- Harvest The Wind
By Hans Dekker, Fri Dec 9th
Wind is produced from the uneven heating of the atmosphere andirregularities in the earth's surface. The air movement betweenthese areas is what we refer to as wind. Just as we can useflowing water to turn turbines, we can harness the power of thewind with wind turbines to create electricity.
Wind turbines have been in use since the 1920s. Their earliestuse was to provide electricity in remote areas that didn't haveaccess to a large utility company. Today there are fewer areasthat are "off the grid" but wind power can now be used tosupplement traditional power sources.
Wind turbines can be used individually to provide power for ahousehold, or they can be used in arrays to provide electricityon a large scale. These arrays of industrial sized turbines arecalled "wind farms" and are usually situated in areas thatreceive consistent strong winds. Coastal areas, hilltops, andmountain passes are common areas for wind farms. Thanks to advances in wind turbine technology we are now able touse the wind as an affordable alternative to fossil fuel forproducing power. New technologies make
turbines more efficientand modern production techniques bring the cost of turbines down.
When used as a supplement for residential electricity, windturbines are connected to the breaker box provided by the powercompany. The power produced is available for immediateconsumption, and if the wind turbine produces more electricitythan is needed the excess is fed back into the utility grid fora credit on the homeowners power bill.
For those interested in living "off the grid" wind power can beused in conjunction with other alternative energy sources suchas solar power. These two methods of producing electricitycomplement each other, when the sun is strong, the wind may below, and the wind may be stronger on cloudy days.
Also, since solar power is not produced at night, a wind turbinecan provide the electricity at this time.
site provides more in depth information wind energy and theother
sustainable energy sources, howto's and downloadablebuilding plans..