With energy costs continuously on the rise, it is time for us to consider the alternatives for more economical and renewable energy sources. Wind power in America grew by more than 40 percent in 2012, and over thirty-five states in this country are utilizing wind power production for energy. It is entirely possible now for a home owner, or even small business, to use wind turbines to meet small scale energy needs, and reduce utility expenses.
So how do wind turbines work?
Wind turbines are composed of three essential parts: the rotating blades, the shaft and the generator. The blades are designed to catch the kinetic energy of the wind similar to the way a sail captures the wind. The force of the wind sets the blades into motion, the shaft is connected to the center of the rotating blades and is also designed to spin. As the shaft spins, it transfers the energy from the wind force to the generator. The generator then converts this rotational energy into electricity through the process of electromagnetic induction. One can think of generating electricity from the wind as a process of transferring one source of energy to another.
It may be helpful to also understand the wind. The wind, though invisible, is a fluid substance like water except the particles that compose wind are in gas form, not a fluid form. So where does the wind originate, and how is it generated? Wind begins with the sun heating up land mass with resulting hot air that begins to rise at a certain temperature. The rising hot air leaves a vacuum behind that creates space for cooler air. This cooler air rushing in to fill this empty space is the wind. The sun and the wind are partners in creating energy.
Some locations produce more wind than others. Spring is notoriously windy in many parts of the country as the sun begins to warm the earth after the cold winter season. Some wind turbines produce more energy than others based on both the turbine design and the amount of wind in a location. Certain locations are prime for wind power production: open fields, near the ocean and high altitudes with strong, ample sunshine. It is important to know wind patterns in your locale when considering a home wind turbine. Some wind turbines are specifically designed to sustain heavy winds while others are built to capture low to moderate winds. Not all locations will be suited for the use of wind turbines. If you live in a windy area, one can definitely take advantage of a home wind turbine. Small businesses, and even small towns, can collaborate on a larger, commercial wind turbine.
Though wind energy tax credit and incentives have not been consistent, it appears the government is working on new and better systems for the promotion of wind technology. Check with both local and federal government offices to know the latest tax credits available to you for using wind energy. The more people choose to use wind power at home, the more demands can be made for such tax credits.