reality. There are “two” big challenges to understanding your PV and wind power system costs and power?

#1. POWER IS HARD TO FIGURE OUT. You buy these systems based on their “nameplate” value, but you actually care about their total power generation:

To explain: Each of these systems, Solar or Wind, will be “rated” by their power production peak capability. This “rating” is known as their nameplate value, and when purchasing a “90 watt” solar panel, and the 90 watts is the peak power this panel can produce on a sunny day at noon. Similarly, a 1kW (nameplate) wind turbine will be “rated” for the peak power it can generate in fairly high wind (typically 30 mph sustained).

If you are actually using these systems for power generation, the nameplate value is good to know for the total power you will need to handle in the system, but not wholly useful for determining it’s power production. What you actually care about is watts/per year, not watts per BEST CASE SCENARIO.

To determine your yearly estimated watts per solar or wind is quite hard and depends on your sun and wind conditions where you live and how you install these. In general, a solar system with nameplate power of 3 kW will produce approximately 4000 kW/hrs per year in “good” sun (southern U.S.), and a 3kW wind turbine will produce approximately 6000 kW/hrs in “good” wind (Wind class 3 areas.) A wind class map can be found at

#2. PRICE IS HARD TO FIGURE OUT. Even if you do some math, and figure out your power production for your system, there is not an easy “price” total for either of these. Solar panels need installation, DC-AC inverters, grid-connection systems and/or battery systems. Wind systems also need installation, including potentially costly foundation and tower work if you want to get the turbine up into stronger winds, inverters, grid-connection and batteries etc. It is not atypical in EITHER solar or wind for the installed costs to double or triple the purchase of the panels or turbines themselves.

What you wanted to know was which to buy, the answer is: if it’s really sunny and not windy, use solar, if it’s windy (branches offer flutter on your trees), think about wind.


Michael asks…

I want to no about micro wind turbines?

If there is any one who as experience with micro wind turbines, could you lease give me a little advice and point me in the right direction with all the pros’s and con’s, or even better to speak with someone who has one would be great, or maybe an e-mail address or a telephone number within the U.K. and I will pay for the call. I’m not a weirdo or sicko Im just passionate about the environment and the health of the planet and want to do my bit.

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey Check, micro wind turbines is a fairly new term. We actually had one at our home for 2 years quite some time ago, it was a Southwest Windpower model AIR 303. It worked, but had performance and maintenance issues that eventually led us to replace it with a larger heavier unit. I am going to warn you now that in all my years working with, and later teaching wind and solar power, there are two things in vast supply in wind power, wind, and misinformation.

Micro turbines were originally made for sailboats, remote weather stations, and other applications where grid power was not available, but power requirements were small. Wind power is very promising, but if you are getting involved solely to reduce your electric bill, you are probably not going to be pleased with the results. Grid power in most places is really very inexpensive, and it is difficult to undercut this value producing your own unless you are handy enough to build your own equipement from scratch. Most people are not. We got involved 12 years ago for environmental reasons, and because at the time, our place had frequent power outages.

The smaller a wind turbine is, the faster its blade rotates, and the more noise it makes. Always keep this in mind. Salesmen will taught all kinds of technological breakthroughs trying to sell their equipment, but the truth is most successful turbines work on the same principles they did 50 years ago. Take the vertical turbine, or Darrieus Rotors that are for sale today. These type turbines are horribly inefficient, generally turning 3 – 8 % of the wind they are exposed to into useable power. Horizontal models generally run in the 25 – 35 % range. There is a great article written by Mick Sagrillo on the American Wind Energy website about this, he is considered to be the modern day guru on wind power, still, everyone I talk to that has no experience in the field thinks the vertical turbine is, “Reallly Neat.”

We’ve been powering our home from the wind and sun for 11 years now, so unfortunately, I’ve had to become an expert on the subject whether I wanted to be or not. If you really want to get involved, get educated first. I’ll list some good sources below to start with, then you can go in whatever direction your knowledge takes you. In the end, you might decide not to get involved, and that’s fine, at least you will be well informed. Take care, Rudydoo

Linda asks…

Solar power?

