Why Use Renewable Energy

Today we cook food, fuel cars, and heat homes primarily by burning fossil fuels that were created over millions of years. Using coal, oil, and natural gas is a convenient way to meet our energy needs, but these fuels are in limited supply. They are being used far more rapidly than they were created, and they will eventually run out. In addition, a significant portion of the country's nuclear capacity will likely be retired by 2020. At the same time that our nuclear capacity drops and fossil...

Estimating Wind Resources at Your Site

Wind Estimating Guide

Wind can be a difficult resource to estimate. For one thing, wind resources are extremely site dependent. The U.S. Department of Energy has compiled wind resource maps that are available from the American Wind Energy Association and the National Technical Information Service. These maps are excellent sources for regional information and can show whether wind speeds in your area are generally strong enough to justify further investigations. Checking with your local airport or weather bureau will...

Balanceof System BOS Equipment

In addition to wind turbines, PV modules, or a microhydropower generator, you must purchase BOS equipment. This may include battery charge controllers, batteries, inverters, wires, conduit, a grounding circuit, fuses, safety disconnects, outlets, metal structures for supporting the PV modules, and any additional components that are part of the system. In very small systems, DC appliances operate directly off the batteries. If you want to use standard appliances that require conventional...