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Wind Power For Dummies



Wind Power For Dummies

Ian Woofenden

ISBN: 978-0-470-58443-9 September 2009 384 Pages

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The consumer guide to small-scale wind electricity production!

Maybe you're not T. Boone Pickens, but you can build your own home-sized wind-power empire right in your back yard. Wind Power For Dummies supplies all the guidance you need to install and maintain a sustainable, cost-effective wind generator to power your home for decades to come.

This authoritative, plain-English guide walks you through every step of the process, from assessing your site and available wind sources to deciding whether wind power is the solution for you, from understanding the mechanics of wind power and locating a contractor to install your system to producing your own affordable and sustainable electricity.

  • Guides you step by step through process of selecting, installing, and operating a small-scale wind generator to power your home
  • Demystifies system configurations, terminology, and wind energy principles to help you speak the language of the pros
  • Helps assess and reduce your energy needs and decide whether wind power is right for you
  • Explains the mechanics of home-based wind power
  • Shows you how to tie into the grid and sell energy back to the power company
  • Offers advice on evaluating all of the costs of and financing for your project
  • Provides tips on working with contractors and complying with local zoning laws

Yes, you can do it, with a little help from Wind Power For Dummies.

Introduction 1

Part I: A Wind Primer: Stuff You Need to Know 7

Chapter 1: Introducing the World of Home Wind Electricity 9

Chapter 2: Is Wind Energy for You? 19

Chapter 3: Deconstructing Wind-Energy Systems 33

Chapter 4: Electricity Basics — a Shocking Amount of Info 47

Chapter 5: Blowing through Vital Wind-Energy Principles 67

Part II: Assessing Your Situation 83

Chapter 6: The Home Energy Assessment: Gauging Your Energy Appetite 85

Chapter 7: Increasing Your Home’s Energy Efficiency 99

Chapter 8: Determining Your Site’s Wind-Energy Potential 117

Chapter 9: Defi ning Your Relationship to the Grid 137

Chapter 10: Calculating the Value of Your Investment 151

Chapter 11: If Not Wind, Then What? Other Options for Green Energy 165

Part III: Assembling Your System 183

Chapter 12: Gathering a Team of Experts — or Going It Alone 185

Chapter 13: Weighing Wind Generator Options 199

Chapter 14: Talking about Towers 219

Chapter 15: Checking Out the Rest of the System Components 237

Chapter 16: Tying Everything Together: System Sizing and Design 253

Part IV: Installing and Operating Your System 269

Chapter 17: Safety First! 271

Chapter 18: Installation Time 287

Chapter 19: Living with Wind Energy 305

Part V: The Part of Tens 315

Chapter 20: Ten Essential Steps toward a Successful Wind-Electric System 317

Chapter 21: Ten Wind-Energy Mistakes 323

Chapter 22: Ten Tales of Wind-Energy Users and “Abusers” 327

Part VI: Appendixes 335

Appendix A: Glossary 337

Appendix B: Conversions, Abbreviations, and Acronyms 345

Index 349