I am about to purchase a laptop and i am wondering about solar energy
is there a device where i can leave the panel outside in the day that charges a battery to run a 21.5” tv, wii, and apple macbook and take the panel in at night and where can i find one
an insturional tutorial to bulid one work work to
my price range is $100 $200

Windmill Farms answers:

Let me start off by saying we (my family and I) live completely, 100% “off of the grid and are completely self sufficient”

The house is built utilizing natures natural elements, in the shape of an octagon with 8ft wide arch doors on every wall to catch every angle of wind (typical 4 sided homes have half the chance as one with 8 sides. A circle being the most efficient design). Woodburning stoves, solar chimney, solar AC, solar heating, solar water heating (pool and home), solar stove, solar power, wind power, hydrogen powered back up generator, hydrogen back up water heater, hydrogen stove, 2 hydrogen powered trucks, 1 EV (electric vehicle) and satellite internet.

There are no utility lines, no water lines, no roads, tv, cell service, etc. On our ranch. EVERYTHING needed is produced here. All electricity comes from 27 solar panels, 2 main wind gens and a back hydrogen generator if needed (typically we can last 9 days with all luxuries of sunless windless weather, hasn’t happened yet). Water is caught and storaged from the rain. Hot water is made with solar batch water heaters with an on-demand hydrogen hot water heater as backup. Even our vehicles use alternative energy (2 hydrogen trucks, 1 EV electric vehicle converted). Because of this we have no bills, no debt and no mortgage.

The fallowing steps were taking directly out of a DIY guide I offer to those who would like to run their homes on solar power safely, reducing their monthly utility bills or even selling power back the the electrical companies. The entire guide is available at www agua-luna com. Its pretty simple but if you have any problems feel free to contact me directly I can walk you threw the process.

Materials you will need
A sheet of copper flashing from the hardware store. This normally costs about $5.00 per square foot. We will need about half a square foot.
Two alligator clip leads.
A sensitive micro-ammeter that can read currents between 10 and 50 microamperes. Radio Shack sells small LCD multimeters that will do, but I used a small surplus meter with a needle.
An electric stove. My kitchen stove is gas, so I bought a small one-burner electric hotplate for about $25. The little 700 watt burners probably won’t work — mine is 1100 watts, so the burner gets red hot.
A large clear plastic bottle off of which you can cut the top. I used a 2 liter spring water bottle. A large mouth glass jar will also work.
Table salt. We will want a couple tablespoons of salt.
Tap water.
Sand paper or a wire brush on an electric drill.
Sheet metal shears for cutting the copper sheet.

