Wind Power (2004) Contents

1. Introduction

[side bar] Wind Energy Workshops

How This Book is Organized

Nomenclature–What Are We Talking About?

Wind Machines

Power and Energy–There Is a Difference

Watt’s More

[side bar] What’s New in This Version of Wind Power

Levers, Moment Arms, and Torque

Equations–They’re Informative

False Precision–How To Avoid It

Units–Yes, Metrics Too

Size–It’s All Relative

2. Applications–How To Use The Wind

Generating Power at Remote Sites


Low-Power Applications

Village Electrification

Interconnecting with the Utility

[side bar] Lighting the Way

How It Works

[sidebar] Public-Spirited

Farming the Wind


Water Pumping

3. Measuring the Wind

Wind–What is It?

Wind Speed and Time

[side bar] Wind Speed Units

[side bar] Beaufort Scale

[Side bar] Wind Speed Notation

Power in the Wind

[side bar] Power Density

Air Density

[Side bar] Standard Atmosphere

Swept Area

Wind Speed and Speed Distributions

[side bar] Frequency Distributions

Wind Speed, Power and Height

Wind shear Exponent

[side bar] Nocturnal Jet

[site bar] Logarithmic Model of Wind Shear

[side bar] The Wind Shear Exponent (a)

[Side bar] Calculating the Wind Shear Exponent (a)

Published Wind Data

[side bar] Sources of Wind Data in the USA

Surveying Your Site

[side bar] Estimating the Height of Obstructions

Measuring Instruments

Anemometer Towers

Survey Duration

Data Analysis

Another Option–Install a Small Wind Turbine

4. Estimating Output–How Much To Expect

Swept Area Method

Small Wind Turbines

[side bar] Calculating Swept Area

[side bar] Swept Area Rules of Thumb

Medium Size Wind Turbines

Power Curve Method

[side bar] Avoid Average Speed Confusion

[side bar] Power Curve Nomenclature

Manufacturers’ Estimates

[side bar] Wind Plant Losses

The Method of Bins

Performance Ratings


5. Economics–Does Wind Pay?

Cost of Energy and Payback

Economic Factors

Residential Economics

[side bar] Understanding Table 5-1

Farm and Business Economics

[side bar] Understanding Table 5-2

[side bar] Taking a Gamble: Schafer Systems



6. Evaluating the Technology–What Works and What Doesn’t


Vertical Axis

Horizontal Axis

[side bar] Tail Vanes

Passive Yaw

Active Yaw

[sidebar] Ducted or Augmented Turbines

Lift and Drag


Apparent Wind and the Angle of Attack

Twist and Taper


Betz’s Limit

[side bar] One-Bladed Wind Turbines

Blade Number

Self Starting

[sidebar] Tip Vanes and Tip Torpedoes






Drive Trains


[sidebar] Permanent Permanent Magnets?


[sidebar] Air-Gap Generators

Variable- or Constant-Speed Operation

Induction (Asynchronous) Generators

Dual Generators

Rotor Controls

Horizontal Furling

Vertical Furling


Changing Blade Pitch

Pitch to Feather

Pitch to Stall

Aerodynamic Stall

Mechanical Brakes

Aerodynamic Brakes

Putting It All Together

Small Turbines

Medium-Sized Turbines

7. Towers


[side bar] Stratospheric Heights

Buckling Strength

[side bar] Drag Force and Thrust

Tower Types

Free-Standing Towers

Tubular Towers

Guyed Towers

Novel Towers

Rooftop Mounting



Farm Windmill Towers

Wood Poles

Steel Pipe


Other Considerations



Ease of Installation

Tower Selection

8. Cutting Costs–Not Corners

Building a Small Turbine Yourself

[side bar] DIY Brake-Drum Windmill


Buying a Used Wind Turbine

[side bar] Secondhand Wind

Used Windchargers

Used 1970s Machines

Used California Turbines

[side bar] California Wind Turbines

Danish and American Designs

Lightweight U.S. Designs

What Are They Worth?


Windmatic 15S–A Workhorse

[side bar] Dutch Valley Produce

Limitations of California Turbines

Used Turbines in Europe

Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)

[side bar] The Spirit of Adventure

Assembling a Kit

Working Together

Cooperatives–The Danish Approach

[side bar] Kennermerwind

[side bar] SydThy Kabellaug

Cooperative Net Billing

Buying Clubs

Wind Plant Coops

9. Buying a Wind System

Choosing a Product

[side bar] Standard Power Rating

[side bar] Much More than the Turbine

Standardized Tests

Operational History

Product Specifications






Evaluating Vendors

[side bar] Ventilators and Squirrels in a Cage



What to Expect

[side bar] Some Does and Don’ts

Contracts and Warranties

Case Studies

Cappy Reece

Art & Maxine Cook

10. Interconnection with the Utility

PURPA in the USA

Practical Application of PURPA


[side bar] Wind Without Limits

Electricity Feed Laws & Quotas

[side bar] Feed Laws Deliver Renewables

Danish Feed Law

German Feed Law

French Feed Law

Feed Laws Elsewhere


Power Quality and Safety

Power Factor

Voltage Flicker


Dealing with the Utility

[side bar] Aussie Built-Aussie Operated

Sizing–What’s Right for You

Dump Loads

11. Off-the-Grid Power Systems


[side bar] Tale of Two Cities

Reducing Demand

[side bar] Cutting Consumption

AC and DC Systems


[side bar] U.S. Solar & Wind Data

[side bar] Micro Hybrid Power System

[side bar] Cabin-size Hybrid Power System

[side bar] Household-size Hybrid Power System



Backup Generators

Utility Backup

Stand-Alone Economics

Other Stand-Alone Power Systems


[side bar] Village Self Reliance

Village Electrification

12. Pumping Water

Windmills that Won the West

[side bar] Dempster Still Pumping

Mechanical Wind Pumps

Pumping Head

Estimating Farm Windmill Pumping Capacity

New Technology for Mechanical Wind Pumps

[side bar] Farm Windmill Conversion?

Electrical Wind Pumps

[side bar] Wind Pumping Research

Estimating Water Use



Wind Pump Renaissance

13. Siting

Physical Restrictions

Exposure and Turbulence

Power Cable Routing

Institutional Restrictions

[side bar] Property Values

Planning Permission

Building Permits

Height Restrictions

Obstruction Marking

Public Safety

Falling Blades

Falling Ice

Attractive Nuisance


Medium-Size Turbines

Small Turbines

[side bar] Anti-Wind Groups



Weighting Scales

Exceedance Levels

Noise Propagation

[side bar] Will it be Heard?

