The pros and cons of wind power

Wind power has several advantages. It can be generated anytime, day or night. Wind is available almost everywhere, in all climates. In many of the worst climates, it's very powerful. In some locations, wind is virtually a constant (magnitudes may vary, but output is always available). Because wind speeds vary over terrain, you can find locations on your property that provide maximum potential. Ridge lines, coastlines, and the tops of barren hills are the best candidates.

Wind power has its disadvantages, too:

I Extremely high wind conditions may destroy or damage a unit (turbines need a minimum amount of wind to begin working, but they don't need a tornado).

I Obstructions like trees, houses, barns, and so on all affect wind speed. And because wind direction varies, obstructions in one direction may or may not be important in other directions. The best bet is to stay well away from all obstructions, although this may not be possible. And finally, precisely because wind is variable, you definitely need batteries.

Blowing with the wind

Sistema Vacio

Figure 16-6:

A wind turbine.

Guy l Mounting is a bear. In general, the higher the unit, the more capacity it will output. A height of 100' is considered optimum, and that's a long way up there. The mounting must have a tremendous amount of integrity because of the torques that need to be withstood.

The installation is the tricky part. Hire a pro. If you don't know what you're doing, you could literally be killed trying to install a wind turbine.

l Rotors are noisy and obtrusive when they're spinning. The bigger the blades, the more power they generate and the noisier they are. They also attract a lot of visual attention and may clutter up a placid environment.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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