Wind Power

Domestic scale wind turbines and generators.
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Ploughcroft Renewables: An experienced, high quality renewable installer who have a proven track record in installing solar pv, solar thermal, heat pumps, wind turbines, roofing & insulation to thousands of homes up and down the country.


Wind Power:

The new generation of domestic scale wind turbines is bringing closer the possibility for many homes to become energy generators.
 
Because of vibration and noise issues, it is unlikely that you will be able to mount a wind turbine on your roof, but rather on a mast away from buildings, and where the best wind is.
 
Remember that Planning Permission can be an issue in erecting a system -key issues include proximity to neighbours; nearby military installations and protected areas such as National Parks -ask your local authority before you go ahead.
 
Grants are available through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme which is managed by the Energy Saving Trust. The scheme gives a possible £1,000 per kW installed up to a maximum of £5,000, but of course there are conditions.
 
If you are able to generate surplus energy, then you can sell this back into the grid. For a list of companies that buy at more advantageous rates, see the Segen website. You will need a an inverter to regularise the supply, and a bi-directional meter for this.


William's Windmill

An interesting and inspiring story from Malawi about William Kamkwamba, a young man who dropped out of school at 14 because he couldn't afford the fees -he found a book on how to generate electricity using windmills, and through trial and error, using wood and an old bicycle, built a home-made windmill to provide electricity for his village.
 
He found the book in a school library, donated as part of the Malawi Teacher Training Activity (MTTA), a USAID teacher development project. When Dr. Mchazime of MTTA heard of the windmill and its origins in the library donated by MTTA, he went to visit William. He brought with him journalists, and the article that appeared in the Daily Times was picked up by bloggers -the story spread rapidly and William was invited to speak at TEDGlobal, in Arusha, Tanzania, one of the world's largest technology conferences. His life has not been the same since. The TED conference in 2007 was also attended by the likes of Bono, Bill Clinton, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Larry Page. Since then, William has learned to use a computer and started his own blog -read his fascinating story at http://williamkamkwamba.typepad.com.
 
 

Resources:
  • Ampair -renewable energy for sailing yachts -wind and solar electric.
  • Baywind Energy Co-operative -the first UK co-operative to own wind turbines, having raised £2 million through share offers, they own six wind turbines in Cumbria and are actively seeking opportunities for renewable energy schemes.
  • British Wind Energy Association -the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries -BWEA aims to promote the use of wind power in and around the UK, providing information and acting as a lobbying group to promote wind energy and marine renewables to government.
  • Cellspace -manufacturer of 'Architectural Wind' -a modular roof mounted wind turbine systems, designed to look good -especially suitable for urban/suburban environments.
  • Danish Wind Industry Association -non-profit association whose purpose is to promote wind energy at home and abroad.
  • Ecotricity -electricity company dedicated to investing in clean forms of power like wind energy.
  • Embrace Wind -stand up and show your support for wind energy.
  • Hugh Piggott -designer and builder of small wind turbines in Scoraig.
  • Iskra produce innovative wind turbines from their factory in Nottinghamshire, England.
  • Marlec -developers of the Rutland Windcharger a simple and efficient wind driven battery charging generator.
  • Micropower -privately funded trade association representing the microgeneration sector.
  • nPower Renewables -one of the UK's leading renewable energy companies, dedicated to generating electricity using sustainable, environmentally-friendly resources, with a wide ranging portfolio that includes both onshore and offshore wind farms, hydro plant and co-firing biomass.
  • Proven Energy -family owned business based in Stewarton in SW Scotland which manufactures and installs wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels.
  • Quiet Revolution -uniquely beautiful domestic scale wind turbine that is destined to change our approach to renewable energy.
  • Renewable Devices -developers of the Swift Rooftop Wind Energy System, the worlds first silent, building-mountable wind turbine.
  • Renewable Energy Systems Group -RES is one of the largest and most successful wind energy companies in the world, with an expanding portfolio of several gigawatts of projects at various stages of development on four continents and have developed and built wind farms in the UK and abroad.
  • Segen -independant power producer and installers of small wind turbines, with sizes from 2kW ­ 20kW. In addittion, they do micro hydropower through their dedicated website at www.hydrogeneration.co.uk. Also have some useful downloadable data sheets and case studies.
  • Windsave -developers of a Commercial and Domestic small wind turbine generator system using low wind speeds to create electricity. The system can be roof or wall mounted and feeds electricity directly into the property on the consumer side of the meter, reducing the consumption and cost of electricity from the Grid.
  • WindWorks -an on-line archive of articles by Paul Gipe on wind energy.
  • YES2WIND -produced by Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and WWF, with the aim of providing information and resources for the public to support wind farm proposals locally.

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Featured books:

Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm and Business
Paul Gipe
Chelsea Green Pub Co
Paperback
price in US dollars
price in UK pounds

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Paperback -Mar 2010
price in UK pounds

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