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When you think about it, Wind is actually another way of capturing solar energy… as wind is the result of uneven heating of the earth’s surface and the air by the Sun. This difference in temperatures creates convection currents in the air, and as the warmer, less dense air rises, and the cooler, denser air whooshes in to fill its place, SHAZAMM… you got wind! And in Texas, we got wind aplenty!

In a typical wind turbine system, moving air causes the blades to spin. At this stage, the energy in the wind is then transferred to the spinning rotor and directed to an electrical generator or alternator, thereby producing electricity. The Inverter, a key component of both wind and solar systems, accepts the raw, direct current (DC) from the turbine and changes it into alternating current (AC), the energy that runs your home or business.


There are three main factors critical to getting the best performance (most energy) from your wind turbine:

•    Good Wind Resource
•    Minimum Air Turbulence
•    A Working Turbine

Good Wind, as a general rule, means an average annual wind speed of at least 10 mph – enough to generate the energy necessary for a turbine to be considered a sound investment. Without laying out the full equation, the power available in the wind increases with the cube of the wind speed. This means that there is nearly 100% more power available in 10 mph winds than in 8 mph winds. Also, and we talk about this more in the tower section, wind speed increases with height.

Air Turbulence refers to the swirling winds cause by obstructions, primarily buildings or trees that lead to the under-performance of a wind turbine.  Not only does turbulence rob your machine of an even supply of energy, it can also be rough on the turbine itself… think of the rough ride on an airplane as you go through an area of turbulence.

Since wind speed, and therefore power increases with height, and turbulence decreases the higher above or further the turbine is from obstructions, it goes without saying that taller towers will significantly increase overall system productivity and investment return.

A Working Turbine would seem to be a no-brainer, and given the right make, and proper installation, you can expect your turbine to have an almost uninterrupted operational life of 30-50 years. However, Wind journalist Paul Gipe, probably says it best when he notes, “that efficiency, price, and peak power are meaningless without durability—a nonoperational wind turbine is a rather expensive piece of kinetic sculpture at best”.

Though Get NEWS are authorized dealers and installers for turbine manufactures that produce machines ranging in size from 1kW to 100kW, we make no secret of our partiality to Bergey Wind Turbines.

Based in Norman, OK the Bergey Windpower Company (BWC) is the oldest and most experienced manufacturer of residential-sized wind turbines in the WORLD. Bergey turbines have been installed in all 50 states, more than 100 countries, and in some of the harshest environments on the surface of the earth. With over 200 million operational hrs, the 10 kW Bergey has compiled a service record no other turbine can match. In other words… it WORKS!




Small Wind Consumers Guide



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