Wind Power For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon

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.

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.

This article can be found in the category: