Wind energy has been used for centuries, for grinding grain, pumping water
and generating electricity. Small wind turbines were an important source of
electricity for rural families in North America in the 1920s and 1930s. Wind
energy faded into the background with the rural electrification efforts of the
1940s and the development of reliable small engine generators.
Today, we are seeing wind gaining tremendous popularity in generating significant
amounts of power both off-grid and as a source of energy for large utilities.
How it works
Wind turns the blades of the turbine which spins a shaft within the turbine
structure. The shaft drives a generator to produce electricity. The electricity
is either used or stored in batteries.
Types of Wind Generators
There are many different types and styles of wind generators. Many of the older,
multi-blade units as seen on farms across the nation generate mechanical energy,
often used to pump water.
Small-scale units (under 3 kW): used to charge batteries or direct use
(such as pumping water). We feature a selection of small scale units on the
Medium sized units (up to 50 kW): used in a grid-intertie environment
to generate power and feed it to the utility grid. Energy Alternatives designs
and installs medium scale units. Due to the nature of these projects, each system
requires a detailed assessment prior to quotation or ordering products. Please
contact us for further information.
Large-scale units (megawatts): large, towering units that cost millions
of dollars and generate power to run hundreds or thousands of homes or businesses.
Generally suited to large utilities and power co-operatives.