Wind Energy Stocks

Charles asks…

Energy Storage Stocks?

I was looking for a company that is focusing on energy storage. If you know their stock symbol, i would love to know it! And if you have any other opinions on any other types of stocks you’re liking at the moment, please put them! Thanks in advance!~

Windmill Farms answers:

There are quite a few pipe line lps that might qualify as short term energy storage companies. There are also a lot of oil companies that have very large proven reserves that would also qualify. APC is one that I am aware of the latter. Of the former MMP, PAA, SXL are but 3. There are many more. SXL is currently on a streak. I especially like GOOG and BDX. How about a wind turbine company. They sort of extract energy from the atmospher. VWSYF is the largest. Let’s not forget Energizer–ENR–the battery company

Mandy asks…

Why Solar stocks tumble?

Why solar energy company stocks gone down?

Windmill Farms answers:

Solar energy, Wind energy etc are called Alternative sources of energy.

When the crude oil price increases, then the focus shifts on to alternative sources of energy like the solar, wind etc. Hence the price of these stocks will rise .

Similarly when the Crude oil price declines, the focus shifts back to conventional sources of energy like the crude oil, thermal power etc. Hence the prices of alternatie sources will decrease

Mary asks…

Clean energy Canadian stocks?

Would anyone know of any good “clean energy” Canadian stocks to invest in?

Windmill Farms answers:

I’ve done some research on this topic in the past.

There are tons of clean energy Canadian stocks to look at. I only have a limited list off the top of my head, but there are WAY more.

So here they go (I only have some of them classified into categories):

Carmanah Technologies Corporation [CMH.TO]

Wind Power
Sea Breeze Power Corp. [SBX.V]
Vector Wind Energy Inc. [VWE.V]

Fuel Cells
Dynetek Industries Ltd. [DNK.TO]
Fuel Cell Tech Corp. [FCT.V]
Palcan Fuel Cells Ltd. [PC.V]

Energy Storage
VRB Power Systems Inc. [VRB.V]
Xantrex Technology Inc. [XTX.TO]

Energy Efficiency
Smartcool Systems Inc. [SSC.V]
Thermal Energy International Inc. [TMG.V]

Azure Dynamics Corporation [AZD.TO]

Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. [NGP.V]
Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. [SRA.V]
Western GeoPower Corp. [WGP.V]

Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd. [STG.V]
Sustainable Energy [STG.V]
WND.TO or WND.V (I can’t remember, but its about wind power)

There are way more but I don’t have a complete list with me. Not all on that list will be considered “clean” but they all contribute in some form or another… Ie, the energy storage is needed if we want to store solar power for night time use or for use in electric vehicles…

Maybe in the future I will post a complete list of clean companies on the site below.

Nancy asks…

Best ETF/stocks to watch for alternative (wind) energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

An ETF which invests exclusively in Wind Power may be a little too specialised, but you may want to consider the Lyxor ETF New Energy, whose top holding at 12.93% is in a Company called Vestas Wind. Over one year the fund has grown by 10.97% and over three years by 122.69%. This theme of the industrialised countries trying to move away from oil-based energy is topical and should remain so in the near future.

The answers above are for guidance only and should not be acted upon without you receiving independent financial advice relevant to your circumstances. To find and IFA please go to

Steven asks…

alternative energy stocks!?

Does anyone know a good source,lists or website to find alternative energy stocks! For ex. Solar energy, Gas and Others!

Windmill Farms answers:

Here is a pretty nice pair of lists:

Industry-specific lists:


These indices are another source:

Hope this helps!

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Wind Power Companies

Daniel asks…

How do wind power companies make business?

How do wind power companies exactly make business? What I mean is, first of all can they just decide to build a wind turbine somewhere, if they purchase the land area, or do they always build on request of the government? After building the wind turbines, do they get to keep them and earn the revenues of the electricity produced or are the turbines owned by the state and they earn the revenues?
thanks for help

Windmill Farms answers:

As well as providing technical assistance and support to energy businesses, GVEP also provides direct access to new sources of capital to help them achieve long term sustainability.

In the developing world, the lack of access to capital is a key issue holding back the progress of small businesses – particularly in the energy sector.

At GVEP we believe that private capital is fundamentally the right solution, but that, in various ways, we can make a contribution to help mobilise that private capital.

Laura asks…

How exactly do wind and solar power companies make their money?

I only invest in small-cap energy based companies like oil, gas, petroleum, and more recently, wind and solar power.

What I would like to know is how exactly do wind and solar power companies make their money? Please, I’d like to understand the industry a bit better. Thanks!

Windmill Farms answers:

Your question is fairly general. Perhaps you would like to read these introductory articles and then post more specific questions:


George asks…

Why are oil and coal companies greedy but solar and wind companies altruistic?

Wouldn’t it benefit solar and wind power companies to fund so called “Research” to scare people with the phantom event of Global Warming?

Windmill Farms answers:

Obama knows there are TRILLIONS to be made over global warming in the long run.

We all will be paying for his scam.

Michael asks…

How to contact wind power company for setting of wind power plant in my land ?

I am an engineering grduate.I have land of 20 acres in my village.its 130 km from Mumbai.
i have 2-3 ideas in my mind. first i can set up wind power stations with collabration pvt compnys.
but for that i dont have any contact with the company.
Any body can guide me for setting of this goal
Any kind of suggestion are always welcome

Windmill Farms answers:

Run a 90 day wind velocity analysis and send the results to any wind harvesters you can locate. Don’t indulge in any hot air pontification.

Linda asks…

What’s the reason to subsidize alternative energy companies?

I’m not asking about raw research that occurs at universities – like discovering totally new technologies.

I’m wondering if there are any good reasons to subsidize existing solar, nuclear, wind, etc power companies. By reducing the price of nuclear power below the market equilibrium, people consume more nuclear power than they otherwise would, so there’s a deadweight loss.

If you just want to discourage gas consumption, wouldn’t a gas/petroleum tax be more efficient? That way private firms can optimally choose between other options.

Windmill Farms answers:

Your question is essentially one that should be taken up as a question of economics and not the nuts and bolts of “alternate fuel vehicles.”

There are several reasons. One already mentioned is that most energy companies already get subsidies. But these are larger than the obvious grants and discounts, (credits on taxes.) In economics there is a concept of “externalities.” 1 Polution is cited as a prime example of an externality. It is part of the manufacturing/refining process but the cost of polution is not figured into the end product. (health issues, the costs of clean ups and filtration.) When I go out and buy an air filter I am to some extent paying for someone’s polution. The water treatment plant is a cost that taxpayers bear for polution that has been done upstream.

To the extent that some alternative energy options do not produce externalities they are being asked to compete against an unfair advantage. Subsidies attempt to level the playing field.

There is another aspect as well. To the extent that alternative energy development is a social benefit it may be something that we should socially promote ie: subsidies.

Last, any new company will have difficulties competing with an existing company where economies of scale, and product identification 2 are already in place.

Sometimes it is difficult to put a number on some of these costs/benefits. The alternative may be to start taxing companies for the polution that they produce and eliminating any subsidies that they currently get. Undoubtedly someone would complain when an existing benefit is taken away. Business as usual is hard to change.

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Renewable Energy Group

William asks…

Groups that are for or against renewable energy?

Please could you give the name of the group, their views and the website. Thank you very much!!

Windmill Farms answers:



Laura asks…

Group discussion on renewable energy?

I have to do a group discussion on renewable energy next week and im kind of struggling on what and how to research. Basically the lecturer is messing us about. She keeps taking days off sick which is resulting in us cramming sh*t loads of work for assesments that are days away with little preperation. I dont have a clue on how to plan, research or even do a group discussion. I dont know what you have to talk about, how to start it off etc etc. Ive never done a group discussion before. Can any one shed some light on this topic please. I dont even have a clue on renewable energy. We picked it because everyone said it would be easy. I got home and researched it and im actually clueless. Does anyone know of any sites eyc that would be of much help? :)


Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable energy comes directly from natural resources that can be constantly replenished such as wind, sun, wave and water. It is all around us, it’s just a matter of harnessing it. The technologies range from solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity / micro hydro, biomass and biofuels for transportation.
You can visit Mark’s website to collect more information about this topic. He provide a great information regarding renewable energy. Best of luck to you.

