Homeowners interested in wind energy technology are often faced with unfamiliar terms. This article contains some of the more common terms that you will find when you are looking into wind energy.
Wind Energy Systems: A wind energy system is the whole set up. It is usually composed of wind turbines, a support tower for the turbine, wiring, switches, and now may include a storage battery to store extra energy until needed.
Turbines: There are two types of turbines in use for residential application. One is the vertical axis turbine. This is the familiar egg beater type. The second type is the horizontal axis, which looks like an airplane propeller. The horizontal axis is the most commonly used today.
Rotors: This refers to the blades that are connected to the turbine. The blades are normally made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester or wood-epoxy.
Nacelle: This is the enclosure that contains the drive train, the generator, and usually a gearbox.
Tower: The tower is what supports the turbine in the air. Tower models can vary depending on the type of rotors that are being used. The height of a tower can vary as well. Wind turbine towers are usually tubular and made of high-grade steel.
Electronics: Virtually all wind energy systems use high-grade electronics. There are also cables, ground support equipment, and interconnection devices.
Wattage: The ability to generate electricity is measured in watts. Watts are very small units, so the terms kilowatt (kW, 1,000 watts), megawatt (MW, 1 million watts), and gigawatt (GW, 1 billion watts) are used to describe the capacity of generating units like wind turbines. The output of a wind turbine depends on the turbine's size and the wind's speed through the rotor. Wind turbines being manufactured now have power ratings ranging from 250 watts to 3 megawatts (MW).
An interesting fact:
If you would like to learn more about the possibility of using wind energy at your home, contact a professional contractor. These professionals can advise you on the many issues associated with wind energy as well as any money-saving incentives that may be in effect.