Power From the Wind: Achieving Energy Independence

Overview

“Authors Dan Chiras, Mick Sagrillo, and Ian Woofenden have addressed the needs of people seeking a clearly written, comprehensive guide to the small-scale wind arena.” Backhome Magazine

"Read no further than Power From the Wind by prolific writer and sustainable living practitioner Dan Chiras, with contributions by Mick Sagrillo and Ian Woofenden. This book helps you assess your energy needs, your site's wind energy potential, and sort out every aspect of the design, purchase and installation of a small-scale, or residential wind system.

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Overview

“Authors Dan Chiras, Mick Sagrillo, and Ian Woofenden have addressed the needs of people seeking a clearly written, comprehensive guide to the small-scale wind arena.” Backhome Magazine

"Read no further than Power From the Wind by prolific writer and sustainable living practitioner Dan Chiras, with contributions by Mick Sagrillo and Ian Woofenden. This book helps you assess your energy needs, your site's wind energy potential, and sort out every aspect of the design, purchase and installation of a small-scale, or residential wind system. Amazingly, it does so without demanding that you be  some technical tinkerer or electrical engineer.  - John Ivanko, Sustainablog 

"What can the wind do for the world's power problems? Power From The Wind discusses how people can use wind power to power their own homes on a small scale, reducing power consumption bills. Wind is cheap and renewable; to not harvest it for use is wasteful. Outlining how to get started harvesting wind power, author Dan Chiras answers many of the most commonly asked questions. Power From the Wind belongs in any collection for the environmentally thoughtful." - James. A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review

Faced with frequent power outages, skyrocketing energy costs, and constant reminders of the impacts of conventional energy sources, homeowners and businesses are beginning to explore ways to use energy more efficiently and to generate their own electricity to reduce fuel bills and their carbon footprint and to achieve greater independence.

Power From the Wind is an easy-to-understand guide for individuals and businesses interested in installing small wind energy systems and includes information on the following:

  • Ways to assess wind resources at your site
  • Wind turbines, towers, inverters, and batteries
  • Installation, maintenance, and costs

This book is designed to help readers make the smartest, most economical choices. Readers will gain the knowledge they need to make wise decisions during the design, purchase, and installation of small wind energy systems and to communicate effectively with wind system installers.

Dan Chiras is an internationally acclaimed author who has published over twenty-four books, including The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy. He is a certified wind site assessor and has installed several residential wind systems. Dan lives in a passive solar home in Evergreen, Colorado. Mick Sagrillo is the wind technology specialist for Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy. Ian Woofenden is a wind electricity editor, writer, workshop coordinator, instructor, and user in Washington’s San Juan Islands.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865716209
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,029,878
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Dan Chiras is an internationally acclaimed author who has published over 24 books, including The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy. He is a certified wind site assessor and has installed several residential wind systems. Dan lives in a passive solar home in Evergreen, Colorado. Mick Sagrillo is the wind technology specialist for Wisconsin's Focus on Energy. Ian Woofenden is a wind electricity editor, writer, workshop coordinator, instructor, and user in Washington's San Juan Islands.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Chapter 1 Introduction to Small-Scale Wind Energy 1

World Wind Energy Resources 6

The Pros and Cons of Wind Energy 8

The Purpose of this Book 21

Organization of this Book 22

Chapter 2 Understanding Wind and Wind Energy 25

What is Wind? 26

Offshore and Onshore Winds 26

Mountain-Valley Breezes 28

Large-Scale Wind Currents 30

Wind from Storms 34

Friction and Turbulence and Smart Siting 35

The Mathematics of Wind Power 39

Closing Thoughts 43

Chapter 3 Wind Energy Systems 45

Components of a Wind Energy System 45

Wind Energy System Options 49

Grid-Connected Systems with Battery Backup 59

Off-Grid (Stand-Alone) Systems 64

Hybrid Systems 70

Choosing a Wind Energy System 73

Chapter 4 Wind Site Assessment 75

Assessing Electrical Demand 76

Conservation and Efficiency First! 84

Assessing Your Wind Resource 86

How Much Electricity Will A Wind Turbine Produce? 97

Does a Wind System Make Economic Sense? 98

Putting It All Together 105

Chapter 5 A Primer on Wind Generators 109

The Anatomy of a Wind Turbine 109

Improvements in Small Wind Turbines 116

The Main Components of Wind Turbines 118

What to Look for When Buying a Wind Machine 120

Other Considerations 135

Building Your Own Wind Machine 139

Conclusion 143

Chapter 6 Towers and Tower Installation 145

Tower Options 148

Homebrew Towers 161

Tower Kits 161

Tower Anchors and Bases 163

Safety First 167

Siting a Tower 169

Aircraft Safety and the FAA 176

Protecting Against Lightning 177

Chapter 7 Understanding Batteries 179

What Types of Batteries Work Best? 179

Will Any Lead-Acid Battery Work? 181

Wiring a Battery Bank 185

Sizing a Battery Bank187

Battery Maintenance and Safety 189

Living with Batteries 203

Chapter 8 Inverters 205

Battery-Based Inverters for Off-Grid Systems 206

Batteryless Grid-Tied Inverters 212

Multifunction Inverters 214

Buying an Inverter 216

Conclusion 223

Chapter 9 Maintaining a Wind-Electric System 225

What's Required 226

Climbable Towers 226

Tilt-up Towers 229

Final Inspections 230

Conclusion 230

Chapter 10 Final Considerations: Zoning, Permits, Covenants, Utility Companies, Insurance and Buying a System 231

Zoning, Building Permits, and Restrictive Covenants 231

Zoning Regulations 231

Connecting to the Grid: Working with Your Local Utility 239

Insurance Requirements 241

Buying a Wind Energy System 244

Parting Thoughts 245

Endnotes 248

Resource Guide 251

Index 259

About the Authors 273

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