Mary asks…

Renewable energy help!?

I have to do a group discussion on renewable energy next week and im kind of struggling on what and how to research. Basically the lecturer is messing us about. She keeps taking days off sick which is resulting in us cramming sh*t loads of work for assesments that are days away with little preperation. I dont have a clue on how to plan, research or even do a group discussion. I dont know what you have to talk about, how to start it off etc etc. Ive never done a group discussion before. Can any one shed some light on this topic please. I dont even have a clue on renewable energy. We picked it because everyone said it would be easy. I got home and researched it and im actually clueless. Does anyone know of any sites etc that would be of much help? :)


Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources which are continually replenished such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewable resources, with 10% of all energy from traditional biomass, mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from hydroelectricity. New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 3% and are growing very rapidly.

Hope this will help you.

David asks…

Why would anyone be against renewable energy?

Seriously why have we not increased the use of renewable energy in the US? Oil is running out, which is why we are using these tar sands out of desperation. Whats the point of even using these tar sands? it is even good oil plus we degrading the environment even more. It would only take a couple of months, maybe less, to convert to 50% of our energy from renewable sources. So why not make the switch? USA is considered the Saudi Arabia of wind power, yet only about 2-3% of our energy comes from wind.
So I guess im asking for anyone to try and say why renewable energy is bad for the us. I want to hear some opinions of people being against renewable energy.

Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable energy, particularly wind farms and solar are extremely expensive and inefficient. In most cases prohibitively so. It’s not that governments don’t want these technologies (although fossil fuels have some very powerful lobby groups) but at present they simply can’t afford it. Too much money for not enough and or unreliable supply.

Mandy asks…

how many Renewable Energy Park in india?

A unique and effective platform for the popularization of Non Renewable Sources of Energy (NRSE) ,
the Renewable Energy Park (REP) scheme was initiated in 1994-95 with a view to create awareness,
provide publicity and enable rural and urban groups to explore NRSE systems and devices.

Windmill Farms answers:

I’m not sure whetther this is the exact info which u wanted. But still check it out :

The need to increase the use of renewable energy sources for sustainable energy development was recognized in the country in the early 70s. A significant thrust has been given to the research, development and induction of renewable energy technologies in different sectors. To begin with, these endeavours were steered and overseen by the Commission for Additional Sources of Energy (CASE). The Department of Non-Conventional Energy Sources was created in the Ministry of Energy and entrusted with the charge of promotingnon-conventional energy sources. In 1992, DNES was upgraded and it started functioning as a separate Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES).

The Ministry takes care of the following specific items:
~ Commission for Additional Sources of Energy (CASE);
~ Solar energy including solar photovoltaic devices and their development, production and applications;
~ Research and development of biogas and programmes relating to biogas units.
~ Programme relating to improved wood stoves and research and development thereof;
~ All matters relating to small/mini/micro hydel projects of and below 25 MW capacity;
~ Research and development of other non-conventional/renewable sources of energy and programmes relating thereto;
~ Integrated Rural Energy Programme (IREP);
~ Soft funding for renewable energy systems through Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency;

The Commission for Additional Sources of Energy was established in 1981 and has the following responsibilities:-
~ Formulating policies and programmes for the development of new and renewable sources of energy.
~ Co-ordinating and intensifying research and development activities in new and renewable sources of energy.
~ Ensuring implementation of Government’s policies in regard to all matters concerning new and renewable sources of energy.

Nice Question ^_^

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Wind Energy Conversion System

Michael asks…

Bergey wind solar hybrid?

There is a Bergey 1.2 kW hybrid system that provides upto 200 Kilowatt-hours per month.

I’m wondering how much this will power? We have a 46″ LCD tv that we will be using 2 to 3 hours a day. A dektop computer that will be used 4 to 5 hours a day. A well pump. A half dozen lights in the evening. Possably a small refridgerator.

Would a system like this be enough?

Windmill Farms answers:

No, not likely.
You will need twice that.

To get a better idea of your monthly power consumption, use a couple of Energy Calculators.
Each is a little different but they should give you something to work with.

Remember the 200 kWh per month is a maximum not a guarantee of production.
There will also be some losses in energy storage for use at night and DC to AC power conversion.
This means to use standard AC powered equipment (fridge, tv, pumps,.computer) there will need to be an inverter with battery (or grid tied) backup.

Laura asks…

how wind turbine convert mechanical energy to electrical energy?

I have a motor @ home that runs all day long, so I wanted to create a system just like a wind turbine that will be somehow connected to this motor and rotated by the same motor, then converting free energy for my house. Get it? Do you guys think it is worth it? And whom should I go to to get this turbine designed the right way? It’s a strong motor, so how much power do you think I can get from this turbine? please help

Windmill Farms answers:

It probably isn’t worth it. But it depends on how much wind you have in your area and how steady it is. If you are asking for a windmill that will run a motor that needs 24 hr/day power, you will need a windmill that is about 400% larger then that motor to save enough power to run thru slow wind times and conversion losses.

Windmills are more worthwhile the bigger they are. The tower costs more than the windmill ,usually, so you better get the biggest windmill possible to utilize that investment. I think it is better to size your windmill for the LOWEST wind speeds in your area and get the biggest rotor possible (20 ft or more). The trade off is the windmill won’ handle wind speeds over 30 mph or so, so you need to swivel the windmill out of the windstream at higher speeds so it isn’t destroyed. But the nice thing is even with low winds like 8 mph or so, you still will get power and it tends to be more likely to get all day.

You have lots of reading and learning a head of you:

Sharon asks…

How is energy from a wind turbine transferred to the national grid ?

Isn’t the current DC ?

Windmill Farms answers:

Answer #3 was sort of right. You are correct, because of the variances in speed, those generators tend to be DC machines. From the wind turbine the “juice” is fed to inverters that can be phase controlled as well. The DC, after conversion to true sine wave AC, and phase locked to the grid system, and it’s voltage adjusted for the feed point where it will be added in, is switched into the grid system at that point. Best use, unless you have millions to invest in wind turbines and the hardware to go with it, is to use the power at your home, yourself.

Donald asks…

Anybody know anything about the US HYDROGEN ENERGY SYSTEM?

ummm starting byyyy what it is and such? ;)
or just give me some links to follow to understand what it is.
oh oh, how’s it different from what we have now?
of course it exists, else I wouldn’t be asking silly.

Windmill Farms answers:

A “hydrogen energy system” as you call it would be a conversion from gasoline and other fossil fuels to hydrogen gas. People tend to dub this the “hydrogen economy” where most of our energy would be derived from cleanly burning hydrogen to produce electricity. It is different from our current state of energy consumption because our vehicles would supposedly be free of harmful emissions.

Below is a link to a Popular Science article. I have yet to see a more concise set of reasons why the hydrogen economy will never pan out. Hydrogen is simply a means of transporting energy much like electricity. One has to find a way to produce hydrogen from other fuels such as oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, etc.

Another link that I find both informative and entertaining to read is the Tesla Motors website. Tesla motors is one of a few small car companies that are racing to develop an electric vehicle with great range and performance. I believe THIS is the revolution in automobiles that world has been waiting for. Electric power is cheaply available nearly everywhere across the globe. If we could plug our vehicles into the grid, we could easily take advantage of renewable resources such as solar panels or wind generators. Furthermore, electric motors are FAR more efficient than even the most efficient of internal combustion engines.

So, those are my opinions on hydrogen (it won’t be widely accepted, we should go with electricity). Take them for what you will.

William asks…

How much wind power is left over after going thru a wind turbine?