The first step is to cut a piece of the copper sheeting that is about the size of the burner on the stove. Wash your hands so they don’t have any grease or oil on them. Then wash the copper sheet with soap or cleanser to get any oil or grease off of it. Use the sandpaper or wire brush to thoroughly clean the copper sheeting, so that any sulphide or other light corrosion is removed.
Next, place the cleaned and dried copper sheet on the burner and turn the burner to its highest setting.
As the copper starts to heat up, you will see beautiful oxidation patterns begin to form. Oranges, purples, and reds will cover the copper.
As the copper gets hotter, the colors are replaced with a black coating of cupric oxide. This is not the oxide we want, but it will flake off later, showing the reds, oranges, pinks, and purples of the cuprous oxide layer underneath.
The last bits of color disappear as the burner starts to glow red.
When the burner is glowing red-hot, the sheet of copper will be coated with a black cupric oxide coat. Let it cook for a half an hour, so the black coating will be thick. This is important, since a thick coating will flake off nicely, while a thin coat will stay stuck to the copper.
After the half hour of cooking, turn off the burner. Leave the hot copper on the burner to cool slowly. If you cool it too quickly, the black oxide will stay stuck to the copper.
As the copper cools, it shrinks. The black cupric oxide also shrinks. But they shrink at different rates, which makes the black cupric oxide flake off.
The little black flakes pop off the copper with enough force to make them fly a few inches. This means a little more cleaning effort around the stove, but it is fun to watch.
When the copper has cooled to room temperature (this takes about 20 minutes), most of the black oxide will be gone. A light scrubbing with your hands under running water will remove most of the small bits. Resist the temptation to remove all of the black spots by hard scrubbing or by flexing the soft copper. This might damage the delicate red cuprous oxide layer we need to make to solar cell work.
Cut another sheet of copper about the same size as the first one. Bend both pieces gently, so they will fit into the plastic bottle or jar without touching one another. The cuprous oxide coating that was facing up on the burner is usually the best side to face outwards in the jar, because it has the smoothest, cleanest surface.
Attach the two alligator clip leads, one to the new copper plate, and one to the cuprous oxide coated plate. Connect the lead from the clean copper plate to the positive terminal of the meter. Connect the lead from the cuprous oxide plate to the negative terminal of the meter.
Now mix a couple tablespoons of salt into some hot tap water. Stir the saltwater until all the salt is dissolved. Then carefully pour the saltwater into the jar, being careful not to get the clip leads wet. The saltwater should not completely cover the plates — you should leave about an inch of plate above the water, so you can move the solar cell around without getting the clip leads wet.
Now place in the sun with the magnefied on top.
The solar cell is a battery, even in the dark, and will usually show a few microamps of current.
That’s it it’s that simple. If you’d a more detailed process and some pics (ouldn’t put them here) it’s available along with some other DIY alternative energy projects at www agua-luna com

Hope this helped, feel free to contact me personally if you have any questions if you’d like assistance in making your first self sufficient steps, I’m willing to walk you step by step threw the process. I’ve written several how-to DIY guides available at www agua-luna com on the subject. I also offer online and on-site workshops, seminars and internships to help others help the environment.

Dan Martin
Alterative Energy / Sustainable Consultant, Living 100% on Alternative & Author of How One Simple Yet Incredibly Powerful Resource Is Transforming The Lives of Regular People From All Over The World… Instantly Elevating Their Income & Lowering Their Debt, While Saving The Environment by Using FREE ENERGY… All With Just One Click of A Mouse…For more info Visit:

www AGUA-LUNA com
Stop Global Warming!!!

Lisa asks…

where can i get designs for a micro wind powered 12v battery rechargers?

Windmill Farms answers:

I did a search for “plan for wind generator” on the internet and got back tons of websites for do-it-yourselfers. Here’s some examples:

Ken asks…

can you power a building after an EMP?

if i could somehow build a wind turbine and connect it the electrical grid, could i atleast get the lights to work inside? i know that more sensitive equipment like tvs and computers wont work anymore, but am i on the right path here?

Windmill Farms answers:

A wind turbine won’t put out much power, but yes, connect it to your house wiring and it should power a few lights. Anything with micro circuits will likely be blown though.

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Vertical Wind Turbine Plans

Robert asks…

Science Wind Turbine Question?

I am doing a science fair project in which I am going to create a wind turbine and make electrical energy off it. I am planning to create a vertical axis turbine. I have two questions before i started tho…

1. Is there a way to create a horizontal axis wind turbine? (Is there website (like the one shown below) which shows a step by step process to build a horizontal turbine with cheap materail?)

2. Is there a way for me to store the energy created by the turbine? I dont expect to create alot of energy, but is there a way i can store the small amounts of energy created by the turbine? (like many in a rechargebale battery?)

thank you for your help

Windmill Farms answers:

Try to hook your turbine to an existing product, such as a bicycle generator or a hand-crank charger. You may have to gear it down which will be complex. Or you could turn some kind of paddle wheel that pumps water “up hill” which might qualify for storing energy.

Mark asks…

Wind turbine or photovoltaic panels?

Which one can give you more electricity????
I know that in a sunny day the panels gives yuou energy and in a windy day the turbine the same,but which one is better?

