Small Wind

1st Edition

Planning and Building Successful Installations

Authors: R. Nolan Clark
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123859990
eBook ISBN: 9780123860002
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 24th September 2013
Page Count: 224
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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




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 fo


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About the Author

R. 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