So would 59% of the energy taken from the wind be anoff to turn the wind turbine w/o wind? Be able to turn the rotor at the same speed the wind was when it produced the 59%? or would it take more like 80%
Ok, so lets say the wind coming in is at 100% wind speed to turn the rotor and get the 59% of energy out of the wind. What is the wind speed % that is leaving the other side of the turbine? 41%? or would it be less from friction and other “energy loss”? anyone know what the exact % left should be?

Windmill Farms answers:

Modern large wind turbines are able to extract a maximum of about 30% of the incident wind energy at rated speed.

This information is taken from the Cp (coefficient of performance) tables provided by the wind turbine manufacturers for use in detailed system models of their turbines.

While the theoretical maximum may be much higher, there are many factors taken into account by the wind turbine engineers when choosing how to design a turbine.

For instance, if a turbine is rated for 1 MW of continuous power output at 15 m/s wind, with a 30% wind energy conversion efficiency, it will ‘spill’ extra wind above this level or shutdown altogether. This is simply because operating the equipment (turbine blades, hub, gearbox, generator, electrical interconnection, and the tower) beyond its design limits can shorten its operating life, sometimes catastrophically.

After passing through the turbine swept area, the wind will retain approximately 89% of its original speed. This is calculated by using (1-efficiency)^(1/3).

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Is Wind Power Green Paper

Robert asks…

Windmill Jobs or Wind Power Jobs?

How can someone get wind power jobs working on the windmills made by GE? I have seen commercials and read about them in the local paper saying how these new green jobs pay well and are the fastest growing job market in the US but I don’t know what it takes to get a job with General Electric working on their windmills. I am looking for more info about what I need to do to get a wind industry job. Any info about what I could expect as a salary would also be appreciated.

Windmill Farms answers:

Windmill jobs are growing in demand and what you can make as a yearly salary in the wind industry depends on your specific job. Wind Technicians, also called a wind tech is someone who repairs and maintains windmills (Wind Turbines) and they make over $80,000 per year. These positions require some technical knowledge and this can be gained by going through an accelerated wind tech training course like California Wind Tech or AEI. If I was you I would do some more research by visiting:
AEI’s website

Paul asks…

what are some green friendly technology?

i need it for a school paper

Windmill Farms answers:

Solar power (generating electricity using solar panels)
Solar water heaters
Wind power (for electricity generation)
Energy efficient light bulbs
hybrid automobiles

Maria asks…

Solar Power questions?

I am currently writing a paper on solar power and I need to ask someone a couple of questions. If you would be able to help me out, that would be awesome.

1. How much would a solar power system cost that would produce all the electrical needs for the average American home? (I realize this really depends. Saying a range of prices is fine).

2. How can one potentially cut back these costs?

3. What do you think are the biggest drawbacks to a solar power system?

4. How reliable are the batteries that store the power produced from the solar panels?

5. How long do these batteries last?

6. Do these systems require much maintenance? What kind of maintenance do they require, if any?

7. How practical is it to invest in one of these systems?

Could you please say your name (your first name, at least) and your level of expertise on the subject? That would be really helpful as well.

Windmill Farms answers:

I am not an expertise with regard this subject but I do found a website that has to do with this subject. Solar panel, green energy, wind power, etc. You might wanna check out the website. It belongs to Mark Luther if I’m not mistaken. You might find the answer u r looking for over there. Best of luck to you.

Carol asks…

Why do environmentalists oppose all new power projects– even when they are 100% GREEN?

It would seem so– as they continue to oppose new 100% GREEN power projects– !…

Is GW just a scam — promoted by environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace to secure funding– or are they serious about switching to green power?– will they just oppose all new green projects, and increase the implementation costs of solar and other green energy?
Sorry — try this link–

EDIT- and as I have previously predicted — endangered animals will be used to sop both wind power farms and solar power farms–
Dana– I hope you are correct- as I also believe we need to move to solar and wind– but for different reasons than GW. However here in Texas the Sierra Club has opposed several wind farm projects and a low level nuclear waste disposal area. This is not the only example.
I make them out to be– I did not write that article– nor did I go before the press and oppose the project.
For example-
400 acres on top of a mountain

Grassland In Kansas

Extensive study supported- this just means slowing or stopping the project

Now don’t get me wrong– I SUPPORT – green energy– but the environmental groups numerous legal roadblocks — slow the change to green– or raise the cost of the project. TWO years or more to get a permit for a solar farm?
I see that the not in my backyard– syndrome has surfaced.

Windmill Farms answers:

Some “environmentalists” can be called PAAAs (People Against Anything Anywhere) They are so full of misconceptions and doubts they rarely look at, or understand, evidence.

I run into this all the time and it drives me crazy. These people constantly make the wrong choices because they feel it is somehow better for the environment. They choose paper over plastic, oppose nuclear but ignore coal, fear wind turbines will kill birds, oppose making the electric grid more efficient because it will mean building more power lines. The list goes on and on.

Why do they do this? I think there are 2 reasons:

1. They have never learned how to reason. To apply critical thinking to a problem. As a result their responses are emotional and based upon misconceptions and things they want to believe.

2. They are manipulated. Call me a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy nut, but I believe the established industries, paper, fossil fuel etc. Have done an excellent public relations job to create fear of innovations that threaten their industries. The targets of these campaigns have often been “environmentalists”.

As a result these people suffer from cognitive dissonance. Evidence and reason are contrary to what they want to believe and changing their mind is nearly impossible. They end up opposing what they should support.

It is very sad and frustrating.

John asks…

thesis statement for senior research paper?

I think I’m going to write my senior research paper over the Mayan civilization and i have to have my topic and thesis statement by tmr, but I can’t think of a good one. any suggestions? or if you have a better research topic feel free to let me know

Windmill Farms answers:

Here is a paper I wrote on green energy as a freshman a couple of years ago….. (it’s saved on my computer) It’s not great, but it has some information if you are interested.

Many scientists believe that the burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution has led to an increase in global temperatures, a phenomenon known as Global Warming. These scientists fear the rising temperature in the ocean waters will lead to melting of the polar ice caps, resulting in flooding of the Earth’s continents and drastic changes in weather patterns. In an effort to control the emissions of the fossil fuels that lead to Global Warming, world leaders have met to discuss ways to reduce emissions of CO2 attributed to the burning of crude oil and coal. The international community is attempting to introduce international laws outlawing the burning of fossil fuels and simultaneously promoting green energy.
In conventional energy production, fossil fuels, such as crude oil and coal, are burned to create heat. Combustion of fossil fuels introduces large volumes carbon dioxide, or CO2, into the atmosphere. CO2 is a ‘greenhouse’ gas. Just as sealed glass traps heat of the greenhouse, carbon dioxide traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere. This heat generates an increase in ocean water temperatures across the globe. In contrast, green energy production creates heat or electricity without introducing new CO2 into the ecosystem. There are three major sources of green energy: wind power, solar power and hydroelectric power.
Many industrialists believe that wind power, the energy generated as airstreams turn a turbine and create electricity, is a practical solution to reducing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In reality, capturing of this energy is expensive and inefficient as large ‘wind farms’ containing multiple windmills must be constructed at a high capital expense. The resulting electricity produced by the wind is extremely expensive. The high set-up costs coupled with the inconsistent nature of the blowing wind, makes windmills an impractical choice in the fight against global warming.
Hydroelectric power is generated by capturing the forces of water as it flows. The energy of the flowing current generates electricity in a fashion very similar to the way wind is used to create electricity. Like the wind, hydroelectric systems require a huge capital investment. The expense and the geographical restraints limiting hydroelectric power are a roadblock to its development.
Solar energy uses the heat of the sun to heat water. This water can be used directly to heat living and working areas, or the water can be heated into steam and generate electricity. Solar panels that capture the heat of the sun are inefficient because they require large surface areas and do not generate enough power to justify their costs. Solar panels are dependent upon clear access to the sun, which, on cloudy days, is not available.
While the cost of creating green energy is higher than that of conventional fossil fuels, the limited environmental impact attributed to this energy may outweigh the high cost of production. By passing laws promoting green energy production, while simultaneously limiting emissions from fossil fuels, Governments, acting together, must be willing to impose increased energy costs upon their citizens in an effort to head off global warming.

