The Major Parts of a Wind-Energy System
Part of the Wind Power For Dummies Cheat Sheet
When it comes to power, a wind generator by itself will do absolutely nothing for you. You need a wind-energy system, which consists of most or all of these components:
Batteries (for off-grid and backup systems) provide energy storage for periods of calm or during utility grid outages.
A charge controller and/or voltage clamp take raw energy from a wind generator and condition it so it can charge batteries safely and effectively or interface with an inverter and the utility grid.
Disconnects and overcurrent protection provide safety from overloaded circuits and allow you to isolate different parts of the system.
A dump load is a place to divert excess energy in off-grid systems or when the utility grid is down, it's windy, and your batteries are full.
An inverter converts direct current (DC) electricity to conventional household alternating current (AC) electricity, and it may "sell" surplus electricity to the utility grid.
Loads in a system are energy-using devices, such as lights, appliances, and other electricity users.
*Metering gives you data display and logging so you can tell what your system is doing and whether it's performing well.
A tower supports a wind generator, getting it up into the smooth, strong wind that's needed to generate meaningful amounts of electricity.
Transmission wiring and conduit allow you to transfer energy from where it's made to where it's stored and used.
Wind generators (or turbines) collect the energy in the wind and use it to make electricity.