Your Questions About Wind Turbine Generators For Home

Sandra asks…

What are ways to save electricity with a Wind Turbine?

I’m doing an assignment on wind turbines and how they help save electricity, and how they work. Could I get some help?

admin answers:

One way of saving money is saving on electricity. Buy energy saving bulbs, turn off lighting that is not in use and minimizing the use of some of your electrical appliances. But the latter is just so hard to give up especially television. Just imagine all the shows that you will miss. Well, no need to worry as there is an alternative way in order for you to save on electricity.

Some homeowners are now switching to alternative ways to generate electricity!
Generating your own Wind Power at home is the answer. Wind Mills or Wind Turbines, however you may call it, are machines designed to generate electrical energy by utilizing the Power of the Wind. It is usually made of 3 steel blades that are mounted horizontally on top of a tower. The blades start to rotate when the Wind blows by it. As soon as the blades rotate, it will then generate a certain amount of electrical energy. The current will then flow to the Generator which is connected to a dry cell. The dry cell will then supply the household with electricity.

Carol asks…

how much energy does it take to kick-start a modern 3 fin wind turbine?

I have checked Google for a while – and cannot find anything related to kick-starting wind turbines! but i do know that it has to be done in low wind speeds? it just seems that EVERY site online is just copy paste information from the same crappy source.
They do indeed have breaks … and they do also need some energy to start them in low wind speeds … it’s all about the inertia and momentum! at least i assume so!

admin answers:

Hey Chris, this might dissapoint you, but they don’t need kick starting, at least the modern ones don’t. Generally the blades are, “feathered,” or turned so they are at a knife edge to the wind until the wind speed is several mph faster than the turbines cut in speed for a predetermined amount of time. This is done so the generation of power is not right at the starting speed cusp, so any slight change in wind causes the torque to be produced intermittently. Once this speed / time requirement is met, the blades are unfeathered and set at some starting pitch initially until the rotor almost reaches design speed. After that they are set according to the computers program for the wind speed and rpm. The equipement that feathers and unfeathers the blades of course needs a small amount of power when it is being used. It can be turned on and off at the control facility with the click of a mouse. Mechanical brakes were all but done away with in the 70’s, when most turbines began using induction braking. This is nothing more than taking the different windings of the generator and connecting them together to short out the current flow. This causes the magnetic drag on the rotor to go up astronomically, stopping the blade. Most of the really large latest units today don’t even have that, they just feather the blades instead and use aerodynamic braking.

We have a home sized turbine in our yard, and it does not require a kick start either. If the brake is off, then it starts to rotate in very light wind, but not fast enough to produce power. Once it blows harder than 9mph consistently, then the rpm causes the generator to exceed the battery voltage and current begins to flow into the battery as long as the rotor speed is above cut in rpm. If it falls below this, or the wind stops entirely, current stops flowing, the blades may coast to a stop, but it is not “using” any power during this time, and does not need any for starting, just the wind. Our unit uses an induction brake as well, no mechanical brakes are installed. Take care Chris, Rudydoo

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