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Advantages Of Wind Power

Steven asks…

What are the advantages of wind power?

Any strong arguments of it saving our planet?

Windmill Farms answers:

Heres one advantage:

It’s a good time to be in the green energy business. Consumers fed up with high prices for gas and other traditional energy sources are embracing it. At the same time, development is being supported by federal tax incentives and state mandates to bolster use of alternative power.

Although wind energy still accounts for only 1 percent of the country’s energy consumption, industry advocates believe that with enough government and industry support that could grow as high as 20 percent by 2030, putting it on par with the nation’s use of nuclear power and natural gas, respectively.

Getting there will take a lot more than the 50,000 people the American Wind Energy Association estimates currently work in the wind energy business. Across the country, fledgling training programs such as the one at Columbia Gorge Community College are producing 200 wind energy technicians a year, according to the American Wind Energy Association. But to reach that 20 percent goal, the industry will need 1,000 to 2,000 new technicians annually, says Christine Real de Azua, a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C., trade group.

Community colleges are a good choice for training workers for a new industry because that’s what they’re chartered to do, say Columbia Gorge’s Wolff and other college administrators.

Susan asks…

what are the advantages of wind power?

i am doing a progect at school and need some info

Windmill Farms answers:

Currently the main advantage of wind power compared to other renewable sources is that it is cheaper to construct and easier to scale. The output from large wind farms far exceeds the output from large solar plants, for instance, and the cost of installation is far lower.

Wind suffers from various disadvantages which may ultimately make it a less desirable choice for power generation. Wind is highly unpredictable, and output can vary drastically over 15 minutes. Wind also tends to “peak” at the wrong time of the day, meaning that the time it generates the most power is usually in the morning, where as the time when most people use electricity is highest in the afternoon and evening. Finally, wind farms take up a tremendous amount of space for the amount of electricity they generate which ultimately raises the cost.

Sandy asks…

Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of wind power and geothermal power?

Please help! I need an answer by the end of the month!! Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of wind power and geothermal power. Please and thank you.

Windmill Farms answers:


1. The wind is free and with modern technology it can be captured efficiently.
2. Once the wind turbine is built the energy it produces does not cause green house gases or other pollutants.
3. Although wind turbines can be very tall each takes up only a small plot of land. This means that the land below can still be used. This is especially the case in agricultural areas as farming can still continue.
4. Many people find wind farms an interesting feature of the landscape.
5. Remote areas that are not connected to the electricity power grid can use wind turbines to produce their own supply.
6. Wind turbines have a role to play in both the developed and third world.
7. Wind turbines are available in a range of sizes which means a vast range of people and businesses can use them. Single households to small towns and villages can make good use of range of wind turbines available today.

1. The strength of the wind is not constant and it varies from zero to storm force. This means that wind turbines do not produce the same amount of electricity all the time. There will be times when they produce no electricity at all.
2. Many people feel that the countryside should be left untouched, without these large structures being built. The landscape should left in its natural form for everyone to enjoy.
3. Wind turbines are noisy. Each one can generate the same level of noise as a family car travelling at 70 mph.
4. Many people see large wind turbines as unsightly structures and not pleasant or interesting to look at. They disfigure the countryside and are generally ugly.
5. When wind turbines are being manufactured some pollution is produced. Therefore wind power does produce some pollution.
6. Large wind farms are needed to provide entire communities with enough electricity. For example, the largest single turbine available today can only provide enough electricity for 475 homes, when running at full capacity. How many would be needed for a town of 100 000 people?

Advantages of Geothermal Energy
1) It is a renewable source of energy.
2) By far, it is non-polluting and environment friendly.
3) There is no wastage or generation of by-products.
4) Geothermal energy can be used directly. In ancient times, people used this source of energy for heating homes, cooking, etc.
5) Maintenance cost of geothermal power plants is very less.
6) Geothermal power plants don’t occupy too much space and thus help in protecting natural environment.
7) Unlike solar energy, it is not dependent on the weather conditions.

Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy
1) Only few sites have the potential of Geothermal Energy.
2) Most of the sites, where geothermal energy is produced, are far from markets or cities, where it needs to be consumed.
3) Total generation potential of this source is too small.
4) There is always a danger of eruption of volcano.
5) Installation cost of steam power plant is very high.
6) There is no guarantee that the amount of energy which is produced will justify the capital expenditure and operations costs.
7) It may release some harmful, poisonous gases that can escape through the holes drilled during construction.


Donna asks…

What are the advantages of wind power?

What are the disadvantages?

Windmill Farms answers:

Advantage – renewable resource

dis – noisy, can be large, need large amount of space, may not look attractive

Robert asks…

what are some limitations of wind power?


Windmill Farms answers:


1. The wind is free and with modern technology it can be captured efficiently.
2. Once the wind turbine is built the energy it produces does not cause green house gases or other pollutants.
3. Although wind turbines can be very tall each takes up only a small plot of land. This means that the land below can still be used. This is especially the case in agricultural areas as farming can still continue.
4. Many people find wind farms an interesting feature of the landscape.
5. Remote areas that are not connected to the electricity power grid can use wind turbines to produce their own supply.
6. Wind turbines have a role to play in both the developed and third world.
7. Wind turbines are available in a range of sizes which means a vast range of people and businesses can use them. Single households to small towns and villages can make good use of range of wind turbines available today.


1. The strength of the wind is not constant and it varies from zero to storm force. This means that wind turbines do not produce the same amount of electricity all the time. There will be times when they produce no electricity at all.
2. Many people feel that the countryside should be left untouched, without these large structures being built. The landscape should left in its natural form for everyone to enjoy.
3. Wind turbines are noisy. Each one can generate the same level of noise as a family car travelling at 70 mph.
4. Many people see large wind turbines as unsightly structures and not pleasant or interesting to look at. They disfigure the countryside and are generally ugly.
5. When wind turbines are being manufactured some pollution is produced. Therefore wind power does produce some pollution.
6. Large wind farms are needed to provide entire communities with enough electricity. For example, the largest single turbine available today can only provide enough electricity for 475 homes, when running at full capacity. How many would be needed for a town of 100 000 people?

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Micro Wind Turbine Cost

Sandra asks…

how much would it cost to buy a small holding (read the rest of the question)?

how much would it roughly cost to buy a small holding (about 2-3 acres) and and build a house with solar panels and wind turbines and be able to grow all my own food and have a septic tank and use grey water for the toilet and washing Machine. in cornwall and have the majority of the house made of renewable materials

Windmill Farms answers:

My partner and I have been looking for 6 months to do exactly the same thing. Ignore the ignorant, cynics and sceptics, I hold a good upper 2.1. In Environmental Quality & Resource management, so I am not exactly a lay person in this, and my partner is an accountant, so the financial side is also covered, and yet we are finding it hard to locate a plot we can afford.

You will need to allow costs for what one oh-so-superior respondent calls “green toys”… ( I hope s/he is around when you and we sit cosy and well-lit in winter, and they freeze in the dark ‘cos the oil and gas have all gone and the local electricity Co. Charges a kidney and a lung for an hour’s light and heat!! :oD )

Sewage: Instead of a septic tank, consider composting toilets and a constructed wetland to clean the greywater, so you can a) reuse the waste from your poo on your garden, roughly every 18 months,

and b) return the clean water to rivers and streams, while creating a wildlife habitat for waterfowl and other species.


There are lots of companies that supply microgeneration equipment to live offgrid,
Government initiatives:
The Microgeneration Bill:

Rainwater harvesting is the way to go, but bear in mind draught conditions could cause you real problems, as water cannot be stored in passive (e.g. Un-oxygenated, static conditions) without becoming a health hazard.


