Wind Power For Dummies
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Analyzing your wind resource (your site's average wind speed, measured in miles per hour) is one of the hardest jobs you face when selecting a wind-electric system; no single method gives you exact numbers. To come up with a good estimate of your site's average wind speed, combine as many of the following strategies as possible:

  • Put up a recording anemometer at the proposed wind generator height to measure your actual wind resource; you often need to do it over the course of a year or more.

  • Use a small test turbine with a watt-hour meter to give you some data while giving you a bit of energy; you can learn important lessons from the experience.

  • Consult wind maps and roses, which show generalized wind resource information for your area.

  • Sift through local weather data, which may be an excellent source of wind resource information.

  • Live on site with eyes and ears open to note seasonal variations in wind.

  • Climb something tall (like a tree that's on a high point on your property) and look at topography and obstructions; this can help you determine your optimum tower height.

  • Study vegetation, which may reflect how much wind you have; by reading the deformation of trees, you may be able to estimate your wind resource.

  • Talk with neighbors; they may give you valuable perspective on wind in your neighborhood, especially if your neighbors are wind-energy users.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Ian Woofenden is a Senior Editor with Home Power magazine, the Northwest & Costa Rica Coordinator with Solar Energy International, and a wind-energy author, consultant, and instructor. He has been living off-grid with his family and several wind generators for almost 30 years.

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