FIGURE 5-1 : Simple wind system.

In Figure 5-1, the windwheel (or rotor), is the device that actually processes the wind and converts it to mechanical power. To visualize how these blocks and arrows translate to actual hardware look at Figure 5-2.

Here, the "windwheel" is a parachute that uses a drag force caused by the wind to tug on a rope, which drapes over a pulley and is connected to a bucket (pump). Let us analyze the advantages and disadvantages of this wind system. The advantages are:

- Simple and easy to understand, low initial cost.

- Can be easily folded and stored during times of poor wind condition.

- Favorable starting torque for lifting water from the well.

- Easily repaired.

- Dees not "eqyire tall tovers.

FIGURE 5-2: A simple wind-powered water pump.

The disadvantages are:

Requires constant attention to operate.

Operates on a cyclic basis requiring an operator to return the parachute to the starting point.

Requires tremendous amount of land in relation ┬┐to the amount of work it performs.

- Does not easily adjust to changes in wind direction while operating. ^

Does not operate high above ground where stronger winds will produce more power.

- Not well suited to residential applications or generation of electricity.

This analysis is representative of the type of thinking required prior to purchase of a WECS . Oddly enough, the particular illustration used here could be appropriate technology in communities where oxen are used in a similar fashion. Replacement of the oxen with a simple wind device, such as the parachute, would release the animal for other chores.

A more familiar illustration is shown in Figure 5-3- A conventional farm windmill supported by a tower drives a piston well pump by means of a vertical power shaft. The pump is mounted at ground level. This system is used to supply domestic, stock, and irrigation water. Other wind machines are illustrated in Figures 5-4, 5-5, and 5-6.

How can wind machines be so different, yet one type can be best for some uses, and another type best for other uses? To answer this, we must examine their differences in some detail and develop ways of comparing different wind machines. This is done in the next section.

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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