Small Wind

Small Wind

Planning and Building Successful Installations

1st Edition - August 27, 2013

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  • Author: Nolan Clark
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123860002
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123859990

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Small wind turbines utilize wind energy to produce power with rated capacities of 100 kilowatts or less. With this increasingly popular technology, individual businesses, farms, and homes can generate their own electricity and cut their energy bills , while generating power in an environmentally sound manner. The challenges facing the engineers who are tasked with planning and developing these small wind systems are multifaceted, from choosing the best site and accurately estimating  power output, to obtaining proper permitting and troubleshooting operational inefficiencies. Optimization of project development for small wind applications is a necessity. Small Wind: Planning and Building Successful Installations provides a cohesive guide to achieving successful small wind installations from an informed expert. It is a comprehensive information resource from one of the world’s most experienced small wind professionals, covering all the key issues for small wind system development, from site and machine selection to international standards compliance.

Key Features

  • Establishes technical guidelines for the growing number of engineers called upon to plan small wind projects
  • Identifies and explains the critical issues for small wind installations, including siting, turbine choice, applications and permitting, economics, load management, and grid integration
  • Examples from real projects demonstrate key considerations for success, complete with template spreadsheets and measurements needed to support project planning efforts
  • Includes reports on the most commonly used turbines and designs and synthesizes and clarifies relevant wind industry documentation, saving readers endless hours of research


Primary: Renewable Energy professionals, esp. Mechanical, Electrical & Civil Engineers working in the Wind Power industry as Project Developers and Managers, Wind Turbine Designers and Manufacturers
Secondary: Engineering students in 4-year and technical school programs studying to enter the “green jobs” sphere; Agricultural & Power Engineers working on small wind projects

Table of Contents

  • Preface



    Introduction Harvesting the Wind

    Wind Energy Principles


    Chapter One. Site Evaluation: Examining the Proposed Site to Ensure That It Has Adequate Wind and Space


    Calculating Wind Speed Distribution from Average Wind Speed

    Measuring Wind Speed at Potential Wind Turbine Site

    Estimating Annual Energy Production

    Selecting the Location for the Wind Turbine

    Institutional Siting


    Siting Issues for Construction


    Chapter Two. Needs Evaluation: Determining Power Needed to Meet the Owner’s Request


    Grid-Connected Electric Power Generation

    Stand-Alone Applications (No Grid)

    Measuring Current Energy Use

    Estimating Loads for New Construction


    Chapter Three. Wind Turbine Components and Descriptions: Essential Components to Have a Productive, Reliable, and Safe Wind Machine


    Horizontal Axis And Vertical Axis Machines

    Drag Devices

    Lift Devices

    Rotor Designs

    Rotor Hubs

    Energy Conversion Systems




    Chapter Four. Towers and Foundations: Support Structures That Make the Project Successful


    Guyed Towers

    Freestanding Towers

    Towers for Vertical Axis And Other Turbines


    Chapter Five. Machine Selection: Matching the Machine to the Site and Power Needs


    Selection using Performance Information

    Matching Annual Energy Consumed to Energy Produced

    Sizing a Machine for Off-Grid Applications

    Machine Noise, Reliability, and Safety Information




    Chapter Six. Permitting: Meeting the Institutional Issues for Installing a Small Wind Machine


    Height of Wind Turbine

    Setback Distance



    Fencing for Security



    Electrical Permits

    Utility Interconnection Permit


    Chapter Seven. Installation: Integrating the Machine, Load, and Site into a Complete Package


    Site Preparation


    Electrical Wiring

    Assembly of Tower

    Assembly of Turbine

    Lifting the Assembled Components

    Initial Operation of the Unit

    Completing the Site


    Chapter Eight. System Operation with Electrical Interconnections: Working with Electrical Utilities and Transmission Companies


    Connecting the Wind Turbine

    Operating the Wind Turbine Connected to the Grid


    Chapter Nine. System Operations of Stand-Alone Machines: Making Systems Work without an Electrical Grid


    Battery Charging

    Water Pumping

    Wind–Mechanical Pumping

    Wind–Electric Pumping

    Hybrid Systems


    Chapter Ten. Economic Considerations: Predicting the Economic Reality of an Installation


    The True Cost of Wind Machines

    Income from Wind Machines

    Cash Flow Analysis


    Chapter Eleven. Operation and Maintenance: A Guide to Long-Term Operation and Maintenance Issues



    Component Repairs

    Emergency Situations


    Chapter Twelve. Distributed Wind Systems: Promoting Growth of Small Wind Systems


    Midsized Turbines Used in Distributed Wind Systems

    Community Wind

    Small Wind Machines


    Chapter Thirteen. The Future of Small Wind: Factors That May or May Not Affect the Growth of Small Wind


    Acceptance and Education

    New or Revised Policies and Incentives

    Changing Economics

    Improved and Advanced Technology

    Standards and Certification for Turbines

    Supply Chain Changes

    Global Marketing


    Appendix. Useful Web Sites

    National Wind Energy Associations

    Interest Areas


    Certification And Standards



Product details

  • No. of pages: 224
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2013
  • Published: August 27, 2013
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123860002
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123859990

About the Author

Nolan Clark

Nolan Clark is a wind power pioneer who began working in the area of wind energy for rural applications in the mid '70s. He was Laboratory Director at the USDA Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in Bushland, Texas, acting as Program Leader for the DOE & USDA interagency wind research program from 1980-2009. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the DOE’s Wind Energy Pioneer Award, AWEA’s Outstanding Contributions Award, and the Wind Powering America Program’s 2009 Small Wind Advocate Award in recognition of leadership, dedication, and numerous contributions to the advancement of small wind turbine applications. Dr. Clark has published numerous book chapters, magazine and journal articles, and has acted as Program Chair for AWEA’s Windpower, the largest wind energy conference in North America. He is a fellow of the ASABE, (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers), and a member of AWEA, ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and SWCS (Soil and Water Conservation Society). He has served on many DOE technical review panels, examining wind power related research grant proposals, and has worked directly with over 100 wind energy producers to implement small wind installations in schools, farms and businesses throughout the American South and Midwest.In his current position on AWEA’s Small Wind Certification Committee, Dr. Clark acts as one of a three review board commissioners, conducting technical evaluations of projects under consideration for AWEAs Small Wind Certification. He is one of three American representatives who wrote the current AWEA standards for small wind machines, which are now being adopted internationally.

Affiliations and Expertise

Small Wind Certification Council, Amarillo, Texas, USA

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