Ambient Noise

Community Noise Standards

Sound Power Levels

[side bar] Sources of Small Turbine Noise

Lowering Wind Turbine Noise



TV and Radio Interference

Shadow Flicker and the Disco Effect


Case Studies

14. Installation

[side bar] Thoughts on Doing It Yourself

Parts Control

Foundations and Anchors


Working with Concrete

Guyed Towers

Free-Standing Towers

Novel Foundations

Assembly and Erection of Guyed Towers

Guy Cables

[side bar] Wire Rope Clips & Thimbles

Using a Crane

Using a Gin Pole

[side bar] Installation of Household-size Turbine with Crane

Free-Standing Towers–Assembly and Erection

Tubular Towers

[side bar] Installation of Medium-size Wind Turbine

Tilt-Up Towers–Assembly and Erection

Tilt-Up Guyed Towers

[side bar] Sample Tool List for Micro Turbine

[side bar] Installation of Micro Turbine with Griphoist



[side bar] Up Tower Connectors for Micro Turbines

Above Ground and Buried Wiring

Conductors and Conductor Sizing

[side bar] American Wire Gauge to Metric Conversion

Strain Relief of Tower Conductors

Conduit Fill

[side bar] Junction or J-Boxes

Surge Protection

[side bar] Ground Net

Additional Notes on Wiring

15. Operation, Performance, and Maintenance

Small Wind Turbine “First Rotation”

Interconnected Wind Systems

Battery-Charging Wind Systems

Monitoring Performance

Small Wind Turbines

[side bar] Reading a Kilowatt-hour Meter


Small Turbines

[side bar] Falkland Islands

Balance of Remote Systems

Medium-size Wind Turbines


[side bar] Bushland Enertech

Blade and Tower Cleaning


Cost of Maintenance

Small Wind Turbines

Medium-size Wind Turbines

Life Expectancy

16. Safety

Fatal Accidents

[side bar] Terry Mehrkam



Spinning Rotors

[side bar] Dynamic Braking of Small Turbines




Tower Safety and Climbing Gear

Work Belts and Full-Body Harnesses

Lanyards and Anchorages

Snap Hooks, Carabiners, and Slings

Fall-Arresting Systems

Work Platforms

[side bar] Tower Work and Do-it-Yourselfers


More Tower Tips

[side bar] Steen Aagaard’s Crippling Fall

Small Turbine Electrical Safety


Rope and Cable


Winches and Hoists for Small Wind Turbines

Loss Prevention

17. Looking to the Future

Expanded Applications

Distributed Wind

Community Wind

[side bar] MinWind–Farmer-Owned

Offshore Wind

Electric Vehicle Charging

Better Technology

Small Wind Turbines

Medium-size and Larger Wind Turbines

Challenges Facing Wind

Bigger is Better

Green Power



Too Cheap to Meter

What’s Needed

Owners’ Associations

Making Wind Go Further

Restructuring the Grid

Fair Price for a High-Value Product

Energy for Life

18. Appendixes



Scale of Energy Equivalents

Scale of Equivalent Power

Air Density Correction Spreadsheets

for Temperature

for Altitude

for Normal Lapse Rate (Standard Atmosphere)

for a Given Temperature and Elevation

Weibull Wind Speed Distribution

Rayleigh Wind Speed Distribution

Map of Wind Resources in the United States

Maps of World Wind Resources

Estimates of Annual Energy Output

Estimates of Water Pumping Capacity of Farm Windmills

Cash Flow Models

Non Governmental Organizations

Government-Sponsored Laboratories

Electronic Networks

WWW Sites


International Wind Energy Consultants

Characteristics of Selected Small Wind Turbines

Small Wind Turbine Manufacturers

Characteristics of Selected Medium-Size Wind Turbines

Medium-Size Wind Turbine Manufacturers

Reconditioned and Used Wind Turbines

Mechanical Wind Pumps

Rotor Blades


Mail-Order Catalogs

Wind Measurement Devices

Wind Measurement Masts

Wind & Meteorological Data


Wind Turbine Market Surveys


Anchors and Guying Hardware

Work Belts and Fall-Arresting Systems



Plans for Small Wind Turbines

Grip Hoists


Multilingual Beaufort Scale

Mulitlingual Lexicon



Solar Photovoltaics

Wind Energy Technology in English

Modern Wind Energy History

Wind Resources and Siting

Aesthetics and Noise

Designing, Building, or Installing Your Own

Water Pumping

Wind Energy Technology In German

Wind Energy Technology In French

Wind Energy Spanish

Wind Energy In Swedish

19. Glossary of Wind Energy Terminology

“The ultimate account of how we can take the breeze that washes daily across our planet and use it to power our lives. There’s something quietly thrilling about this book!”

—Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

“A massive expansion of wind power is necessary for the transition to 100% renewable energy if we want to mitigate climate change and avoid conflicts over resources. Paul Gipe’s book shows the path forward. It is a masterwork.”

Hans-Josef Fell; former German MP, co-author of Germany’s Renewable Energy Resources Act, and President of the Energy Watch Group

“No one knows more about the promise and pitfalls of wind power than Paul Gipe. With stunning photographs, accessible writing, and an eye for fakery and hypocrisy, he has produced one of the finest books on wind power available. Truly a masterwork. We owe him a great debt as we take the first steps toward a more sustainable energy future.”

—Martin J. Pasqualetti, Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University and author of The Renewable Energy Landscape

“This is the most comprehensive and best-informed book on wind power I know of, and its focus on developing wind energy outside the purview of the big utility companies is unique and subversive. Paul Gipe has done us all a great service.”

—Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute and author of Our Renewable Future: Laying the Path for 100% Clean Energy

“Germany’s Energiewende–its energy revolution—is due to thousands of citizens working together in a grassroots movement. Paul Gipe shows how the energy and enthusiasm of the people created a technology that grew from the bottom-up–not the top down. An important book and an essential message.”

—Hermann Albers, President, German Wind Turbine Owners Association (BWE)

“Paul Gipe brings over three decades of wind energy experience to bear in this masterful one-stop compendium containing everything we want to know about wind energy.”

—Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

“Over the last 40 years, I’ve learned more about wind power from Paul Gipe than from any other source. Now he has put it all into one splendid new book. Wind Energy for the Rest of Us expertly addresses every question about technology, policy, and economics that is worth answering.”

—Denis Hayes, Chair of Earth Day 2020 and former director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

“Gipe’s call for an ethical energy policy in Wind Energy for the Rest of Us is a message that North American politicians should heed. The people deserve nothing less.”

Glen Estill, Past President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, and successful wind entrepreneur

“Gipe has been one of the leading voices for wind energy in North America . . . effectively straddling the line from technical to political while communicating wind’s promise to the general public.”

—Tim Weis, former Policy Director, Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)

“Paul Gipe has been involved with wind energy since its revival in the late 1970s. His extensive experience makes him uniquely qualified to be the author of this fascinating and informative book.”

—Tom Gray, former Executive Director, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

Wind Energy for the Rest of Us is the most definitive account of wind energy you are likely to find. Pure and simple. It doesn’t matter whether you are an engineer, lobbyist, manager, academic, wind developer, or just somebody who wants to know about wind power, this book is the best source for helping you understand the technology, how it developed, where it’s going, and how it fits in with the world. Paul Gipe is the master of wind energy, and this book is his masterpiece.”

David Toke, Reader in Energy Politics, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

“The wind is like the sun, a gift from the heavens. In all languages the wind is identified with the spirit–and it blows for everyone. This impressive work by Paul Gipe shows that the winds of change are unstoppable and that they are there for all of us. If we want a world free from conflict, we must build as many wind turbines as fast as possible–each turbine a sign of peace.”

Franz Alt, journalist, theologian, and author of Der ökologische Jesus and Krieg um Öl oder Frieden durch die Sonne

“Few are more qualified to write a book titled Wind Energy for the Rest of Us than Paul Gipe. He proves again that he is one of the world’s most knowledgeable authorities on wind energy. More importantly, he understands the politics behind energy policy. Following his recommendations would not only create a better environment, but also lead to a fairer and more just world.”

—Stefan Gsanger, Executive Director, World Wind Energy Association

“I have only skimmed the surface, but I can already understand what a masterpiece this is on so many counts.

It is an essential testimony to the sheer determination of a silent army of practical dreamers, to all those who mobilized and shared their ways and talents to make wind technology the spearhead of a renewable energy world and took it on an absolutely exemplary course.  

What a phenomenal historical account of all international efforts leading to a world class industry committed to building energy sustainability.

It is a fantastic tribute to the electricity rebels that succeeded in making this formidable endeavor possible over…what … say 50 years. 

What the world class wind industry as we know it today means for the world economy is that it can get out of its fossil fuel dependence in, certainly less than…, 50 years.

