Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wind Power: The Basics

In many ways, wind power is very similar to other electricity generating technologies, including burning fossil fuels and hydroelectric power. In all of these different technologies, there is something that helps to spin a turbine, which then turns that rotational energy into electricity. With fossil fuels, you are burning coal or other fossil fuel to convert water to steam in order to turn a turbine. Hydroelectric power will use flowing or falling water in order to force a turbine to move. Wind turbines, similarly, are positioned in away to take advantage of the wind as much as possible. They are typically placed in areas that experience frequent, high levels of wind such as the Great Plains. Though there are many utility companies that operate large fields of wind turbines in order to generate wind power, you can also install a residential turbine on your own land.

Wind Farms

Most of the wind power in the United States is generated on the large wind farms designed specifically for that purpose. Any given wind farm will maintain and operate several hundred wind turbines, which are connected to the electrical grid in order to provide power to the local community. Although they can generate a significant amount of electricity, most local electrical utilities use them as a supplemental source of electricity to their normal, more traditional sources such as coal and natural gas. In order to help fund and grow these operations, many electrical utilities give you the option of designating all or a portion of your bill toward wind power. This will ensure that the money that you are spending for your electricity is used to provide wind-generated electricity. This is the perfect way to contribute to the further growth and investment of renewable energy sources such as wind energy.

Residential Wind Turbines

Because of the increased demand for renewable energy sources, wind turbines have become much more prominent in the residential setting. When used together with other energy sources, such as solar and geo-thermal generators, wind turbines can be a very beneficial electrical upgrade for many homes. In order for a wind turbine to work, however, you will need to have a small plot of land to be sure that you will be able to generate enough electricity for it to be worth it.

Installing a Wind Turbine

Wind turbine installation is an effort that is completed by both a turbine installer and your local electricity. Your best bet is to start the job with a professional who specializes in the installation of residential wind turbines. This company will typically erect the turbine, and complete all of the initial setup. They will then turn the rest over to your local electrician, who will connect the turbine with your home and the electrical grid. This is the best way to make sure that both your turbine and all electrical connections are made as safely and completely as possible.

Take some time and do some serious research into residential wind generation if you are looking for an alternative energy source. If you have the space to do it, this can be a very viable source of energy for many years to come.

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