Small Systems

Small systems (Table 1.1), in general, are wind turbines of watts to 100 kW. Most small systems are not connected to the grid and have battery storage, and the largest percentage is in the size range of 50-300 W. However, in the United States and other parts of the developed world a fairly large market has developed for small wind systems, 1-10 kW, connected to the grid through inverters. The telecommunications systems need high reliability, so they are hybrid systems with wind, photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage, and diesel. Some of these locations are only accessible by helicopter.

As one-fourth of the world's population does not have electrical power, and as costs of diesel generation have increased, there have been a number of installations of village power systems. Most are hybrid systems, wind/PV, and a few with only wind, and both with battery storage. Another system is wind/diesel, where some of the wind/diesel systems have storage and other systems have wind turbines added to an existing diesel power plant [19]. The wind/diesel systems range in size from less than 100 kW, with one or more wind turbines, to hundreds of kilowatts, with multiple wind turbines.

American Wind Power Center,

Danish Wind Industry Association, History of wind turbines.

Darrel Dodge, An illustrated history of wind power development. This is a very good overview.

Erik Grove-Nielsen, Winds of change, 25 years of wind power development on planet earth. A story in photos from the years 1975 to 2000. Site also has brochures of wind turbines.

European Wind Energy Association, WD/2007_september/wd-sept-focus.pdf. Wind directions, 25th anniversary. The Road to Maturity, September/October 2007.

Farm windmills,

1. Vaclav Smil and William E. Knowland. 1983. Energy in the developing world. Biomass Energies, Plenum: New York.

2. Dennis G. Sheppard. 1994. Historical development of the windmill. In Wind turbine technology, fundamental concepts of wind turbine engineering, ed. David A. Spera, 1. ASME Press: New York.

3. International Molinological Society.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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