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People love the idea of making their own electricity using the wind. But how practical is the idea of putting wind generators in urban areas? This web site will help you explore the possibilities and the myths:

  • Do turbines specifically designed for rooftops really work?
  • What about towers in urban settings?
  • Is a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) right for my site?
  • How can I figure out how much energy is available at my wind site?
  • Can I trust a turbine to put out as much energy as the manufacturer claims?
  • How tall should a tower be?

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The Lift Principle In Wind Energy Aerodynamics

My blog comment of a day or so ago stands. Here, though, is something else that has the flavor about it of real progress rather than that of conservative introspection on the installation of small wind turbines.

The IntegEner-W booklet mentioned on our website www.integener.com , "Aerodynamic Lift As It Applies To Birds, Aircraft, Wind Turbines", is colorful, attractive, easily understandable, and continues to attract sales over the Internet at its rather slow pace. It was written to help make clear some of the confusion that dogs this subject even up to today. Others have taken up this cause as well and so we find popular books written by aerodyamics academicians and engineers Anderson and Eberhardt and Gale M. Craig on this same subject, directed specifically to aviation, something everyone thought was all covered a long time ago being that the airplane is now so much a part of everyday life.

Aviation aerodynamics differs from wind energy aerodynamics and to speak of both in the same breath is a continuing error in the field.

I am a member of AWEA and wish to continue being so but it is to me important that AWEA understands some of what I have to offer. Updates to the website on the math complexities that often are left to the specialists but can see widespread dissemination even so have been made. From what I gather, these .pdf files added at the bottom of the home page have been popular and see many hits and downloads.

What I believe would be beneficial is for me to add a third chapter to the booklet that makes a connection between the two main diverse theories that have been at odds with each other. I believe that this would fill some of the current void that needs so badly to be filled.

I can't do this without some sort of nod of approval from those such as the wind energy media and AWEA itself. I am counting on someone within these organizations to recognize this need as well and to promise an order of some thousand or more copies of this booklet.

It would be well if those reading this note also had a copy or were able to see copies already disseminated. I am here ready and able to satisfy this demand. Just go to the website.

Here is some "spam breaker" code that your group is free to use for keeping these comment replies free of spam:


Our little yardstick rotor continues to run just fine and needs no advertising to attract interest.

Tony Chessick
Tehachapi, CA

My Blog On This

Our website here at www.integener.com tells our story best. Other than that the question we want to ask is, "Where are the small wind turbines in Washington, D.C. now that some ambitious RES legislation has been passed?" Pics of the capitol always show the flags flying in what must be some quite good winds. There are now plans afoot to build a nuclear reactor power plant on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay not far to the southeast of D.C. supported by Federal loan guarantees. Sailing sailboats on the Bay is a popular sport there.

The deeper one digs into this small wind problem, the deeper the pit grows. It is all very well to support the hard work and dedication of the wind turbine manufacturers and decry the inability of the public to come to grips with reality. Everyone is locked into their own self interest and what results are these piecrust rules made to be broken of "30 feet above anything within 500 feet" and "one year of data" and "no rooftops", not to mention "no vertical axis".

In the context of what is happening that no one really knows anything and the only driver is money being made available somehow gratuitously, the approach recommended by me is to do what comes naturally to ordinary people who need to find some fun and common sense in all this.

First, more should be said about everyone investing in the little hand held wind meters that are available mostly for weather watchers but serve a useful purpose for wind energy as well. My little Kestrel 2000 was worth every penny of the $40 I paid for it some years ago from a source that obtained it second hand.

Second, the process of starting a wind energy adventure for the home should be recognized as that - an adventure. Start small. We here have made a little rotor out of a metal yardstick with some wings on its ends that is attached in its center to a small DC Ametek motor that runs on a 12 foot tall wooden tower not far from a building that is taller and is fixed in yaw to point only west. Yet this little bugger lights some lights - not just LEDs - and is capable of charging a 12 volt battery probably at about a half a kwh a day. We had to do some learning to get it right and found that small changes to the blades make a world of difference in its performance, a lesson that we love to reiterate every chance that we get.

Third, and this is the best one, more of the folks in wind energy who are names in the field and are associated with the technology in one way or another - yourself included - need to experience wind energy themselves with their own systems installed at their own residences. I see some 23 names on the AWEA board member list and wonder just how many of them have a wind turbine of their own - probably none.

To conclude, what I see is some rather calcified and unfriendly requirements being imposed on those who have a genuine interest in this idea that are there to prevent dissatisfaction with the final results of making a purchase - dissatisfaction that invariably results.

The one true and best way for anyone to glean some hope out of their wind resource is to see someone else not far away having some success with a similar turbine they have installed.

I leave the rest up to those who put up this website and Mick Sagrillo himself. Let's be realistic and let's put some meaning in what is expected for people to do who want to explore wind energy.

I have great faith in the Internet and am quite happy to see the effort that has gone into this website.

Tony Chessick
Tehachapi, CA