This book clearly demonstrates why those who think they can derail the Paris treaty are irresponsible fools. Now is the time for all citizens to raise the issue of sustainable energy in every town hall across North America.  

This is truly a colossal work.”

—Bernard Saulnier, ingénieur, l’Institut de recherche d’Hydro Quebec (retired)

“Wind Energy for the Rest of Us is more about sociology than technology; an environmentalist’s ‘sat nav’ for living more lightly on a confused planet. Gipe uses wind as a metaphor for society’s efforts to harness the unlimited renewable resources that surround us. Huge technology leaps, cutting the cost of wind power, become portals through which whole energy systems are set to become more accountable, democratic, and sustainable. Gipe’s is a book for those who grasp that it’s never too late to be all the things we ever wanted to be. Read it. Ride its currents. Then use it to change everything. This is our moment.”

Alan Simpson, former British MP, climate campaigner and energy policy advisor

Gipe is “One of the doyens of the wind engineering profession. He’s in a class by himself!”

—K R Rao, author of Energy and Power Generation Handbook: Established and Emerging Technologies and the forthcoming Wind Energy for Power Generation: Meeting the Challenge of Practical Implementation.

“The Gold Standard for wind power. . . The pix are fabulous. . . An absolute tour de force!”

—Ron DiPippo, emeritus professor of mechanical engineering, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and author of Geothermal Power Plants, 4th Edition, 2016

“They say that a good book should always tell a story. And this is true for this book by Paul Gipe. . . And it is a book of excellent graphic and textual quality. Something that’s becoming rare in a time when publishers provide less and less editorial services. . . This is one of the best books on renewable energy that I happened to read in recent times.”

Ugo Bardi, professor of physical chemistry at the University of Florence and author of Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet and Cassandra’s Legacy

“I am very impressed with your book. I started reading the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Lübke-Koog chapter and I must tell you that you captured our spirit perfectly–it was fun reading it. I am in awe of your ability to gather all these facts and get them right!”

 —Hans-Detlef Fedderson, director, ee-nord and founding member of Bürger Windpark Lübke-Koog

“This is a brilliant book on wind energy, by far the best I have ever seen. It’s considerable depth and breadth ranges across the broad spectrum of wind energy. The writer’s comments and insights on siting concerns will provide those who may resist the development of wind energy with realistic perspectives on any issues that may be of concern, such as shadow flicker or noise.

The design of the book makes it a delight to browse through, the balance of pictures, drawings, charts, and writing is both easy on the eye and delightful. Don’t be put off by the 500+ pages, this book is a pleasure to read in its various sections – each standing on its own yet part of a whole. For example, the fine chapter on community wind. The author brings a lifetime of experience in energy and wind energy in particular to his book. It is a book that he can be justifiably proud of.”

—Dermot McGuigan, author of Harnessing the Wind for Home Energy (1978) and a longtime renewable energy advocate

Buy the Book

“During our recent board meeting at the Danish Wind-Historical Museum, our chairman, Birger Madsen, said that he had just received a copy of your latest book, and was very impressed. I immediately ordered a copy, which arrived yesterday. I have copies of your previous book – however this latest is indeed a masterpiece-handbook. Many thanks.

—John Furze, active in Danish wind energy since 1965

Paul Gipe‘s new book is quite remarkable. At first glance, it looks as if it’s a huge technical manual that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about wind power, but when you dig in you find that it’s certainly that – but it’s also far more, and as well, it’s written in a very easy, conversational style.

So if you are entertaining any ideas about investing in, building, or promoting wind energy, Paul Gipe’s book is an absolute must. Got questions about the best blades? Best towers? Price? Vertical axis? Rooftop turbines? Community ownership? Cooperatives? Setbacks? Micro-turbines? Energy production? Performance? Feed-in tariffs? It’s all here – every single thing you might want to know about wind energy, in meticulously researched detail.

Paul is not some journalistic observer of the wind scene – he has lived it, done it, campaigned for it and worked extensively on it for decades, and he really knows his stuff. Highly recommended.”

—Guy Dauncey, author of Journey to the Future and many other titles

“I just received your monumental book. It’s a sort of Britannica on wind energy!”

—Giuseppe Onufrio, Direttore Esecutivo, Greenpeace Italia

“Thank you, Paul Gipe, for pulling together the many faceted world of wind power. Anyone can read this thoroughly compiled description of how man has for many, many years utilized a resource. The author gets into the details explaining exactly the physics of transforming a stiff breeze into an electric current, the most basic component of our modern life. The comparison of different windmill designs should help interested participants in this alternative power source to choose wisely, avoiding undue monetary loss. Challenges to implementing wind farms such as noise, wildlife impacts and visual aesthetics are discussed, even an unexpected chapter about real hazards one should be aware of when working on a windmill. For the skeptics who have known only a life energized by huge utility companies, the author shows how Danes and Germans are plugging into a more independent power grid system. Furthermore, the potential of how small communities or cooperatives in the United States could possibly profit by utilizing this energy is put forward for those desiring to reduce reliance on large polluting carbon-based power plants. Our modern society, for it to function as it has become accustomed, demands electricity. This book is a wonderful window into how our presumed lifestyles can less harmfully coexist with our environment. “

—John Ewing, Fort Wayne, Indiana

“This is a wonderful book! I am glad–and a bit proud too–that our locally-owned wind company, Windkraft Diemarden, is so well presented. The pictures may convince those who can’t believe, or will not believe, that dismantling (of old wind turbines) is really possible. Thus, your book will clear up some confused minds. For “the rest of us” the book gives valuable information supported by high-quality photographs. And the fine layout invites people to read it. It is the first book about renewable energy I’ve seen with a world view.”

—Gottfried Wehr, member, board of directors, Windkraft Diemarden a 365 member community-owned wind farm that generated nearly 22 million kWh in 2016

Wind Power for the Rest of Us” is an outstanding piece of work. There is a great deal of detail in the book I was not even aware of. Wind Power for the Rest of Us is now my go-to resource on wind power.”

—Bill Powers, Powers Engineering and an authority on renewable energy in California

“I can’t thank you enough for writing such an inclusive book. As I approach retirement, I try to “pass-down” some of my lessons learned, but you did the ultimate and put it into a book.

—Neal Emmerton, Regional Operations Manager, Everpower and longtime wind plant operator

“Gipe has succeeded in presenting a complete, one stop resource for anyone interested in learning about wind energy from an objective and comprehensive point of view. His new book is comprehensive, yet the conversational tone allows for easy reading in spite of the detailed formulae and calculations. The use of the spreadsheets contained in the appendices and on the website are very powerful and serve to enhance learning and understanding. This book serves not only as a primer for the layperson, but has the depth to provide most of the answers needed by a professional in the wind industry. He has covered all the bases and then some.”

—Cris Folk, Renewable Energy Program Director, Madison College

“Paul Gipe’s monumental new book covers a lot of ground. Big turbines, small turbines, water-pumpers, early developments to the latest advances—whatever your interest—it’s all here in this comprehensive—and carefully researched book.”

—Greg Pahl, author of Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects

“This is the most comprehensive book on wind energy you can find. Period. No one has more experience writing about the subject than Paul Gipe. This book is packed with everything you need to know, whether you are thinking about building your own small turbine or investing in the industry. Wonderful photos, illustrations, and charts help the information come alive, as does Gipe’s lively writing and a healthy dose of case studies—from wind energy pioneers to a group of nuns who wanted to generate power more in keeping with the Bible. This book is at once a powerful resource and an engaging read. It will help the reader get a solid foundation in this fast-growing, exciting source of clean energy.”

—Brian Howard Clark, journalist and author of Build Your Own Small Wind Power System

“Paul Gipe has done it again–straight talk on wind electricity from a wind journalist without peer. Gipe covers the important ground with clarity and detail, in a no-nonsense style that clears away the clouds of misinformation and hype too common in the popular and social media. Based on science and experience, grounded in a sensible environmental ethic, his newest book will stand the test of time.”

