Wind Power - Renewable energy for home, farm, and business

Wind Power - Renewable energy for home, farm, and business Wind Power starts with a disclosure, listing 28 companies and organizations that Paul Gipe has worked with. That's not by way of an apology, but rather an indication of the 30 year experience Paul has in wind energy.

The preface which follows is a rather more personal intro to Paul, in which he notes that in that time he's been all of a proponent, participant, observer, and critic of the wind industry. That mixed, and wide ranging role in the industry is very apparent in the book, which builds on Paul's ealier published works, to cover this increasingly high profile industry from many angles.

After a quick look at the applications of wind power, the book then considers measuring the wind - so as to come up with a better reason for siting a turbine than "its always windy here". Having considered the input, its a question of estimating the output; a second maths heavy chapter in a row, but eased with lots of charts and graphs.

After the major maths, there's a discussion of the economics - not just will the machine pay for itself, but also considering whether it needs to do so anyway.

A long chapter on evaluating the technology is wide ranging in its approach, covering historical grist mills, through American farm windpumps, to the various types of wind turbine, including experimental designs.

Towers get their own chapter, after all they serve the important task of raising the tubine to avoid ground induced turbulence, and give backup to the general maxim of "the higher the tower the greater the power".

Costs, in the real practical sense of buying your own turbine are covered next, with considerations of building your own, buying a used turbine, or assembing a kit, as well as simply buying new.

By now we are only half way through the book, and its perhaps here that Paul's depth and breadth of experience shows. Following chapters then go on to cover a range of practical subjects, including: connecting to the power grid, working off grid, pumping water, siting, installation, and maintenance.

The chapter on safety makes fascinating, if somewhat gruesome reading, and again draws on Paul's wide knowledge gained over many years.

The book concludes with a chapter entitled "Looking to the future", and is rounded out with a series of useful appendices, including maps, spreadsheets, addresses, turbine types, manufacturers, a multilingual lexicon, bibliography, and glossary.

Wind Power - Renewable energy for home, farm, and business, Paul Gipe, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, ISBN 1-931498-60-1 (hardcover) 1-931498-14-8 (softcover)

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