The Basics: Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth’s terrain, bodies of water, and vegetation. Humans use this wind flow, or motion energy, for many purposes: sailing, flying a kite, and even generating electricity.
The terms wind energy or wind power describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.
So how do wind turbines make electricity? Simply stated, a wind turbine works the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity. (U.S. Department of Energy, 2010)
Technology: The Windspire® wind turbine is an aesthetically designed vertical axis wind turbine that stands only 30 feet tall, and operates quietly while generating electricity for immediate use in your home or business. The Windspire is also the lowest priced alternative energy system in the one kilowatt range on the market. And it’s manufactured in the USA. Windspire invites everyone to explore the potential of clean energy from the natural power of the wind.
How it works: The Windspire wind turbine was designed to operate in areas with minimum average wind speeds of at least 10 mph (4.5m/s) though it works best with average winds of 11 mph (5 m/s). A special Windspire for extreme winds is also available for locations subject to unusually high wind events. Wind speeds vary by location, even within a property.