—Ian Woofenden, Home Power magazine senior editor, and author of Wind Power for Dummies

“Paul Gipe has been involved in the wind industry since the 1970’s, wrenching, writing, observing, critiquing, offering kudos and criticism where warranted. His book represents a lifetime of experience that is unmatched by others simply because few have the breadth of involvement that four decades brings. From small wind to megawatt turbines to the latest “thinking out of the box” breakthrough fantasy technologies, Gipe includes them all. Wind indeed is part of the solution.”

—Mick Sagrillo, Sagrillo Power & Light

“Gipe gives us the thrilling story of the social movement that created wind energy and enabled it to grow so rapidly—the movement that took power from the utilities and put into the hands of citizens and local communities. Read it, and become part of the movement!”

—Tore Wizelius, author of Windpower Ownership in Sweden: Business models and motives

“He must be powered by the wind himself this Paul Gipe. He endlessly shares the stories of those who have made wind energy work. He makes you believe in a sustainable future and feel the wind of change!”

—Søren Hermansen, Danish community power advocate on Samsø—the 100% Renewable Energy Island

“Paul Gipe’s written and spoken words have brought many into the world of wind power, both in North America and abroad. He’s much more than a journalist, he writes from first-hand knowledge of the wind industry where he’s helped define best practices and drive policy initiatives. The North American experience is very different from that of Europe. Paul has seen them both and can share their triumphs as well as their failures.”

—Lisa Daniels, Founder & Executive Director, Windustry

“Wind energy has a rich history and a wide array of technology and applications; Gipe covers it all. Anyone interested in wind will have this book on the shelf and refer to it often.”

—Brent Summerville, Technical Director, Small Wind Certification Council

“Wind energy is more important now than ever and Paul Gipe rises to the occasion with yet another comprehensive but highly readable briefing for all of us.”

—Hugh Piggott, Scoraig Wind Electric, Scotland

Page numbers refer to pages in the text. Boldface refers to sidebars (info boxes) that are not part of the main text.

Since the mid-1970s I’ve followed the development of wind energy around the globe. During this time I’ve been a proponent, participant, observer, and critic of the wind industry. As an observer, I’ve traveled extensively reporting on the technology and how it’s being used. As a participant, I’ve installed anemometers in Pennsylvania, hunted windchargers in Montana, and measured the performance of small wind turbines in Cali­fornia. As a proponent, I’ve lectured about the promise of wind energy to groups from Vancouver to New Delhi, from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Husum, Germany. And as a critic, I’ve called some wind companies to task when their environmental practices were no better than the technol­ogies they intended to supplant.

In the early 1980s, I prepared a daylong seminar on the prospects and pitfalls of wind energy. An early version of this book, published in 1983 under the title Wind Energy: How to Use It, grew out of the course notes for these seminars.

At that time there was a chasm between the books written for back­yard tinkerers who wanted to build their own wind turbines and those books surveying the entire field of wind energy. There was no book that answered the questions people raised in my seminars about how they could obtain a working wind system and not an experimenter’s toy. Wind Energy was written to meet that need. The book was unique because it didn’t simply look at the technology. It gathered tips and advice from leaders in the field and offered practical guidance on how to select, buy, and install wind turbines—and how to do so safely.

Wind Energy was reissued in 1993 by Chelsea Green Publishing as Wind Power for Home & Business. The book became a staple of both homeown­ers and professionals interested in the subject. In 2004, Chelsea Green again published an extensive revision titled Wind Power: Renewable Ener­gy for Home, Farm, and Business.

Today wind energy is a booming worldwide industry, and with the heightened concern about climate change and energy security, this resur­gence of interest is here to stay.

Despite wind energy’s success—and the plethora of books on the topic—there remains a need for a frank discourse on how to wisely use the technology. For this reason, I have continued to edit and update the book. After a decade on the market, it was time for another extensive revision.

Each new edition has reflected changes in both my view of how best to use wind energy and in the technology available. This version incorpo­rates the lessons I’ve learned from more than three decades working with wind energy. It also introduces the concept of “community wind” where groups of people invest in large wind turbines that produce commercial quantities of electricity for sale to the utility company. While a seemingly novel concept in North America, it is quite common in Denmark and Germany. In community wind, farmers, small businesses, and groups of community-minded citizens band together to develop—for profit —“their” wind resources. As Germany’s electricity rebels say, “Renew­able energy is far too important to be left to the electric utilities alone. We have a responsibility for our own future. We can and will develop our own wind resources for our own benefit and for the benefit of our communities.” By proving that it can be done, Germans and Danes have served as models for us in North America as well as for others around the world.

Soon, I hope, we’ll see communities across the continent clamoring for the right to connect their wind turbines to the grid—and their solar panels and biogas plants as well—and be paid a fair price for their electricity.

This book is not by any means exhaustive, nor is it intended to be. In the more than three decades I’ve worked with wind energy, the field has grown so vast that it’s no longer possible to confine the technology within the covers of one book.

In 1983, I sought to help newcomers to wind energy avoid the mistakes that I and others had made and to spur development of this renewable resource. Wind Energy for the Rest of Us seeks the same end.

Bon vent! (Good wind!)

Paul Gipe

Bakersfield, California

No one can write a book on a subject that crosses so many disciplines as wind energy without the help of numerous contributors. Moreover, after a three-decade career in wind energy, I’ve had the good fortune to meet many of the visionaries in the field, and their advice and commentary are peppered throughout the text.

My work has been influenced by so many people that in writing these acknowledgements I am certain to forget someone that should be included. Rather than throw up my hands in despair and simply issue a heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped in one way or another, I want to thank as many of those as I can remember. For those I’ve overlooked, please accept my apologies.

I am especially indebted to Vaughn Nelson at West Texas A&M University’s Alternative Energy Institute (AEI). Vaughn first taught me the importance of swept area and how to quickly cut through the hype that often surrounds new wind turbines. AEI’s Ken Starcher has been invaluable for his technical expertise as well as his old-fashioned common sense.

My thanks to Mick Sagrillo, Sagrillo Power & Light, and Hugh Piggott, Scoraig Wind Electric, for answering my many questions on battery-charging wind systems. Both Mick and Hugh are fonts of prac­tical, hands-on knowledge of small wind turbine design. I’ve used their astute observations liberally throughout this book.

Jim Salmon, Zephyr North, and Jack Kline, RAM Associates, were instrumental in the chapter on wind resources, as were Dave Blittersdorf, AllEarth Renewables, and Ken Cohn, Second Wind.

Small wind turbine manufacturers worldwide deserve a note of appre­ciation for responding to my frequent queries about their products. Over the years, Mike and Karl Bergey, founders of Bergey Windpower, have been notably forthcoming. David Sharman, Ampair, and Brent Summer­ville, Small Wind Certification Council, have both been a great help in understanding the arcana of certifying small wind turbines.

I again extend my gratitude to Preben Maegaard and Jane Kruse of the Folkecenter for Renewable Energy and to the people of Denmark for a fellowship that allowed me to study the distributed use of wind energy in northwest Jutland. It was at the Folkecenter where I first learned how to use a griphoist to install small turbines.

