Wind has been used as a source of energy for centuries; the Egyptians used it to sail ships, whilst Holland is famous for its windmills used to grind corn. But it is only in the last few years that wind turbines have been modernized and adapted to be used extensively; from large commercial buildings to small domestic holdings. As a result, wind turbines have increasingly been appearing all over the world, as an excellent source of renewable energy.
When appropriately sited, wind turbines are the renewable technology that ‘pay back’ the fastest. They can be so viable that many are installed solely for revenue. Many organisations sell all the electricity they produce back to ‘the grid’.
Wind power provides on-site generation for individual buildings or organisations – excess power being sold to the grid when not needed. Power utilised on site replaces grid power purchased at the highest price and therefore the particular turbine installed is usually based on power consumption requirements. The Feed in Tariff makes wind power more cost effective with payments being made for every kWh generated or exported back to the grid.
Commercial Wind Turbines usually are usually rated 50kW or above. These include the Endurance E-3120 Asynchronous wind turbine and the Northern Power 100 Direct Drive wind turbine.
Domestic wind turbines are usually rated up to 50kW, these include turbines from Proven, Evoco and Gaia.
To put it simply, wind turbines harness the power of the wind, and use it to generate electricity. The large blades of the wind turbines catch the wind and force the blades to turn round, driving a turbine which generates electricity.