Wind Power

Wind Power
Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business
by Paul Gipe 
Chelsea Green, 2004

This revised and expanded edition of a well-respected reference on generating energy from wind offers new information on measuring wind potential and siting new wind turbines, along with considerably more details and case studies on medium-size and commercial use turbines.

The resources covered by this volume, from wind measurement tools and economic analysis tables to installation guides and maintenance tips, are indispensable to anyone pursuing wind power generation. It also provides ample evidence of the potential for wind power development and inspiring real-world examples of successful projects.

Denmark, for example, generates nearly 20% of its electricity with wind generators, and most of that energy is produced by wind turbines owned and operated by individuals or small cooperatives who generate electricity for their own needs and sell the excess to the local utility. In Germany,  four percent of the world's third largest industrial economy is fueled by wind turbines. On the French territory of Isle la Desirade, household-size wind turbines generate more electricity than can be consumed locally and the surplus is exported to the island of Guadaloupe.

"Next to their reputation for mechanically pumping water and grinding grain, wind turbines are best known for their ability to generate power off the grid at remote sites," notes author Paul Gipe. "During the 1930s, when only 10 percent of North American farms were served by electricity, literally thousands of small wind turbines were in use, primarily on the American Great Plains.

"There may be as many as 100,000 small wind turbines in use by nomadic herdsmen in northwestern China. These small turbines (so small they can be carted on horseback from one encampment to another) are the sole source of power available on the Asian Great Plains."

Gipe's updated reference is an essential text for anyone interested in producing wind power on any scale.

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Wind Power

Off-the-grid wind systems

     Several techniques exist for using wind machines in stand-alone applications. Historically, wind turbines have been used to charge batteries (windchargers) in remote power systems, to pump water mechanically (farm windmills), or to grind grain (European windmills). Today wind turbines can be used to drive AC motors directly in specialized pumping applications. Wind turbines can also be used to generate heat at remote sites.

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