Small Wind Energy Alternative Energy Solutions

821 words - 3 pages

Small Wind EnergyAs the world continues to grow, in terms of population and commerce, it is important to recognize certain limits within our planet. Rising population leads to increased consumerism, which is highly dependent on energy use. It is important to recognize existing limits on fossil fuels and curtail the use of such types of fuel with the use of alternative forms of energy. Although these alternative energies have a lower Energy Return on Energy Investment (ERoEI) they will do their part to decrease the use of fossil fuels and the eventual extinction of these forms of energy production. One excellent example of an alternative energy is wind-generated energy. This paper will specifically discuss several elements of small wind power.Small wind power is recognized as being any type of wind harvesting device that produces less than 100 kW. These wind turbines typically stand 7 to 25 feet tall but they can be built as small or as large necessary to produce the amount of energy required. Residential and consumer use is the primary application for small wind technology but it is being used in various commercial and industrial applications as well.Though this form of energy is not as readily available as your corner gas station they are not by any means difficult to find. With over 250 global manufactures of small wind turbines consumers can purchase these products at a variety of stores including hardware stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. For just a fraction of the cost of purchasing one in store consumers can buy the parts and build one themselves. For under $200 and a simple set of instructions customers can build their own small wind turbine. One problem with larger 'small' wind turbines is the legislation and building code restrictions.There are many different applications for small wind energy. This form of energy can be used for residential or commercial applications and in some cases industrial uses. There are two dominant forms of small wind turbines, Horizontal-axis and Vertical-axis. Horizontal small wind turbines are the most popular and more widely recognized form of small wind turbines. They have three to four blades and spins around a horizontal axis. Vertical small wind turbines spin around a vertical axis and can be used in situations where space is more limited. They do not require the same amount of room as a horizontal axis turbine because while they spin around a vertical axis they do not rotate. Both forms have an array of applications.There are off-grid and on-grid uses for these products. On-grid systems, meaning tied into the existing power grid, can be used for...

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