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind will be useless if you do not live in a windy location and because most of us do not, most “home turbines” never repay the carbon invested in them. If, however, you live in a windy location and are able to erect a larger turbine, then wind could work for you. You also have to consider the potential noise nuisance from turbines if you get a conventional turbine. The vertical axis turbines tend to be quieter but they may be less efficient because there are parts moving against the wind. Also how do you plan to maintain supply when it is not windy for several days at a time?

Again to get the most out of solar PV you need to be somewhere where you get sunshine across the year. They do generate on cloudy days but at a lower level. If you live far from the equator there will be far more power on long summer days than there will be on the shorter winter ones.

People that did not do the research but installed both often say that solar PV is better than wind.

If you are trying to cut your carbon footprint you should start with carbon saving measures like better insulation, solar water heating and ground/air source heating/cooling.

Thomas asks…

Wind turbine model relating to chemistry?

We are said to make a chemistry model and I’m planning to make a wind turbine which converts wind energy into electrical energy
Our teacher said that we can choose this topic but said to make it somehow a little related to chemistry
I’m planning to make a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine ( VAWT )
I will be making the model from these site addresses in which the instructions are given :

It is a simple model in which when the turbine moves ( the big plastic thing in the middle of the Generator in the picture ), the movement is converted to electrical energy which lights up the LED light

Please tell anything which i can add to my model so that it relates to chemistry somehow
even suggestions of putting some chemical substances on the turbine to move it smoothly or some other topic on chemistry with references or anything relating to that will be appreciated

Windmill Farms answers:

Read here, it will help you:

David asks…

I am planning to raise a pole from a horizontal position on the ground to a 90 degree vertical position.?

I can secure the base to rotate and allow the flagpole to stand up. The flagpole is 22 ft long and is a 2″ STEEL pipe. It weighs about 88 lbs. I am planning to secure a 80 lb wind turbine to the top. Where is the optimum place to secure a line to the pole and how much force do I need to raise it. I was thinking about securing the line at a point that would be 19ft from the bottom once the pole is veritcal. I can borrow a winch and block and tackle to help in the lifting process. If I attach the wind turbine while the pole is on the ground, how much force will be required to lift the pole to vertical?

Windmill Farms answers:

Is your pipe solid? If not, how thick is the wall? If it is not solid it sounds like a dicey proposition to me.
I don’t think there is an “optimum” place. The higher the lift point, the lower the required force. The amount of force you would need to raise it depends on the point on the pole from which you’re raising it as well as the angle of the lift line w/r/t vertical. If the lift line is vertical, then the initial force is
F = (80 * 22 + 88 * 22/2) / y
where y = distance of lift point from base of pole.
If y = 19, then F ? 144 lb.
The force will diminish as the pole rises.
If the turbine is not already on the pole, then F = 88 * 11 / y

Ruth asks…

A recommended wind turbine for a school?

I’m in the middle of my science coursework and i cant find the answer to that question,please help someone? ASAP.

Windmill Farms answers:

That depends whether you are trying to provide a substantial fraction of the total energy requirement from wind power, or just set up some kind of demo to keep a small battery bank charged and run a laptop.
If the latter, you could buy a small 12V turbine from a boat chandlers.
If the former, you need an energy budget e.g. From studying power usage or the electric bill. There are vertical-axis turbines for an urban environment, but you probably need planning permission and a fair amount of money

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Micro Wind Power Generation

Robert asks…

Wind energy is a reliable source for power generation?

Windmill Farms answers:

The British Isles for example is a good place to use wind energy for wind generation. It gets 40% of all of Europe’s wind energy and the UK is busy exploiting this now with off shore wind farms. But even here the wind does sometimes slow down so that it is not enough turn the turbines. So wind is effective as part of a mixed energy generation policy which will include other forms of energy generation like nuclear, hydro and clean coal, but not on its own.
For micro generation for your home, windmills can be used but they need to be used with other forms of energy.

Helen asks…

Home Power Generation in Russia…Free for Neighbors!?

I spotted this article on a man who built his own water powere generator and it is producing enough power even for the neighbors and it is all FREE!
Now his government is getting nervous…what do you think?