My appreciation also to Bill Hopwood and Dennis Elliott for their contributions on siting; Mike Barnard, Energy and Policy Institute, on organized antiwind groups; Geoff Leventhall, Consultant in Noise Vibra­tion and Acoustics, on noise propagation; Nolan Clark and Brian Vick, formerly with the US Department of Agriculture; Jim Tangler, former­ly with NREL, Henry Dodd, formerly with Sandia, and Peter Jamie­son, Garrad Hassan, Peter Musgrove, National Wind Power, on wind turbine design; Peter Schenzle on wind ships; Ken O’Brock and Alan Wyatt for their help with mechanical wind pumps; Michael Klemen, Eric Eggleston, Claus Nybroe, and Jason Edworthy for their insightful comments on small wind turbine design; Carl Brothers, Frontier Power Systems, on wind-diesel systems.

Capitola Reece, Gene Heisey, Art and Maxine Cook, Phil Littler, Sister Paula Larson, Eli Walter, and Bill Young for sharing their experiences; Gil Morrissey for his tutelage to a sometimes dim-witted apprentice elec­trician; Ed Butler for advice on how to do the job right; Klaus Kaiser, Christoph Stork, Bernard Saulnier, Charles Dugué, and Charles Rosseel for their help with the lexicon; Heiner Dörner for historical background on FLAIR and ducted wind turbines.

Gottfried Wehr, Windkraft Diemarden, for his series of photos illus­trating removal of a large wind turbine; Neal Emmerton for again offer­ing the sequence of photos on the installation of large wind turbines; Martin Ince, M.K. Ince and Associates, and Dr. Ewan O’Sullivan, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, for their photos of novel wind turbines.

Ed Hale, WindShare, Josef Pesch, Fesa, Kris Stevens, Ontario Sustain­able Energy Association, Klaus Rave, Global Wind Energy Council, Hans-Detlef Feddersen, Bürger-Windpark Lübke-Koog, Dave Toke, University of Aberdeen, Grant Taibossigai, M’Chigeeng First Nation, Adam Twine and Liz Rothschild, Westmill Wind Farm Cooperative, David Stevenson, Colchester-Cumberland Wind Field, Henning Holst, Ingenieurburo Henning Holst, Asbjørn Bjerre, Danmarks Vindmølle­forening, and Wolfgang Paulsen for the inspiring story of community wind.

Bernard Chabot, BC Consult, and Jens-Peter Molly, DEWI, on the silent wind revolution; Mark Haller, Haller Wind Consulting, Mike Kelly, Mistral Renewable Energy, on operation and maintenance; Martin Hoppe-Kilpper, Institut dezentrale Energietechnologien, on the need for feed-in tariffs.

Povl-Otto Nissen and Bjarke Thomassen, Poul la Cour Fonden, histori­ans extraordinaire, Etienne Rogier and Robert Righter, and John Twidell, AMSET Centre, on the dawn of wind-electric generation.

Peter Karnøe, Copenhagen Business School, and Matthias Heymann, Aarhus Universitet, for their work on the great wind revival from the ground up; Henrik Stiesdal, Siemens; Erik Grove-Nielsen, Winds of Change, Birger Madsen and Per Krogsgaard, BTM Consult, Benny Christensen, Danmarks Vinkrafthistoriske Samling, and Britta Jensen and Allan Jensen, Tvind, for the early history of the Danish wind indus­try; and Herman Drees, Dutch Pacific, on early giromills.

Susan Nelson, Sarah Forth, Joe Maizlish, Glen Estill, Dave Bittersdorf, Bill Hopwood, Mike Brigham, Roger Short, and Malcom Hamilton for their support and faith in the future.

And a special thanks to Nancy Nies, my ever-patient wife, for tolerating me during the long and often arduous process of producing this extensive revision.

Wind Power Plants, 3: What’s in a Name?, 4; Wind Power Plant Arrays, 4 • Distributed Wind, 7: Urban and Village Wind, 7; End of the Line and Beyond, 8 • Specialty Applications, 10 • Electric Vehicle Charging, 10 • Heating, 11, Sacred Winds, 12 • Pumping Water, 13

How This Book Is Organized, 15 • Using, 16 • Nomenclature: What Are We Talking About?, 17: Wind Machine and Wind Turbine, 17; Power and Energy: There Is a Difference, 18; Watt’s More, 19 • Equations: They’re Informa­tive, 19 • False Precision—How to Avoid It, 19 • How Wind Energy for the Rest of Us Differs from Wind Power (2004), 20 • Units: Yes, Metrics Too, 21 • Units of Measurement, 21; Size: It’s All Relative, 21, Wind Energy Workshops, 24, Attention: The Wind Industry is Dynamic, 25; Some Do’s and Don’ts on Investing in Wind Energy, 26

How Far We’ve Come, 28 • In the Beginning, 29: James Blyth, 29; Duc de Feltre, 30; Brush Dynamo, 31; Dead Ends, 32; The Danish Edison, 32 • The Interwar Years, 35: First Interconnected Wind Turbine, 35; Wind Meets Aviation, 36; Wind Chargers, 37 • War Years, 37: Smith-Putnam, 38; Ventimotor and the Third Reich, 38; Denmark and F.L. Smidth, 40; Wind Technology Known Well by Mid-1950s, 42 • Postwar Years, 42: Germany’s Allgaier, 42; Denmark’s Johannes Juul, 44; Stall Regulation and High Power Ratings, 45; Wind Experimentation Elsewhere, 47

Why the History of Modern Wind Energy is Important, 52 • Large Turbines from the Top Down, 52: Bringing NASA Down to Earth, 52; Germany’s Growian, 57; Going Beyond Juul—Denmark, 58 • Denmark’s Rebels, 59; When My Role Began, 60; Danish Carpen­ter, 60; Tvindkraft: The Giant That Shook the World, 61; SmedemestermØlle: The Black­smith’s Turbine, 64; Blades That Set the Industry in Motion, 64; The Danish Concept, 68 • The California Wind Rush, 68 • American Designs of the Early 1980s, 69: Down­wind Dominant, 69; Lightweights in a Heavyweight Environment, 70; US Windpow­er, 72; Enertech’s E44, 74; Mehrkam, 74; Wind Energy and the Aerospace Arts, 75; An Aerospace Success Story: Bergey Windpower, 75 • Bottom-Up Delivered, 77 • Boom and Bust Survivors, 77; South of the Border (Enercon), 78 • Right Product, Right Place, Right Time, 78 • Wind Turbine Owners’ Association, 78 • Design Standards, 80 • Beginning of the Modern Era, 81

Orientation, 84: Passive Yaw, 85; Tail Vanes, 85; Active Yaw, 87 • Lift and Drag, 87 • Aerodynamics, 89: Apparent Wind and the Angle of Attack, 90; Twist and Taper, 91; Solidity, 93; Betz’s Limit, 94; Tip-Speed Ratio, 94; Blade Number, 95; One-Blade Wind Turbines, 96; Self-Starting, 100 • Blade Materials, 101: Tip Vanes and Winglets, 101; Wood, 102; Metal, 102; Fiberglass, 104 • Hubs, 105 • Drivetrains, 106: Small Turbines, 108; Medium-size Turbines, 110; Large Turbines, 111; Other Forms of Transmission, 113 • Generators, 114: Permenant Permenant Magnets?, 115; Alternators, 116; Air-gap or Axial-Flux Generators, 117; Variable- or Constant-Speed Operation, 118; Induction (Asynchronous) Generators, 119; Dual Generators or Dual Windings, 120 • Overspeed Control, 121; Horizontal Furling, 123; Vertical Furling, 124; Coning, 125; Changing Blade Pitch, 126; Aerodynamic Stall, 129; Mechanical Brakes, 130; Aerodynamic Brakes, 131 • Putting It All Together, 134: Small Turbines, 134; Large Turbines, 135; Dynamic Breaking: Is it Now Enough?, 135