Boreholes are also ok for localised independence of water abstraction, but be very, very careful to discuss your plans for this with the local Council, Water board and Environment Agency, because if you pollute an aquifer you will loose everything in compensation and have to declare yourself bankrupt for the rest!

Land searches – see below:
If you are willing to pay a one-off fee of £40, you can sign-up with PlotSearch, browse their database and set-up a plot alert. One exclellent option is to look at PlotShares that allow several people to buy independent plots on the same area of land, so you retain independence but could create your own micro-village, maximising effort by helping each other through the self-builds, giving you neighbours of like mind and creating an economy of scale in buying everything, from building material to bulk food supplies, and only needing one single delivery point.

Go and visit Intentional Communities like Landmatters, who are creating a permaculture community, in Devon:

Be weary of buying land without any kind of building permit, as you may never be granted one and, if you do build without it, the Council can force you to tear it down and you’ll have wasted money, time, energy and effort on something that will never be granted DPP.

Outline PP is ok, but you have to make sure you submit a design that the local Planning Department will eventually approve. Look at

Below are some useful websites we have found… But be prepared to look to spend upwards of £150,000

We came across a portfolio of land on sale in Cornwall, from the local Water Company (I forget which, but if you look it up and then contact them, they may be able to point you in the right direction) these were plots where they had old reservoirs they are trying to divest… Check it out.

A few links I could not fit in the Sources panel:

Helen asks…

What is the best electricity generator for my scenario?

I have a 800 square foot cabin in Maine. I want to get electricity out there to power a t.v., radio maybe, MAYBE a computer, a room fan, basic lights, washer and dryer. Im wondering if I should use solar? Wind? there is a stream running nearby and Im curious about “Micro hydro turbines” to fuel my electricty. Im just looking to see which is best for the money, and electric output. – Thank you

Windmill Farms answers:

A fuel powered combustion generator is most cost efficient. You can get gasoline powered generators for under $150 per 1000W, which would do that.

Solar and/or a small wind turbine would be next up. You would need a battery set to store the charge, and an inverter to power your AC loads. Your computer, TV, and radio could be set up to work off of battery directly, if you choose the right ones.

Unless you are going to build a dam an all that, collecting energy from flowing water is not economical.

In any case, get a propane stove and dry your clothes on a line. You should get a tri-fuel fridge, if not a 12/120V one.

Daniel asks…

Does An Alternator Need To Be Spinning Fast To Produce Electricity.?

I am making a micro hydro system in my backyard but i don’t know if the stream is running fast enough to spin the alternator. How fast does it need to be spinning to produce electricity. Already i have 2 solar panels and a wind turbine but want a bit more power so i thought this would do the job. Please Help.

Windmill Farms answers:

You can get some power at low speeds, but it really needs to spin fast to develop substantial power. See below. 3 times 1000 RPM = 3000 RPM or 50 rev/second, quite fast. Max speed, for max power, is about 5000 x 3 = 15000 RPM.

“Alternators are used in modern automobiles to charge the battery and to power a car’s electric system when its engine is running. The stronger construction of automotive alternators allows them to use a smaller pulley so as to turn twice as fast as the engine, improving output when the engines are idling. The availability of low-cost solid-state diodes from about 1960 onward allowed car manufacturers to substitute alternators for DC generators. Automotive alternators use a set of rectifiers (Diode Bridge) to convert AC to DC. To provide direct current with low ripple, automotive alternators have a three-phase winding.

General passenger vehicle and light truck alternators use claw-pole field construction, where the field north and south poles are all energized by a single winding, with the poles looking rather like fingers of two hands interlocked with each other. Larger vehicles have salient-pole alternators similar to larger machines. The automotive alternator is usually belt driven at 2-3 times the engine crankshaft speed.

Modern automotive alternators have a voltage regulator built into them. The voltage regulator operates by modulating the small field current in order to produce a constant voltage at the stator output. The field current is much smaller than the output current of the alternator; for example, a 70-amp alternator may need only 2 amps of field current. The field current is supplied to the rotor windings by slip rings and brushes. The low current and relatively smooth slip rings ensure greater reliability and longer life than that obtained by a DC generator with its commentator and higher current being passed through its brushes.”

Robert asks…

what business would you open?

lets say you have half a million and you want to start your own business. what would you get into?

Windmill Farms answers:

A half million isn’t a lot of money these days and you would have to expect that a business would take two to three years to build up a clientele. Your main advantage in a small business would be yourself, your ability to work long hours at little to no cost. A simple time tested business model would be the most reliable venture so something like a fast food franchise in a shopping mall in close proximity to businesses where a lot of workers are would be best, even a simple business like that could quickly eat away at that half million in capital before you start to turn a profit.

As to an innovative concept, I would like to start a Car Sharing Organization that services more distant suburban communities instead of the densely populated central neighborhoods that current CSO’s served. This would mean starting by leasing premium parking at kiss and ride LRT and bus stations to take advantage of the collector distribution bus networks from those stations, dispatching runners/drivers along the LRT lines to relocate the cars dynamically to better meet scheduling requests and maintenance checks on the vehicles. Extensive use of GPS and wireless technologies would have to be used to track the vehicles so the capital cost for the vehicles would be high but operating costs can be kept minimal by purchasing diesels. Webhosting for the scheduling and dispatching could leverage cloud computing to scale with demand as needed thereby only requiring a minimal infrastructure and Internet connection, call center work could be homeshored within the community and CSO membership. As more vehicles are purchased, instead of leasing more parking at the stations, drivers can be homeshored amongst the membership and a premium charged for delivery and pickup of vehicles in the communities, again dispatching would be key perhaps dispatching two vehicles to deliver the vehicle so the homeshored driver can be returned to their home, (the membership rules could also require the member requesting the dropoff service to drive the driver back). The vehicles would then enjoy free parking in the community at the homeshored employees residence and the ability to use the vehicles within the community when not otherwise reserved would be a perk provided they still deliver the cars when dispatched, they can of course reserve the car at the regular rates should they wish uninterrupted use or use outside the designated zone which also implies being off the employment clock as they would not be available to dispatch the vehicle at that point. With sufficient vehicles and a suitable premium for reserving vehicles during high demand hours, a shared ride collection and distributor service could be provided to members shuttling them to and from the public transit stations. Funding for this service can be solicited from the governments as a public service or a minimal shared ride fee can be assessed.

Another venture that I would be interested in but would require far more than half a million would be the development of a micro community using garden cottages in the 300 square foot to 1,000 square foot size. The village would be designed around pedestrian traffic and perhaps a PRT system and feature a central shopping, business, storage, parking complex that may feature a farmer’s market. Permaculture community gardening would be encouraged and part of the rent/community fees would have to be in local bartering currencies such as the Calgary Dollar in order to encourage community participation as a method for earning such currency. Windmill sites would be leased out for people who want a small wind turbine but due to various restrictions can’t have one on their property, the energy would be sold to the grid, the proceeds minus the lease sent to the client and the client could use that to offset his energy purchase from the grid. Both steam and chilled water lines would be run under the pathways to the houses from a central solar thermal plant thereby allowing both solar heating and solar air-conditioning far more inexpensively then solar photovoltaics.

Sharon asks…

What energy efficient materials would you select to construct your house?

You have $500,000 to construct a sustainable house for your family – you already own the land, so no money goes towards lot purchase. What energy efficient materials would you select to construct your house? What energy and water saving features would you include in your house? Which direction would your house face? How will you handle waste water to reduce water pollution and water usage? What would make your house unique and sustainable? Do a little research before answering this – incorporate appropriate new technologies into your home to make it energy efficient.