Complete articler and video here:

I say we need more people like him!

Windmill Farms answers:

There are some legitimate reasons for authorities being nervous.  Suppose a line breaks in a storm.  Would this generator keep the other side of the line at a dangerous voltage even though it’s supposed to be “off”?  This is why solar and wind system inverters have “anti-islanding” provisions, to protect line workers.

There are illegitimate reasons, of course.  Not wanting to look bad for doing a bad job is a bogus reason to harass someone, but it happens all too often.

What I think:  I think that the places where we need power tend not to have many opportunities like this.  Micro-hydro is great but there are limits to how much it can do.

Lizzie asks…

Future of wind turbines ?

I need to write a paragraph on the future of wind turbines. I have a list of target that the eu and the un have agreed to meet but finding it dificult to put this in context. So ifyou could help me and write a short paragraph on the future of wind farms :D

Windmill Farms answers:

The ‘Politically Correct’ renewal energy lobby would disagree, hiowwever I also believe they have ZEO future.

The BASIC problem is, what do you do when the wind drops ??? (like, in the UK, it does every winter).

Answer = you have to switch to other power sources…

So, after installing ‘sufficient capacity’ to power the whole country on a windy summers day, exactly HOW MANY conventional power stations can you close down ???

Answer == NONE …

Result = after a MASSIVE investment in wind power we have NO IMPROVEMENT WHAT_SO_EVER in our power generation systems ..

In fact, since ‘unwanted’ wind energy is being fed into the Grid when it’s UNWANTED, we already have the INSANE situation whereby some wind farms are being PAID NOT TO FEED IN POWER (in order to avoid overloading the Grid with power that can’t be used).

The number 1 BEST approach in UK is to deregulate the GAS INDUSTRY and install micro-gas turbines in homes that operate on a ‘combined heat & power’ cycle ..

Overall this will be more efficient than central power generation (unlike electricity, gas does not have ‘losses’ in the transmission system and our high power demands are all for HEATING and HOT WATER (exactly what a combined heat & power generator is going to give us as ‘for free’ as ‘waste heat’)

Michael asks…

can you please write a rough design objective for a home wind turbine?

I am doing this for my A level Design technology, anything will do i am just looking for rough design objectives, thanks :)

Windmill Farms answers:


Low noise
Low setup and maintainance cost
Sufficient power ouput
Acceptable appearance
Safety concerns – secure structure, harm to wildlife, etc.
Practical control system.
Some possible advantages over alternatives such as solar?
Can excess generation be stored or supplied to the main grid?
Must meet local Planning requirements.
Power quality is an issue if you are going to use it as a mains supply
Minimum Lifetime
Ecological concerns involved in manufacturing and disposal at the end of its life
Local manufacture and components?
Can it be easily relocated or modified if required?
There will be a number of insurance issues to consider.

Domestic wind turbines do not appear to be a sensible solution for energy generation in urban environments. They are likely to fail on at least the first four criteria even with technological advances.


Even for micro windturbines which are used to recharge batteries, it is difficult to make an arguement for domestic use. They are usually only seen on yachts where battery usage is high and there is plenty of wind.

Chris asks…

Can national state and local governments use incentives for purchasing electrical micro-generation technology?

Such as anaerobic digestion bio-gas generators and solar hot water heating and photo-voltaic panels? Perhaps the federal government could pick up the tab for most of it, the state government one half as much, and the local half as much as the state leaving the business or individuals to pay for the rest? Would this help electrical generation copaciety keep up with demand if new coal and nuclear power plants had a permenent moritorium put on them and help halt new greenhouse gas emissions while increasing energy independence and greatly speed up the payoff for investment in this kind of technology?

Windmill Farms answers:

Typical lib! Where do you think the government gets the MONEY for picking up the tab? Why would you put a moratorium on building more nukes? We could cut greenhouese gases by 81%. To produce enough solar power you would have to cover Mass, TWICE, and that would only work during sunny days. What about those 2 week snow storms. Wind power? You would need to put up a windmill every 35′ of the US coastline just to meet current capacity and of course the wind would always have to blow.