Lift and Drag, 138; My Take on VAWTS, 138 • Blade Number, 139 • Towers, 140; Beware VAWT Resources on the Web, 141 • Φ-Configuration Darrieus Development, 142: Vestas’s Cantilevered Bi-blade Darrieus, 143; DAF-Indal, 143; Alcoa’s VAWT, 146; FloWind and The World’s Most Successful Darrieus, 147; Éole, 151 • H-Config­uration or Straight-Blade Darrieus, 151: McDonnell Aircraft’s Giromill, 153; Pinson Cycloturbine, 154; Mike Bergey, 155 • Fixed-Pitch H-Rotor VAWTs, 155: Musgrove Variable-Geometry VAWT, 156; Cleanfield, 157; Mariah Windspire, 159; Helical Wind Turbines, 160; Those Who Don’t Build VAWTs, 162 • VAWT Revival: Not Likely to Continue, 163; Poor Comparison Between Small VAWT and Small HAWT, 163 • Claims and Counterclaims, 164; Omnidirectional, 164; Simpler, 165; More Reliable, 165; Less Costly, 165; More Powerful, 165; Monsieur Darrieus and His Wind Turbines, 166; More Efficient, 166; More Cost Effective, 166; Safe for Birds, 167; Less Noisy, 167 • VAWT Design Characteristics, 167: Efficiency and Performance, 168; Stall Control and Overspeed Protection, 169; Self-Starting, 170; Fatigue, 170; Guyed Darrieus, 170 • VAWTs Now Marginal, 170 • Certification to Minimum Testing Standards, 171 • Conspiracy against VAWTs, 171; Debunking Pyramidal Power and Magical Mag-Wind, 172

Advice for Inventors of New Wind Turbines and For Everyone Else As Well, 176 • Ducted or Augmented Turbines, 176: Enflo, 177; Eléna 30: Will They Ever Learn?, 178; New Zealand’s Vortec 7, 179; Vortec 7 Promoters on Gipe’s Criticism, 179; FloDesign (Ogin), 180; Warning: Rebranding DAWTs, 181; Better Than Betz?, 182 • Airborne Wind Energy Systems (Kites), 183; Mike Barnard on Wind Technology Red Flags, 184 • Wind Ships, 185: Traction Kites, 186; Flettner Rotors, 187; Enercon’s E-Ship 1, 188 • The Take­away, 190

What Is a Wind Turbine?, 192 • Generator Ratings, 192 • Swept Area Trumps Generator Ratings, 192 • Metrics of Productivity, 193 • Measures of Relative Swept Area, 194 • Historical Abuse of Power Ratings, 195 • Wind Turbine Design and Wind Regimes, 196 • Small and Medium-Size Turbines , 197; Case Study Germa­ny: New Wind Turbines Expand the Wind Resource, 198 • Specific Capacity and Capacity Factor (Full-Load Hours), 199; Relationship Between Capacity Factor, Yield, and Full-Load, 200 • Why All This Is Important, 201

Height, 203; Stratospheric Heights, 205 • Buckling Strength, 205; Drag Force and Thrust, 206; Rocking and Rolling with Wind, 206 • Tower Types, 207: Freestanding Towers, 207; Guyed Towers, 212 • Rooftop Mounting, 215; Rooftop Wind in Action, 217 • Uncon­ventional Towers, 218: Silos, 218; Farm Windmill Towers, 218; Steel Pipe, 218; Wood Towers, 218; Tripod Tower and Platform, 220 • Other Considerations, 221: Aesthet­ics, 221; Space, 221; Maintenance on Small Wind Turbines, 222; Ease of Installation for Small Wind Turbines, 222; Access to Large Wind Turbines, 222

Wind: What Is It?, 226; Wind Speed Units, 228 • Wind Speed and Time, 228 • Power in the Wind, 229: The Beaufort Scale, 230; Wind Speed Notation, 231; Power Density, 231; International Standard Atmosphere, 232; Air Density, 232; Air Density, 233; Swept Area, 234; Wind Speed, 234; Speed Distributions, 235; Frequency Distributions, 237 • Wind Speed, Power, and Height, 238; Lograithmic Model of Wind Shear, 239; The Wind Shear Exponent (α), 241; The Nocturnal Jet, 242 • Published Wind Data, 242; Calculating the Wind Shear Exponent (α), 243; Online Wind Resources and Wind Calculators, 244 • Survey­ing the Wind at Your Site, 244: Estimating the Height of Obstructions, 246; Measuring Instruments, 246; Anemometer Towers, 247; Survey Duration, 248; North American Wind Resource Maps, 249; Data Analysis, 250

Swept Area Method, 252: Small Wind Turbines, 253; Calculating Swept Area, 255; Large Wind Turbines, 256; Annual Yield by IEC Class, 257; Swept Area Rules of Thumb, 257; Power Curve Nomenclature, 258 • Power Curve Method, 258: The Method of Bins, 259; Avoid Average Speed Confusion, 259; Large Turbine Power Curve, 260 • Manufacturers’ Estimates, 261; Web-Based Calculators of AEP, 262 • Wind Power Plant Losses, 262 • Estimating Fleet Performance, 262 • Putting It All Together, 263

Hybrids, 266: Tale of Two Cities, 267 Reducing Demand, 267; AC and DC Systems, 269; Cutting Consumption, 269; Sizing, 270; Micro Hybrid Power Systems, 272; Inverters, 272; Batteries, 273; US Solar and Wind Data, 273; Cabin-Sized Power System, 274; Backup Generators, 275; Household-Sized Hybred Power System, 275 • Stand-Alone Economics, 276 • Other Stand-Alone Power Systems, 276: Telecommunications, 276; Village Electrification, 277; Village Self-Reliance, 278; Wind-Diesel Twinning, 278

Models of Interconnection, 282; Breaking Free From Net Metering, 283 • Interconnec­tion Technology, 283: Induction or Asynchronous Generators, 285; Electronic Invert­ers, 285 • Power Quality and Safety, 286: Power Factor, 288; Voltage Flicker, 289; Harmonics, 290 • Net Metering, 290 • Degree of Self-Use, 291 • Dealing with the Utility, 291 • Distributed Generation, 292 • Grid Integration, 293: Wind’s Variabil­ity, 294; Capacity Credit, 296; Balancing Cost, 297; Penetration, 298; It’s All in the Mix, 298; Storage, 299

Windmills That Won the West, 301 • Mechanical Wind Pumps, 303: Pumping Head, 304 • Estimating Farm Windmill Pumping Capacity, 305 • Counterbalanc­ing for Wind Pumps, 307 • Farm Windmill Conversion?, 308; Electrical Wind Pumps, 308 • Storage, 310 • Irrigation and Drainage, 312 • Wind Pump Heritage, 313

Antiwind Groups, 316 • Tower Placement, 317: Exposure and Turbulence, 318; Power Cable Routing, 319; Wind Turbine Noise: Rumors, Gossip, Lies, and Far-Fetched Stories, 320 • Planning Permission, 322 • Building Permit, 322 • Public Safety, 325: Falling Blades, 325; Falling Ice, 326; Attractive Nuisance, 326; Height Restrictions on Small Turbines, 327; Aviation Obstruction Marking, 327; Safety Setbacks, 328 • Noise, 331: Decibels, 332; Weighting Scales, 333; Exceedance Levels, 333; Noise Propagation Conspiracy?, 334; Noise Propagation, 334; Ambient Noise, 335; Will It Be Heard?, 335, Community Noise Standards, 336; Sound Power Levels, 337; Wind Turbine Noise, 338; Estimating Noise Levels, 340; Lowering Wind Turbine Noise, 341; Noise Annoyance, 342; Source of Small Turbine Noise, 343; Noise, Health, and Safety, 344; Noise and Public Health, 344; Conse­quences, 345; Be Considerate, 345 • Television and Radio Interference, 346 • Shadow Flicker, 346 • Shadow Flicker, 347 • Disco Effect, 347 • Birds and Bats, 348: Pre- and Postconstruction Surveys, 351; Bats, 351; No Free Lunch, 352 • Property Values, 352 • Land Area Required, 354: Land Area Occupied, 354; Land Area Used, 355 • Energy Balance and Energy Return on Energy Invested, 356 • Emissions of CO2 Equivalent Gases, 357 • Water Consumption, 358 • Removal Bonds, 358; Replacing the Old with the New, 359 • Aesthetics Design Summary, 360; Aesthetics, 360: Provide Visual Unifor­mity, 361; Remove Headless Horsemen, 361; Use Open Spacing, 361; Avoid Billboards and Logos, 361; Bury Power Lines, 362; Always Dress Properly, 362; Control Erosion and Promptly Revegetate Sites, 363; Harmonize Ancillary Structures, 363; Keep Sites Tidy, 364; Inform the Public, 364; Small Turbines, 365 • Compatible Land Uses, 365; Will It Be Seen?, 366