Windmill Farms answers:

Here is a list of sujects that you should research on the internet which will provide a comprehensive answer:

1. Double glazing will creat a near vacuum that is an excelelnt insulator from heat loss (or gain) by convection or conduction. A special coating on the outside surface will also reduce gain through radiation
2. A cavity between the internal and external walls filled with insulating materials will cut down loss through the walls. This material should be made with a fibre with high resistance to conductivity and have a reflective (shiney silver) coating form aluminium on one side. Walls can be wood or brick/stone
3. Floors should be suspended from the earth but lined underneath by similar insulation materials to the walls.
4. Roof should have plastic lining that prevents draughts and then a fibre insulation underneath also with reflective coating.
5. Clay tiles or metal roof is fine.
6. Doors should have effective draught excluders to prevent heat loss this way.
7. Add a heat pump system that extracts heat from atmosphere outside and upgrades it to provide background heating in loops located underneath your flooring. This is also reverseable in Summer to provide cooling.
8. Heating should be electrical using low cost power at night or if gas then a condensing boiler shoudl be used that extarct maximum heat from combustion.
9. Solar heating panels on roof can pre-heat water
10 small wind turbine can cut down on power
11. Use low energy light bulbs
12. Always cook with lid on pots
13. Use showers and not baths for washing
14 Separate waste water from sewage and save for watering garden
15. Have toilets that flush small amounts for Urine and larger amounts for larger objects
16 collect rainwater from roof and store for other uses
17 Hetaing should be thermostatically controlled for effficiency
18 If you liove in a very cold country then facing South Helps. If a hot country then facing East ensures heat in mornings
19. If you want something unusual the try a micro gasifier heating system that exports excess energy to power on the grid but otherwise you create your own heat and power in a CHP unit
20 consider buring waste packaging and wood in a multi product stove located in your main living are with balanced flue so that you do not suck air in from outside

I hope that this helps

Good Luck

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Wind Energy Pros And Cons

Linda asks…

what are some pros and cons of using wind energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

1. It is a naturally generated feedstock for energy.
2. There are large areas of land where it can be harvested with a minimal usage fee by land owners.
3. It is a very direct conversion from wind to electricity without intermediate energy conversions.

1. Large amounts of land are consumed in its development. Private landowners will demand and receive very large compensation cheques for land usage. This has 2 effects 1) less incentive to grow food 2) greater and escalating costs for the electricity as a product (diseconomy of scale).
2. It has environmental side effects for both birds (wind turbines) and humans (noise pollution).
3. It requires a transformation of the electrical grid, as does solar, to a DC oriented Transmission system (I am not an electrical engineer so I may have that reversed but the conversion is apparently necessary).
4. It would require, as with solar, primary sources of energy such as coal power plants or nuclear or hydro power which generate “on demand and continuous” power, as opposed to the intermittent power of wind and solar, to be “backed out”. Who wants to be they guy that gets his source of energy to be backed out of the electrical grid so as to allow another competing form to artificially go ahead of him for delivery? This would require an entirely socialist government that cares little about private capital investment. Only the tax payer or state would be there to invest in the energy business, nobody else would!

**Most places that have or have a proposed wind farm on the books suffer from a bad case of NIMBY. Point in case is the Kennedy family objection to a wind farm in the ocean off of THEIR back yard! Any place with tourism flow will protest vigorously.
Boone Pickens proposal for “the Saudi Arabia” of wind has from what I see, one fatal flaw – It is also the “Saudi Arabia of Agriculture”.

Solar is a far preferable mechanism IMO. There should be a very loud cry to government for a cogent Land Use Policy, before any large scale development can occur. That should take about 10 years (if you want to get it right).

Lisa asks…

what is wind energy i need pros and cons?

i need pros an cons

Windmill Farms answers:

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.

Wind power consumes no fuel for continuing operation.

Wind energy is ample, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and reduces toxic atmospheric and greenhouse gas emissions if used to replace fossil-fuel-derived electricity.

An estimated 1% to 3% of energy from the Sun.
Can be used for Household generation.

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.

Some onshore and near-shore windmills kill birds, especially birds of prey.

Some residents near onshore and near-shore windmills complain of “shadow flicker,” which is the alternating pattern of sun and shade caused by a rotating windmill casting a shadow over residences.

Steven asks…

Pros and Cons of wind energy?

as much detail as possible, not just facts, website links too. Thanks.

Windmill Farms answers:

Well the biggest Con of course is that you must have wind to move your generator, and not just a little wind, but about 20 mile per hour wind to generate aprox. 300 watts of power with 6′ blades on your generator.
If the blades are any smaller, it just takes too much wind to move them. Of course this also brings up the issue of space. You will need enough open space to put your Wind Generator where the wind can get too it.
Other issues you will have with Wind Generators is maintenance. The Generator has moving parts, which for the most part are exposed to the elements, so routine greasing, and checking of the system is a must.
On the Pro side, it’s free energy. If you live in a area where you will get sufficient wind, you can easily maintain a good charge on a bank of batteries. Also, if you have a little bit of construction talent you can build your own wind generator for around $200. In supplies, maybe less if you can find salvage parts.

Two good sources of information:

Lizzie asks…

Does anybody know the pros and cons for coal energy wind energy and pumped storage energy?

Also could anybody provide me with a detailed conclusion as to which of these energy sources would be best to supply England’s electricity needs comparing all 3 to each other weighing up the pros and cons.I will give best answer to most detailed and helpful answer.Thanx in advance

Windmill Farms answers:

PROS— Coal = cheap fuel and plenty of it, large amounts of electricity can be generated per plant.
Wind = No fuel cost, no pollution.
Pumped storage = instant energy for load topping.
CONS—Coal = lots of pollution, CO2 and dust, ash and causes acid rain.
Wind = need lots of them to generate large amounts of power, output not consistent due to weather, visual impact.
Pumped storage = Very limited output time wise before you run out of water, uses approx. 30% more electricity than it produces .

Out of the 3 above only coal can produce the amount of electricity required in the UK, the Wind power is useful to supply power to more remote areas, ie Scotland & Wales. Pumped storage is a no starter because you need more power to run it than what you get out, it is only useful for peak load leveling.

If you want to see a Pumped storage site go to either Loch Awe, Scotland, or Dinorwig in Wales, both run tours.

Mark asks…

pros and cons of wind power?

Windmill Farms answers:

Pros: no pollution, don’t need to continuously order raw materials to burn, relatively quiet and many people are willing to live near a wind farm (but not many are willing to live near a coal or gas plant). Unless they’re stupid politicians and the wind farm is blocking the view from the window of their McMansion, then they don’t want to live near a wind farm, they just want to punish “evil big oil” and “evil coal,” while pretending they actually want green energy. Because there are no raw materials to continuously order, the only upkeep costs are to replace parts that wear out, and the world will never run out of wind so we don’t need to worry about shortages in power.

Cons: power generation is relatively inconsistent since wind speeds vary, and you can’t up the power output during peak time, and you can’t cut down on power output during times when little power is being used, so a lot of potential power is wasted. Relatively little power output per land area used. Power transmission from wind farms is not in an ideal form — the grid in the US is 3-phase 60Hz AC (voltage varies by transmission stage), and adding to the grid requires that power output be in exactly the same phase as the line it is being transmitted to, and that is difficult to do with wind power (what they do is they generate the power in DC, then run it through huge expensive inverters to put it on the grid in the proper phase. A phase locked loop would be far too expensive and would wear out far too quickly to use to lock wind power to the grid).

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Uses Of Wind Energy Wikipedia

Laura asks…

What r these energy without using wikipedia?

Coal Fired Power
Solar Thermal
Wind Energy
Wave/Tital Enery

Windmill Farms answers:

It’s good you know enough NOT to use Wikipedia, but surely you know enough to Google?
For example, I did a Google search for hydroelectricity and found this, among many other sites!


You can use the same technique to find the rest!

Carol asks…

what is wind energy??????

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind is used to turn wind turbines, which turns a generator, to make electricity.

Sandra asks…

where is wind energy mostly used in?

i want the country which is usig this most

Windmill Farms answers:

According to wikipedia:

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into more useful forms, such as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2006, worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was 74,223 megawatts; although it currently produces just over 1% of world-wide electricity use[1], it accounts for approximately 20% of electricity use in Denmark, 9% in Spain, and 7% in Germany.[2] Globally, wind power generation more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006.

Donald asks…

Wind Energy help please!!!?

How does wind energy work? Where in the world is this energy used? How long has it been used?

Windmill Farms answers:

How long wind energy has been used?

Humans have been using wind power for at least 5,500 years to propel sailboats and sailing ships, and architects have used wind-driven natural ventilation in buildings since similarly ancient times. Windmills have been used for irrigation pumping and for milling grain since the 20th century BC. (Source:

Where in the world is wind energy used?

Anywhere in the world where you can get wind speed at 3 m/s and above. Wind turbine starts working at wind speed 3 m/s and cuts of at wind speed of about 26 m/s (Source:

How does it work?

Wind motion is used to spin the blades of a turbine shaft. The turbine shaft in turn spins a ROTOR (made of electromagnetic object) of an electrical generator. As the ROTOR spins against the STATOR (of copper wire), electricity is generated.

Get more details at:

George asks…

what are some interesting facts ??(10 points)?


Windmill Farms answers:

Wind turbine
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Wind turbines)
Jump to: navigation, search
Wind turbines
Special turbines

Wind turbines near Aalborg, Denmark. For scale, a standard doorway can be seen at the base of the pylon.A wind turbine is a rotating machine that converts the kinetic energy in wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used directly by machinery, such as a pump or grinding stones, the machine is usually called a windmill. If the mechanical energy is then converted to electricity, the machine is called a wind generator, wind turbine, wind power unit (WPU) or wind energy converter (WEC).

This article discusses electric power generation machinery. Windmill discusses machines used for grain-grinding, water pumping, etc. The article on wind power describes turbine placement, economics, public concerns, and controversy. The wind energy section of that article describes the distribution of wind energy over time, and how that affects wind-turbine design. See environmental concerns with electricity generation for discussion of environmental problems with wind-energy production.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Potential turbine power
3 Types of wind turbines
3.1 Horizontal axis
3.1.1 HAWT Subtypes
3.1.2 HAWT advantages
3.1.3 HAWT disadvantages
3.1.4 Cyclic stresses and vibration
3.1.5 VAWT subtypes
3.1.6 VAWT advantages
3.1.7 VAWT disadvantages
4 Locations
5 Turbine design and construction
6 Special wind turbines
7 Small wind turbines
7.1 DIY Wind turbines
8 Record-holding turbines
9 Health concerns
10 See also
11 References
12 Further reading
13 External links
13.1 General wind turbine information
13.2 Wind turbine manufacturers

[edit] History
Main article: History of wind power

The world’s first megawatt wind turbine at Castleton, VermontWind machines were used for grinding grain in Persia as early as 200 B.C. This type of machine was introduced into the Roman Empire by 250 A.D. By the 14th century Dutch windmills were in use to drain areas of the Rhine River delta. In Denmark by 1900 there were about 2500 windmills for mechanical loads such as pumps and mills, producing an estimated combined peak power of about 30 MW. The first windmill for electricity production was built in Cleveland, Ohio by Charles F Brush in 1888, and in 1908 there were 72 wind-driven electric generators from 5 kW to 25 kW. The largest machines were on 24 m (79 ft) towers with four-bladed 23 m (75 ft) diameter rotors. Around the time of World War I, American windmill makers were producing 100,000 farm windmills each year, most for water-pumping.[1] By the 1930s windmills for electricity were common on farms, mostly in the United States where distribution systems had not yet been installed. In this period, high-tensile steel was cheap, and windmills were placed atop prefabricated open steel lattice towers.

A forerunner of modern horizontal-axis wind generators was in service at Yalta, USSR in 1931. This was a 100 kW generator on a 30 m (100 ft) tower, connected to the local 6.3 kV distribution system. It was reported to have an annual capacity factor of 32 per cent, not much different from current wind machines.

The very first electricity generating windmill operated in the UK was a battery charging machine installed in 1887 by James Blyth in Scotland. The first utility grid-connected wind turbine operated in the UK was built by the John Brown Company in 1954 in the Orkney Islands. It had an 18 metre diameter, three-bladed rotor and a rated output of 100 kW.

[edit] Potential turbine power
Main article: Wind turbine design

Wind Turbine Power CoefficentThe amount of power transferred to a wind turbine is directly proportional to the density of the air, the area swept out by the rotor, and the cube of the wind speed.

The usable power P available in the wind is given by:

where P = power in watts, ? = an efficiency factor determined by the design of the turbine, ? = mass density of air in kilograms per cubic meter, r = radius of the wind turbine in meters, and v = velocity of the air in meters per second.[2]

As the wind turbine extracts energy from the air flow, the air is slowed down, which causes it to spread out. Albert Betz, a German physicist, determined in 1919 (see Betz’ law) that a wind turbine can extract at most 59% of the energy that would otherwise flow through the turbine’s cross section, that is ? Can never be higher than 0.59 in the above equation. The Betz limit applies regardless of the design of the turbine.

This equation shows the effects of the mass rate of flow of air traveling through the turbine, and the energy of each unit mass of air flow due to its velocity. As an example, on a cool 15 °C (59 °F) day at sea level, air density is 1.225 kilograms per cubic metre. An 8 m/s (28.8 km/h or 18 mi/h) breeze blowing through a 100 meter diameter rotor would move almost 77,000 kilograms of air per second through the swept area. The total power of the example breeze through a 100 meter diameter rotor would be about 2.5 megawatts. Betz’ law states that no more than 1.5 megawatts could be extracted.

[edit] Types of wind turbines
Wind turbines can be separated into two types based by the axis in which the turbine rotates. Turbines that rotate around a horizontal axis are more common. Vertical-axis turbines are less frequently used.

[edit] Horizontal axis
Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) have the main rotor shaft and electrical generator at the top of a tower, and must be pointed into the wind. Small turbines are pointed by a simple wind vane, while large turbines generally use a wind sensor coupled with a servo motor. Most have a gearbox, which turns the slow rotation of the blades into a quicker rotation that is more suitable to drive a generator.

Since a tower produces turbulence behind it, the turbine is usually pointed upwind of the tower. Turbine blades are made stiff to prevent the blades from being pushed into the tower by high winds. Additionally, the blades are placed a considerable distance in front of the tower and are sometimes tilted up a small amount.

Downwind machines have been built, despite the problem of turbulence, because they don’t need an additional mechanism for keeping them in line with the wind, and because in high winds, the blades can be allowed to bend which reduces their swept area and thus their wind resistance. Since turbulence leads to fatigue failures, and reliability is so important, most HAWTs are upwind machines.

[edit] HAWT Subtypes

Doesburger windmill, Ede, The Netherlands.There are several types of HAWT:

These squat structures, typically (at-least) four-bladed, usually with wooden shutters or fabric sails, were developed in Europe. These windmills were pointed into the wind manually or via a tail-fan and were typically used to grind grain. In the Netherlands they were also used to pump water from low-lying land, and were instrumental in keeping its polders dry. Windmills were also located throughout the USA, especially in the Northeastern region.
Modern Rural Windmills
The Eclipse windmill factory was set up around 1866 in Beloit. Wisconsin and soon became a huge success building mills for farm water pumping and railroad tank filling. Other firms like Star, Dempster, and Aeromotor also entered the market. Hundreds of thousands of these mills were produced before rural electrification and small numbers continue to be made.[1] They typically had many blades, operated at tip speed ratios (defined below) not better than one, and had good starting torque. Some had small direct-current generators used to charge storage batteries, to provide a few lights, or to operate a radio receiver. The American rural electrification connected many farms to centrally-generated power and replaced individual windmills as a primary source of farm power by the 1950s. They were also produced in other countries like South Africa and Australia (where an American design was copied in 1876[3]). Such devices are still used in locations where it is too costly to bring in commercial power.

