Tag Archive | wind power for homes

Wind adds jobs over 9 times faster than the overall economy

PAUL, Minn., April 19, 2017 — American wind power added jobs over 9 times faster than the overall economy amid robust growth for another year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which released its 2016 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report today at the Minnesota State Capitol. Installing over 8,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind power for a second straight year, the U.S. industry invested over $14 billion in 2016 in new wind farms built in rural America, and now supports a record-high 102,500 jobs.

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A wind generator for home use. Wind power facts, Wind advantages

If you live in a suburban or rural area, you will probable have more success with a wind generator for home use. Will your efforts produce sufficient power to supply your home? Will wind power technologies be more in your comfort zone? Your neighbors might not be as excited as you about changing the skyline with a wind turbine.

Have you identified everything that you want to achieve? How high is your interest level as a weekend warrior verses a true commitment to build a wind generator?

In order to build your wind generator correctly, you will probably need permits for your area. This will likely be no different than any other building permit request. Consider what your neighbors will see when your wind generatoris complete and whether they will be as pleased as you are. Some people will fine a reason to oppose anything new. There are some people who have developed an opinion about alternative energy production before the topic was ever discussed. Some people have the wrong information about factors around wind turbines, like the noise they could produce when in operation. Will a wind tower effect your neighborhood? Some people simply don’t want to see an wind tower on their neighbors roof.

Let’s look further into the Do-It-Yourself building of a wind generator.

To make sure that your permit application is a smooth event, plan well ahead of your application by getting to know your neighbors. Casually talk with your neighbors about your renewable energy plans. Share with them about how excited you are to capture wind energy and point out the positive points of creating your own energy. Most important, arm yourself with knowledge about the system you are considering installing, addressing any of their fears or misinformation before challenges arise. Knowing ahead of time about any potential roadblocks from neighbors or local officials will help you plan a positive approach to securing your permit to add a wind generator for home use. Know in advance that change will create opposition.

Did you know that many people have no idea what a small wind turbine looks like? Manufacturers share literature on their equipment. You can get this to share with those people not knowledgeable with small turbines. There have been so many technological advances in design, that negative opinions may be based on seriously outdated information. Some concerns to address will be:

– Noise is the first challenge that you will need to be able to address. – Blades coming off with no warning is the second issue that you will need to address. – The third concern is about voltage straying to the neighbor and – Fourth about the unsightly appearance. – The fifth challenge will be about lightning strikes and – Sixth about killing the local bird population. – Hearing problems from a wind generator is always seventh on the list. – Eight may be concerning a fire hazard if the wind is too high and the blades turn too fast. Ignorance leads to fear. Your best hedge is education.

Storing Wind Power in Stones as Hot Air, How is that Possible?

Last December a storm with a low-pressure zone called Theresa created a massive surge of power (31,000 megawatts to be exact) to be fed into the grid temporarily in Germany. The problem was that most of this free energy was lost because there was nowhere sufficient in place that was able to store it. To try and combat that issue, Siemens have devised a plan that involves developing a new energy storage system called Future Energy Solution (FES) in collaboration with the Hamburg University of Technology and municipal utility company Hamburg Energie.

The new system is being funded by Germany’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and will store excess power generated by wind parks for several hours at a time which will solve the problem of wasted energy like with Theresa. It’s called the Hamburg System and it works by converting surplus energy into heat which is then blown into an insulated bin of rocks heating the rocks to temperatures of more than 600 degrees Celsius. When there’s demand for energy the rocks heat an airflow which in turn drives a steam cycle and new electricity is produced as a result.

In cooperation with Hamburg Energie and Hamburg University of Technology, experts from Siemens’ Wind Power and Renewables Division have developed a heat storage system based on the use of electricity generated with surplus wind power. CT is investigating and improving the heat flow within the facility.

It’s a very cost-effective, and environmentally friendly process and could potentially be used to supplement existing storage systems. Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) has been heavily involved in the concept of the FES and has been running a test facility in Erlangen since 2016. CT project manager, Vladimir Danov, advised, “The thermal storage system is the centerpiece of the Hamburg facility. It’s very important that we understand the heat transport phenomena within the storage system so that we can increase its overall efficiency and build a full-scale power station.”

The Hamburg facility is around five meters long and instead of stones, the container houses around 13,000 ceramic balls. According to Danov, the advantage of using these balls is that they’re all the same shape and size, which makes calculating the hat transport and other processes within the bin easier. “However, we will use ceramic balls only in the current test phase. In the next stop we will fill the storage system with natural stones so that we can study how irregular shapes and a variety of material data influence heat transport,” says Danov.

Marco Prenzel prepares the FES storage system for a test run. To do so, he connects the system’s heating unit with a supply line from a container loaded with heated stones. Manfred Wohlfarth carefully places some 13,000 ceramic balls into the facility. The balls are ideal for examining and optimizing heat flows. In the next step, the balls will be replaced by real stones.

But, the biggest challenge lies not in whether to use ceramic balls or stones, but in how to measure heat transport processes within the container. Currently, researchers have around 50 thermocouples installed in the storage system to try and obtain findings that are as detailed as possible. “Our findings will make it easier to scale up the facility in the future,” says Jochen Schafer, Head of the Distributed Energy Systems and Heat Conversion Research Group at CT. But before that can happen, a complete facility needs to be in place that includes technology for transforming heat back into electricity.  Neither the Hamburg and Erlangen prototypes have this but a new facility due to be built in Hamburg in 2018 will.

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How Wind Turbines Work

When driving by a wind turbine farm, it’s impossible not to marvel at the sheer size and power of these machines. While the science may seem modern day, the concept has been around for millenniums. Its predecessor, the simple windmill, can be traced as far back as 200 B.C. when it was used for simple farming like grinding grain and drawing water. It’s not until 1888 when the first electricity producing wind turbine would be brought to the U.S. Today, it powers everything from neighborhoods to schools to telecom towers.

While we’ll leave the specifics up to the engineers, have you ever wondered what keeps these massive propellers in motion? We’ve wondered the same, so we put together a simple guide on how wind turbines work, which you can see below.

How Wind Turbines Work

 From : SaveOnEnergy.com 

These impressive machines now supply 4.5% of the electricity in the U.S. While that may seem small, it’s equivalent to about 15.5 million U.S. homes! Better understand the energy options available in your area by visiting SaveOnEnergy.com and start paying less for electricity today.

Photo by Charles Cook / CC BY