FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Energy

How Does Wind Work?

Wind power involves taking the kinetic energy of air movement and converting it to electrical energy using the aerodynamic blades connected to an alternator/generator.

Wind Diagram

The energy available in the wind varies with the wind speed cubed. This means if you double the wind speed, the energy increases by a factor of eight (2x2x2).

The site of your turbine is important! Smooth, non-turbulent air is needed to maximize power extraction and to reduce unnecessary wear to turbine components. This is why it’s unwise to position a wind turbine close to the ground or any obstruction. The site also should be clear of trees or other tall obstructions.

How Does Solar PV work?

While every location on Earth receives some sunlight over a year, the amount of solar radiation that reaches any one spot on the Earth’s surface varies. Solar technologies capture this radiation and turn it into useful forms of energy. Photovoltaic (PV) technologies – more commonly known as solar panels – generate power using devices that absorb energy from sunlight and convert it into electrical energy through semiconducting materials. These devices, known as solar cells, are then connected to form larger power-generating units known as modules or panels. 

How is EV Charging Station different from an outlet?

The speed and reliability of charge. Most Plug in Hybrid and fully electric vehicles can be charged on a regular 120 V outlet. But the charging is much more reliable with a reliable charge station with a dedicated line. Also, depending on the voltage level of the charge station, the time to charge can be a fraction of the speed of a wall outlet.

Wind vs Solar PV – Which is Better?

It depends – on the resource at your site, your energy needs and your utility provider’s rules. This is why we will ask you a lot of soul searching questions about your current and future plans to design the best combination of system(s) for your specific needs.

Have more Questions?? Contact Us today!! But read on to see if we’ve already covered it here, first.

Bonus section – Mythbusters

Myth: Conventional 3 or 2 bladed turbines allow all the wind between the blades to go waste!!

The ideal wind turbine really has only 1 blade. But it can’t be practically implemented because of balance issues with the generator.  2 bladed design works better, but is maintenance intensive due to balance issues. 3 bladed design offers better balance to the system without compromising too much on efficiency.

Myth: Revolutionary turbine designs can harness 100% of the wind’s energy!!

In 1919, German scientist Albert Betz mathematically demonstrated that the maximum kinetic energy that can be harnessed from wind by an ideal turbine (has only one blade) is 59.3%. To make it work practically, conventional turbines introduce additional blades and other components to achieve 70% to 80% of the “Betz limit” resulting in 30% to 45% overall efficiency. Energy that is not there cannot be created

Myth: Wind Turbines don’t need to be on tall towers!!

A primary requirement for wind turbines to work is that they have access to wind. They will work better if they have access to turbulence free wind. So, taller towers are a necessity for a wind turbine to operate efficiently.

Myth: You can install wind turbines on your roof!!

Sure you can, if you don’t mind the shaky living conditions for want of expensive wind art!! The turbulence from surrounding structures eliminates any useful power generation. Wind turbines require real, engineered towers and foundations to handle the dynamic loads; existing buildings are not designed for these reactions.

Myth: Wind turbines kills birds!!

So does every bucket of KFC – what’s your point

Really though, every human activity since we moved out of caves harms other living forms. Studies have found that wind turbines rank way down on the suspect list of bird murderers which is topped by high rise buildings and the cute little house cat. Contact us and we will gladly share the studies.

Myth: The tall fan you’re putting up is going to blow more cabbage smell from the farm at my house next door!!

Firstly, we don’t install fans. Secondly, we’re not qualified to weigh in on cabbage science!

Myth: Wind Turbines are going to suck all the wind out of the area, so our clothes on the line won’t dry!!

Not enough science teachers in the world to answer this one.

Myth: Solar Panels are going to use up all the sunlight, and plants won’t have enough for photosynthesis!!

Same as above.