Get the facts, get realistic. We can dratically cut emissions, we can do it and stregthen our economy. BTW, a solar unit will cost 3X what a comparable nuclear unit costs and only takes up about 1/100 of the space.

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Vertical Wind Power Generators

Nancy asks…

Generator Capability Curve?

How would you answer the following interview question:

Explain to me the how a power station generator capability curve works and what happens when we tap change the generator transformer?

Got an interview on Monday and know the question will come up and not sure how to answer it!

Windmill Farms answers:

The generator capability curve described the capability real and reactive power capability of a generator. Real power is plotted on the horizontal axis, while reactive power is plotted on the vertical axis.

A reactive capability curve consists of three curved segments. One segment is the arc of a circle centered at the origin of the reactive capability curve. Because the radius of that circle is the apparent power, S (in MVA), it is based on the thermal heating limitations inherent in the stator winding and reflects the fact that the stator limitation is based on current alone.

The second segment is an arc of a circle centered on the Q axis – the arc joins the positive Q axis with the constant MVA portion of the curve, and defines the upper boundary of reactive power OUT of the generator. It is the arc of a circle because it also reflects current-based heating; the critical difference is that the limitation described is that of the rotor winding.

The third segment joins the negative Q axis (representing reactive power into the machine) with the constant MVA portion of the curve. This segment reflects end-ring heating while in underexcited operation.

When you change the tap on the generator step up transformer, you will change the reactive output of the generator. Remember that reactive (VARS) always flow downhill in voltage – from higher voltage to lower voltage. So if you change the tap on the transformer to produce a lower open-circuit secondary voltage, the reactive output of the generator will increase. Conversely, if you change the tap to cause a higher open-circuit secondary voltage, the reactive output of the generator will decrease.

Paul asks…

Water-powered electric generator?

Is it possible to build a water-powered electric generator (or do they sell pre-built ones)? I have a stream that flows through my property year round. It never freezes and has a considerable amount of water flow. It’s about 4-8 feet wide depending on the time of year and 1-2 feet deep … though I could dig it deeper in some areas.

I know they have these kits you can buy to generate electricity from wind. Some even have it so you can sell the extra back to the electric company. This stream has to be able to generate more force than wind.

Windmill Farms answers:

You need “head” and volume. It sounds like you have volume but you also need to have a vertical differential: the water source needs to be probably at least six feet above the generator for starters. If the stream is higher a ways back, you can run a pipe.

Thomas asks…

Facts about wind turbines?

Windmill Farms answers:

1. A home owner turbine is basically a fan that when moved by the wind creates energy because it is attached to a generator that collects the electricity it makes
2. Today’s windmills do not interfere with TV reception
3. The first turbines that produced energy from the wind were used in 200 b. C. In Persia (Iran).
4. Wind generated and powered turbines can have either vertical or horizontal axis.
5. The United States and Germany are the world’s leading countries in wind energy.
6. The top U. S. States for energy created by wind are Texas and California.
7. One megawatt of wind energy is about $1 million in economic development in today’s dollars.
8. Energy made with wind in America will reduce the carbon dioxide in the air by one third.
9. Wind energy is really a form of solar energy b/c the heating of the earth’s surface is what causes wind
10. 80 percent of the wind power generated energy costs is construction

Maria asks…

Building a generator?

I’m looking into building a vertical axis wind turbine to generate power for lights in a greenhouse, but I can’t find much about building the actual alternator part to turn the rotation into electricity. If I have two disks, one with a series of copper wire coils and another with corresponding magnets, and the one with magnets is spinning over the copper coils via wind power, how do I harvest the power generated from the process? How should the magnets be oriented? What exactly do you call this kind of generator also, I feel as though if I had a name for it, I’d be able to find more info… Thanks in advance

And please don’t tell me to go buy a motor or alternator…

Windmill Farms answers:

I ma not sure why you have settled on a disc architechture for your generator but if you would like to get a lot of insight into this arena go to

This discusse a lot of the theory behind a printed circuit motor which is used in high frequency response servomechanisms for low rotary inertia. (you I am sure have been told several times that “a motor is a generator is a motor”. It may give you the infoo that you need.

