Do it Yourself Home Energy Guides

The Basics of Wind Power

The wind is just one of the many free and renewable energy sources that this bountiful earth can offer us. With the right technology, we can harness the power of the wind and convert it into the electricity that we need. Other types of renewable energy are the sun for solar power, water for hydroelectric power, waves and tides for wave and tidal power, biofuel, biomass, and geothermal energy from the heat generated within the earth. All of these are viable alternatives to fossil fuel. Although windmills have been used since ancient times, it is only now that people are seriously considering wind as an alternative source of electric power.

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When harnessing the wind to make electricity, turbines must be used to do the job. The mechanics of harnessing wind power are a bit different from the one that is used for harnessing solar power. Whereas solar power systems convert heat into electricity by way of photovoltaic solar cells packaged into panels, wind power systems use the power of the wind to push specially designed blades. The fiberglass or metal blades, usually two or three, are attached to a rotor shaft and on to a motor or generator. As the blades turn, the turbines do their work. This is what makes electric power for us. The whole system is composed of a rotor shaft, a gear box, and a brake assembly; and then there are the blades, the tail, the stop switch, the wires, the motor, the hub, the diode, the fuse, the ammeter, the charge controller, and the batteries.

How does wind become electricity? Inside a generator are strong magnets that spin around coils of magnet wire. The spinning action is what generates electricity inside a coil. From this point on, it operates the same way as a solar power system. In order to use the renewable energy generated by the turbine, you need to connect it to your house wiring. To do this, you will need a bridge rectifier, a charge controller, batteries, and an inverter. You need a little bit of knowledge on AC and DC electricity for this operation. Some people hire electricians to make the final connections. There are different kinds of wind turbines, as well as different kinds of blade designs and materials. Even tower heights depend on site, weather conditions in the area, and other considerations. The amount of electric power that a turbine can generate will also depend on these factors.

To be able to use the free, renewable energy of wind, this is the tool that you will need. Once you have set up your wind turbine, then you will have unlimited electricity. This is very useful if you are living in a remote area that is off the grid. It can also help lower monthly bills if you do live on-grid but want to augment your traditional power source with a clean, green, and renewable source. To help offset the initial costs of building a turbine to harness wind power, there are rebates and other incentives for people that use this kind of alternative power. Check your local authorities for such an offer.

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