Thoughts on Doing it Yourself, 374 • Parts Control, 375 • Foundations and Anchors, 375; Anchors, 376; Working with Concrete, 376; Guyed Towers, 378; Freestanding Towers, 380; Novel Foundations, 380 • Assembly and Erection of Guyed Towers, 381; Guy Cables, 381; Using a Crane, 384; Using a Gin Pole, 384 • Freestanding Towers: Assembly and Erection, 385: Tubular Towers, 387 • Tilt-Up Towers: Assem­bly and Erection, 388: Tilt-Up Guyed Towers, 390; Griphoists, 391 • Wiring, 394: Up-Tower Block Connectors For Micro Turbines, 395; Aboveground and Buried Cable, 396; Strain Relief of Tower Conductors, 396; Conductors and Conductor Sizing, 397; Junc­tion or J-Boxes, 400; Conduit Fill, 400; Surge Protection, 400; Grounding Nets, 401; Addi­tional Notes on Wiring, 401 • Decommissioning and Dismantling, 402 • Erecting a Micro Turbine with a Griphoist, 403; Erecting a Household-Size Turbine with Crane, 406; Erecting a Large Turbine, 408; Dismantling a Large Wind Turbine: Windkraft Diemarden, 412

Fatal Accidents, 415 • Wind’s Mortality Rate, 417; Deaths in Wind Energy Database, 417 • Hazards, 418: Falls, 418; Spinning Rotors, 419; Terry Mehrkam Thrown to His Death, 419; Electrical, 421; Construction, 421; Analysis, 422 • Tower Safety and Fall Protec­tion, 422; Positioning Belts and Full-Body Harnesses, 422; Lanyards, Lifelines, and Anchorages, 424; Snap Hooks, Carabiners, and Slings, 425; Fall-Arresting Systems, 426 • Work Platforms, 427; Tower Work and Do-It-Yourselfers, 427 • Ladders, 429; Dynamic Braking or Stop Switches for Small Wind Turbines, 430 • More Tower Tips, 430 • Steen Aagaard’s Crippling Fall, 432 • Blade Root Doors, 433 • Small Turbine Electrical Safety, 433 • Loss Prevention, 435

Small Wind Turbine First Rotation, 438: Interconnected Wind Systems, 438; Battery-Charging Wind Systems, 439 • Monitoring Performance, 439; Small Wind Turbines, 440 • Maintenance, 440: Small Wind Turbines, 440; Balance of Remote Systems, 442; Large Wind Turbines, 443 • Cost of Operations and Maintenance, 446: Small Wind Turbines, 446; Large Wind Turbines, 447

Power Ratings and Cost Effectiveness, 449: Fantasy Wind Turbines: If It’s Too Good to Be True. . . or How to Spot Scams, Frauds, and Flakes, 451; Efficiency or Cost Effectiveness, 452; Measures of Cost Effectiveness, 452 • Shysters and Bozos, 454; Small Wind Turbine: Testing and Standards, 454: Standardized Tests, 455; Certification and Labeling, 456; Small Wind Turbine Certification, 457 • Buying a Small Wind Turbine for the Home, 458; Controls, 459; Operational History, 459; A Small Wind System Is Much More Than a Wind Turbine, 459; Product Specifications, 460; Evaluating Vendors, 461; Ventilators and Squirrels in a Cage, 461; Contracts and Warranties, 462; What to Expect, 462 • Financial and Economic Models, 463: Cost of Energy, 463; Payback, 464; Cash-Flow Models, 464; Profitability Index Method, 464 • Economic Factors, 465: Installed Cost, 465; Subsidies and Incentives, 465; US Federal Tax Credits, 466; Paying for Performance, 466; Cost of Capital, 467; Annual Reoccurring Costs, 467; Wind Turbine Envy and Land Lease Pooling, 469; Taxes, 470; Revenue, 470 • Putting It All Together, 474: Simplified Cash Flow: Large Turbine, 474; Tariff Calculation: Large Turbine, 475 • Tariff Calculation: Small Commercial Turbine, 476

The Third Way, 479 • Community Wind, 480 • What Is Community Wind?, 481 • Why Community Wind?, 482: Greater Acceptance, 483; Greater Economic Benefits, 483 • Cooperative and Mutual Investment, 484 • Characteristics of Community Wind, 485 • Denmark’s Fællesmølle and Vindmøllelaug, 486: Lynetten Vindmølle­laug, 487; Middelgrunden Vindmølleaug, 488; Hvidovre Vindmøllelaug, 488 • Dutch Cooperatives, 488 • Germany’s Electricity Rebels, 489; Full Speed Ahead Says Friends of the Earth Germany: Wind Energy Is the Workhorse of the Energy Transition, 490; Friedrich-Wil­helm-Lübke-Koog, 491; Nordfriesland: Germany’s Community Wind Capital and an Electric­ity Rebel Stronghold, 494; Saterland Bürgerbeteiligung, 496; German Genossenschaft or Cooperatives, 496 • Community Wind in Britain, 497: Baywind, 497; Westmill Wind Farm, 497 • Community Power Down Under, 498 • Community Wind in North America, 499: Community Wind North American Sources of Information, 500; Ontario, 500; Nova Scotia, 503; Massachusetts, 504; Minnesota, 505; Nevada, Iowa, 506 • Who Owns the Wind?, 507 • What’s Required to Make Community Wind Happen, 508

Pitfalls to Avoid, 511: The Lure of Panaceas, 511; Offshore and Near Shore Wind, 512; Public Relations Puffery, 513; Too Cheap to Meter, 513 • The North American Chal­lenge, 513: North American Consumption, 514; Swept Area Needed to Meet Consump­tion, 514 • The Challenge, 515: Offsetting Fossil-Fuel-Fired Generation, 515; Offsetting Oil in Passenger Vehicle Transport with EVs, 516; Manufacturing Capacity, 517; Land Area Required, 518; 100% from Renewables, 518; 100% Renewable Vision Building: Trend Toward New Targets of 100% Renewable Electricity—And Higher, 519; Onshore Wind Returns Three Times More Usable Energy in Transportation Than Investment in Oil, 520; Affordable, 520; Doable, 521 • Electricity Feed Laws, 521: Small Wind Tariff, 523; Differentiated Tariffs for Distributed Wind, 524 • Energy for Life: The Pursuit of an Ethical Energy Policy, 525