It shows how to arrange discs of magnets on either side of the printed circuit.

Sandy asks…

Wind Turbine help!!!!!?

I am looking to build my own wind turbine and I am stuck on the fact that they cant handle high wind speeds. Up on the mountains speeds can hit 90 mph easily and I was wondering how someone like myself could build a small turbine that could control those speeds. Through my research it looks like I might need a generator that can control these speeds. If this is the case where might I find one?

Windmill Farms answers:

Perhaps you should consider a vertical squirrel cage design (omnidirectional), that way the speed can be controlled by the diameter of the blades and will produce power/leverage depending on the cylindrical height and width. Alternatively, you could use a shunt which would apply resistance on the generator thus slowing its rpm, but that would waste power. Here is a simple pic to give you an idea.

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Wind Energy Conversion System

Richard asks…

Conversion of Wind energy!?

How efficient is Wind Energy?
for example… is 100% of the original energy source converted to the applied energy source is any or some of the energy “lost” to another form of energy!?


Windmill Farms answers:

Every time you convert energy one loses a % of this energy. So if your converting wind into electricity, then into a form you can use, even more loss. What type of storage are you going to use for this power ? Batteries, then AC into DC, then back to AC. As you can see, power loses all over the system.
Here is a link that will show you a good place to start looking.

Michael asks…

Can some one answer this for me? Evaluate the efficiencies of energy conversion systems.?

Thanks, much apreciated

Windmill Farms answers:

Wow, that is no small request!
I can tell you this much: the basis of any system comes down to the most basic element, fuel. The fuel used has a delivery factor; that is how much energy release for sample size; and it is one of the main reasons we find it hard to get away from fossil fuels.
The next step is the “converter stage,” which can have factors like, area of land used (wind and solar), and harmfull bi-product (nuclear and coal).
The third step is the delivery system; although tweaked for goodness most systems today are honestly not up to the task in terms of efficiency.
You can find charts and tables for all these steps from websites.

Donna asks…

are people allowed go right near a wind turbine near them?

I have many widnfarms near me and have visited them several times before but I was just wondering if people are allowed go right near one as to the bottom of one?

Windmill Farms answers:

You should not approach them for the following reasons:


Operation of any utility-scale energy conversion system presents safety hazards. Wind turbines do not consume fuel or produce pollution during normal operation, but still have hazards associated with their operation.

If a turbine’s brake fails, the turbine can spin freely until it disintegrates or catches fire. This is rare and the odds of a major turbine fire or disintegration is in the order of 0.001% over the 20-25 year lifespan of a modern wind turbine.[citation needed] Some turbine nacelle fires cannot be extinguished because of their height, and are sometimes left to burn themselves out. In such cases they generate toxic fumes and can cause secondary fires below. However, newer wind turbines are built with automatic fire extinguishing systems similar to those provided for jet aircraft engines. The autonomous FIREX systems, which can be retrofitted to older wind turbines, automatically detect a fire, order the shut down of the turbine unit and immediately extinguish the fires completely. However, these solutions are usually not applied for economic reasons.

During winter ice may form on turbine blades and subsequently be thrown off during operation. This is a potential safety hazard, and has led to localised shut-downs of turbines. Modern turbines can detect ice formation and excess vibration during operations, and are shut down automatically. Electronic controllers and safety sub-systems monitor many different aspects of the turbine, generator, tower, and environment to determine if the turbine is operating in a safe manner within prescribed limits. These systems can temporarily shut down the turbine due to high wind, ice, electrical load imbalance, vibration, and other problems. Recurring or significant problems cause a system lockout and notify an engineer for inspection and repair. In addition, most systems include multiple passive safety systems that stop operation even if the electronic controller fails.

excerpt taken from:

In Scotland there is planning guidance (SPP 6, Renewables) which suggests a 2 kilometre separation distance. Similar separation distances have been put in place in other countries, in Europe, parts of Australia, Canada and the US.