Water pumping rural windmill in Germany.In Schiedam, the Netherlands, a traditional style windmill (the Noletmolen) was built in 2005 to generate electricity.[4] The mill is one of the tallest Tower mills in the world, being some 42.5 metres (139 ft) tall.

Common modern wind turbines
Turbines used in wind farms for commercial production of electric power are usually three-bladed and pointed into the wind by computer-controlled motors. This type is produced by Danish and other manufacturers. These have high tip speeds of up to six times the wind speed, high efficiency, and low torque ripple which contributes to good reliability. The blades are usually colored light gray to blend in with the clouds and range in length from 20 to 40 metres (65 to 130 ft) or more. The tubular steel towers range from about 200 to 300 feet (60 to 90 metres) high. The blades rotate at 10-22 revolutions per minute.[5][6] A gear box is commonly used to step up the speed of the generator, though there are also designs that use direct drive of an annular generator. Some models operate at constant speed, but more energy can be collected by variable-speed turbines which use a solid-state power converter to interface to the transmission system. All turbines are equipped with high wind shut down features to avoid over speed damage.

[edit] HAWT advantages
Blades are to the side of the turbine’s center of gravity, helping stability.
Ability to wing warp, which gives the turbine blades the best angle of attack. Allowing the angle of attack to be remotely adjusted gives greater control, so the turbine collects the maximum amount of wind energy for the time of day and season.

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Vertical Wind Power Plant

Ruth asks…

Do you know that one nuclear power station?

occupying 430 acres, equals 250.000 acres wind power, or 130.000 acres solar farms.

Windmill Farms answers:

Nuclear power is already generally cheaper than wind, solar or tidal.
With the advent of Thorium(LFTR), nuclear will become much cheaper again, as one can eliminate the concrete containment building as LFTR is unpressurised so can’t explode, and has passive safety measures to prevent a meltdown. The reactor building could still be built below grade to shield it from aircraft impacts and such. It would also be more compact than conventional nuke plants as it could run at higher temperatures and drive much smaller brayton cycle gas turbines rather than large steam ones.
The much lower projected price of energy from LFTR(when compared to wind or solar) would also indirectly have an effect on land use as follows. Take for example the vertical-farm concept which could produce massive amounts of food year round on minimal amounts of land,… The catch is for this to be economically viable one has to have access to large amounts of very cheap energy, and wind, solar and tidal are too expensive by far. Hence this is an example of how nuclear(especially cheap LFTR) could overall save a heap of land.

Paul asks…

What do you think of high rise vertical farms?

Concepts and experiments world wide say this is the farming of the future. It can be done hydroponically and use solar panels and wind power to produce a fantastic amount of food in towers on minimal square footage of ground space. Would you invest in it?

Windmill Farms answers:

Hydroponic farms are great ideas because they produce food faster, you can control the pests and the plants can be given the right amount of water so that it is not wasted.Another thing because the plants would be in a controlled environment you would not have spray harmful chemicals to get rid of bugs and disease.

Robert asks…

Does anybody Know why nuclear power satation’s chimeneis have a hyperboloid shape?

It’s not a frequent shape in architecture. do they have to be like that for any special reason? all nuclear power satation’s chimeneys are the same around the world, but their form is different from other power stations or factorys.
If anybody could give me some accurate information, or tell me how to find out, thanks.

Windmill Farms answers:

Nuclear power plants don’t really have chimneys. They’re cooling towers, and what’s coming out is steam. Most large cooling towers are shaped like this, even if it’s not a nuclear power plant. It keeps strong vertical wind currents from forming. If you had a straight vertical cooling tower, the air at the outside of the tower at the bottom would get heated and start to rise. Since as it went up, it would continue to be close to the surface of the cooling tower, it would accelerate. At the top, the heated dry air and the steam would mix and make a vertical pillar of hot air that would travel straight up, creating all sorts of havoc. With the curved sides, the air at the bottom will still be heated, but as it travels up, it moves away from the sides of the tower, hince not being heated as much, and traveling slower.

Lizzie asks…

Wind turbines shaped like long black poles (attenuator style) used horizontally as green field separators?

If each (new style) wind turbine is shaped like a long black pole, (attenuator style) and then mounted 3 foot about the ground horizontally, used like a fence as a green field separator?

This is a low impact idea, to make wind turbines more visually acceptable (almost unseen) as the appearance is fence like?

Would this work?

Windmill Farms answers:

First, the vertical axis windmills you are talking about can’t be packed in with that kind of density, enough room has to exist between turbines for the air flow to be normal again.

Second, the turbines would not achieve the wind block and micro-climate effects desired of field separators.

Third, wind turbines are not load following so they are only usable for base load power and must be augmented by standby peak power plants. Basically you can not have more than a small percentage of the grid prvided by wind power without stability issues.

Fourth, the vertical axis turbines are less efficient than the traditional horizontal axis turbines.

Helen asks…

Curious about solar powered cars?

I have been wondering for a few weeks off and on about solar powered cars. How come we dont have them yet? So far the only thing i have seen solar powered on a car is the air conditioner and as great as it is im not too impressed.. this has stemmed off from solar powered cars to alt fuels to why we still rely on fossil fuels so badly when the offshore drillings slowly killing our oceans and animals in those oceans who rely on it to be clean for them to live in.. which went to nuclear power plants STILL in existence.. these will put us in so much danger its inconceivable the impact it would have if something were to go terribly wrong.. which.. never drop your guard.. it could always happen .. has no one else heard of the giant chernobyl accident? Use windwills.. something other than what we use now.. We could be so much more energy efficient without killing the planet of people animals plants and what have you and yet we do nothing about it..

blah anyways off topic there.. but yes.. why do we not have solar powered cars.. with all the major bankruptcy going on i think they could find a good way to fix that and at the same time help the environment.. sadly im sure they would overprice the living crap out of them.. its always money before anything else with the bald heads..

i would like to know anyone elses opinions about this topic..

thanks a bunch

environmentalist pook :P
im sure this questions been asked a lot in this part of the forum.. sorry if it happens often

Windmill Farms answers:

Solar power is not efficient enough to directly power a car (Especially if raining or overcast all day). In Australia, and other places there are solar powered auto races but all the “cars” are not much more than slow moving 3 wheeled bicycles with flat tops covered with solar cells. They only carry one lightweight person. Large utility sized solar plants are planned for the southwestern part of the US. But we don’t yet have the battery technology to store this solar energy and move it around with us in a car.
Hoi yik also asked this question a few minutes ago. My answer to him was: People want to travel more than the 40 miles on batteries today’s affordable electric cars can give (read up on Chevy’s Volt, it only goes 40 miles before the gas engine kicks in). Tesla Motors has an electric car that runs on lithium metal oxide batteries, and the car can go one to two hundred miles before it needs a charge (problem – how long to recharge it), BUT the car cost over $100,000. Not affordable to most people.
Check out the web sites:… And The hope to soon sell a car that goes 500 miles on a 5 minute charge, and be affordable. EEstor’s combined battery/ultracapacitor does not seem to be ready (or they don’t have the money to ramp up production) yet. EEstor isn’t saying much. PS The “special equipment” need to recharge these batteries will be very easy to install in current gas stations, office parking lots, etc.
PS: Besides the Russians, nobody uses the type of reactor used to build Chernobyl. And even their similar reactors have been improved upon safety wise. Since the last reactor was built, technology has greatly improved.
And with desert solar power plants, people are against them because the turtles in the desert have survived in the sunlight for thousands of years. The environmentalists are afraid of what the effect of shade from the solar collectors will have on the desert life.
Todays wind mills (vertical, large slow moving blades) may not kill as many birds, but they still cause a decrease in air pressure which destroys the lungs (and kills) insect eating bats.
Millions of dollars have been spend on improving the safety of nuke plants and oil wells. When was the last time you read about a massive oil spill from an offshore well? They are all from old ships used to transport oil around the world.
So now, who can say one energy production method is safer than another?

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