Nothing so sensible exists in England and Wales. If anything, things have got worse. In the 1990’s the DTI was suggesting a 450m separation distance for turbines that then were a maximum of 60m high. Now, with 125m turbines the norm, and turbines of up to 200m being built in France and Germany, there is no suggested cordon sanitaire and we are entirely at the mercy of developers and the haphazard decisions of local planning authorities, many of which have little experience or understanding of wind turbines.
excerpt taken from:

The latest claims come from Dr Nina Pierpont, who alleges that wind turbines cause ailments ranging from sleeplessness to tinnitus.



Hope I helped.

Daniel asks…

Renewable energy ideal – wind turbine on wheels to capture hurricane power?

Is it possible to get a giant mobile wind turbine on wheels that can be placed in hurricanes in order to collect large amounts of energy?

For example, how about a very rugged turbine(like propeller you would use for planes going 500 MPH) and a energy storage device that converts aluminum oxide to aluminum(high energy potential material/released energy = thermite reaction) for example. With hydrogen, you waste energy compressing… so preferrably some energy conversion system that gives solids or liquids. Then just pump the fuel to anywhere and convert it to electricity.

Of course lock the machine down once on location. Plus I think it can be built cheap, if used from already made parts that are very heavy duty and rugged… maximum efficiency doesnt matter as much as number of really really cheap mechanical turbine machines…
dream crushing is good with me as long as it is constructive. But why can airplane propellers be rotated at 400 mph + without exploding.

Windmill Farms answers:

It sounds like it would make sense to an amateur, but to anyone who has done ANY work with turbines it is ludicrous…

The sheer amount of heat produced in the bearings could cause them to explode, even assuming that one could find and purchase bearings that would be able to achieve the tip speed generated at 500mph….

Most turbines operate at 7-35mph for a reason: physics. The turbine described above would require materials for the prop no less than carbon nano tubes, extremely expensive bearings, and a cooling system for the windings and stators that would require more energy than the turbine would produce, assuming that the heat didn’t eventually melt the magnet wire and cause the magnets to explode….

I think that you should look into the maglev turbine…it is larger than a water-tower, resembles a hot air balloon, and generates over 1 Gwh at nominal wind speeds, and on top of that, it is a VAWT which is fascinating in itself as a rare alternative to the HAWT.

Nice attempt, but technical details tend to crush dreams more often than not….


Maximum efficiency isn’t the issue here, operating functionality is. The materials are simply not abundant enough to have any pure research backing it…

Turbine blades on HAWTs (and especially VAWTs) are extremely different from airplane propellers…the curvature and pitch in a well-built VAWT blade must be light weight, and create an extreme amount of drag, and do so even more at higher speeds as they undergo “ballooning” which is a torsion and expansion of the blades at the tip along with the pitch of the axis to create the maximum amount of DRAG. Airplane propellers are designed to be extremely aerodynamic, and provide as much LIFT as possible. If turbines did this then they would be ripped off of their mounts by the wind almost constantly. Also, if you have ever stood next to a huge wind turbine you’d notice the extemely loud “WHOOM, WHOOM, WHOOM” sound that the blades make. This is cause by the drag that they produce and actually create so much turbulence that birds can be knocked out of the sky, or another turbine too near downwind of it can be ripped apart. This occurs usually at less than 400RPM…airplane propellers moving at this rate are nearly silent due to their lack of drag, and have an operating speed of well over 10,000 RPM.

What would need to be done to make this even approach feasibility is to drop the entire idea of prop blades, and move to a design more closely relating a jet engine, butt he issues of heat and friction would still be in place, along with reduced efficiency due to the drag vs lift issue again…you need to look in uncommon places for uncommon solutions…

Ruth asks…

converting wind to Mechanical energy ?

Please I need useful websites for this topic, alternative method of converting wind to Mechanical energy.
I would appreciate any discussion relate to that topic.

Windmill Farms answers:

There are some good articles on free patents

Typical of what you can find with Google:

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