Constants and Conversions, 529 • Scale of Energy Equivalents, 531 • Scale of Equivalent Power, 531 • Battelle Wind Power Density Classes, 532 • American Wire Gauge to Metric Conversion, 532 • Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), 533 • Government-Sponsored or Affiliated Laboratories, 534 • Websites, 534 • Electron­ic Forums on Small Wind Turbines, 534 • Workshops, 534 • Community Wind Organizations, 535 • Community-Owned Projects Mentioned, 535: Australia, 535; Canada, 535; Europe, 535; USA, 535 • Prowind Groups, 536 • Historical Sites and Museums, 536; Museums with Wind Exhibits, 536; Open-Air Museums: North America, 536; Open-Air Museums: Europe, 536; Open-Air Museums: Elsewhere, 537 • History of Wind Power Additional Sources, 537: North American Focus, 537; International Focus, 538 • Periodicals, 538

Chapter 3: Where It All Began and Chapter 4: The Great Wind Revival, 539 • Chapter 6: Vertical-Axis and Darrieus Wind Turbines, 540 • Chapter 7: Novel Wind Systems, 541 • Chapter 8: Silent Wind Revolution, 541 • Chapter 9: Towers, 542 • Chapter 10: Measuring the Wind, 542 • Chapter 11: Estimating Performance, 542 • Chapter 12: Off-the-Grid Power Systems, 542 • Chapter 13: Interconnection and Grid Integration, 542 • Chapter 14: Pumping Water, 543 • Chapter 15: Siting and Environmental Concerns, 543 • Chapter 17: Safety, 545 • Chapter 18: Operation and Maintenance, 545 • Chapter 19: Investing in Wind Energy, 545 • Chapter 20: Community Wind, 545 • Chapter 21: The Challenge, 546

Aesthetics and Noise, 547 • Modern Wind Energy History, 547 • Large Wind Turbines, 548 • Small Wind Turbines, 549 • Rigging, 549

The following are a series of pages extracted from Wind Energy for the Rest of Us. These are low-resolution pdfs that will give a sense of the book, its content, and design. Copyright 2016 by Paul Gipe. All rights reserved.

Page 22. Relative Size and Wind Turbine Size Classes

Page 61. Tvindkraft: The Giant That Shook the World

Page 84. Swept Area and Rotor Orientation

Page 412. Dismantling Large Wind Turbines

Page 457. Small Wind Turbine Certification

Page 480. Community Wind

Page 519. 100% Renewable Vision Building

Wind Energy for the Rest of Us One Page Summary


Despite a lengthy editing process, a copy editor, and a proofreader, there are invariably typos and other mistakes in a book of this size. If you find further errors or want to suggest changes or corrections, post a message to Paul Gipe. Your help to make Wind Energy for the Rest of Us as error free as possible is appreciated.

All page numbers refer to the print version.

Page 57. Figure 4-7. MAN WKA 60. Würst is mispelled. It should be Wurst in the singular. Apparently my German isn’t up to the task here and again on page 412.

Page 78, South of the Border (Enercon) sidebar. Herr Wobben’s first name is misspelled. It is correct, Aloys, elsewhere.

Page 148. FloWind description top-right column. 17-meter rating reversed with 19-meter rating. 17-meter is 44 mph, 19-meter is 38 mph. Table 6-1 is correct.

Page 169. Figure 6-31. Tip Speed Ratio, not Ration.

Page 193. Figure 8-3. The colors in the legend are reversed. This is correct in the digital version.

Page 256. Corrected text. First para. following Figure 11-3.

Compare the annual specific yield in Table 11-2 with that in Table 11-1 for an average annual wind speed of 6 m/s: 400 kWh/m²/yr to 570 kWh/m²/yr. The new, high-performance household-size turbines are nearly 50% more efficient at capturing the energy in the wind than those wind turbines available in the 1990s represented in Table 11-1.

Page 476. Table 19-11. Turbine on table title is misspelled as Turbone. This is correct in the digital version.

Page 539. Selected Sources. Unfortunately, URLs change frequently. There are a number of broken links in the print version. These have been corrected in the digital version and were accessed in December 2016.

Page 539. Chapter 3 and Chapter 4

Haka, Andreas. “Flügel aus ‘Schwarzem Gold’: Zur Geschichte der Faserverbundwerkstoffe.” NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaft, Technik und Medizin 19, no. 1 (2011): 69–105. Accessed November 3, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is:

Page 540. Chapter 6 VAWTs

NREL. “Mariah Power’s Windspire Wind Turbine Testing and Results.” National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Accessed October 31,

The link is broken. The new link is

Page 541. Chapter 7

Enercon. “Rotor sail ship ‘E-Ship 1’ saves up to 25% fuel.” Enercon: Energy for the World. Accessed November 5, 2014.

Phillips, Derek Grant, R. G. J. Flay, and Trevor Nash. “Aerodynamic analysis and monitoring of the Vortec 7 diffuser -augmented wind turbine.” IPENZ Transactions 26, no. 1/EMCH (1999): 13–19. Accessed November 4,

The link is broken. This is the new link.

Page 542. Chapter 12

DeCarolis, Joseph F., and David W. Keith. “The Costs of Wind’s Variability: Is There a Threshold?” The Electricity Journal 18, no. 1 (January/February 2005): 69–77. Accessed November 1, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is

Dena Project Steering Group. “Summary of the Essential Results of the Study, Planning of the Grid Integration of Wind Energy in Germany Onshore and Offshore up to the Year 2020 (Dena Grid study).” Deutsche Energie-Agentur, Berlin, March 15, 2005. Accessed November 1,

The link is broken. The new link is

Gross, Robert, Philip Heptonstall, Dennis Anderson, Tim Green, Matthew Leach, and Jim Skea. The Costs and Impacts of Intermittency: An assessment of the evidence on the costs and impacts of intermittent generation on the British electricity network. Report of the Technology and Policy Assessment, UK Energy Research Centre, London: UKERC, March 2006. ISBN 1 90314 404 3. Accessed November 1,

The link is broken. The new link is

Pape, Carsten. (PDF) “Scenarios with High Shares of Renewable Energies.” Fraunhofer Institut für Windenenergie und Energiesystemtechnik. Presentation to the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Kassel, Germany July 2012. Accessed May 11, 2016. 

Page 543. Chapter 14

Clark, Nolan R., Vaughn Nelson, Robert E. Barrieu, and Earl Gilmore. “Wind Turbines for Irrigation Pumping.” Journal of Energy 5, no. 2 (March–April 1981): 104–105. Accessed November 1, 2014.,R.N.,andV.Nelson,andR.E.Barieau,andE.G.pdf.

The link is broken. The new link is, or

Page 543. Chapter 15 Siting

Atkinson-Palombo, Carol, and Ben Hoen. Relationship between Wind Turbines and Residential Property Values in Massachusetts. Joint report of University of Connecticut and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Boston, January 9, 2014. Accessed November 1, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is

Barnard, Mike. “Property Values Not Hurt by Wind Energy.” Energy and Policy Institute, April 2014. Accessed November 1,

The link is broken. The new link is

Blanca, Palomo, Claire Michaud, and Bastien Gaillardon. “Life Cycle Assessment of a French Wind Plant.” JEC Composites Magazine 90 (June/July 2014). Accessed November 1, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is

Chapman, Simon, Alexis St. George, Karen Waller, and Vince Cakic. “Spatio-temporal differences in the history of health and noise complaints about Australian wind farms: evidence for the psychogenic, ‘communicated disease’ hypothesis.” PLoS ONE 8, no. 10 (October 16, 2013). Accessed December 31, 2015. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0076584.

The link is broken. The new link is

Elsam. “Life Cycle Assessment of offshore and onshore sited wind farms.” Elsam Engineering A/S, translated by Vestas Wind Systems, October 20, 2004, page 40. Accessed November 2, 2014.

This link is broken. The new link is

Gipe, Paul. “Public Acceptance of the Potato and What It Tells Us about the Acceptance of Wind Energy.” Wind-Works, March 7, 2013. Accessed November 1, 2014.[tt_news]=2228&cHash=5b7218c411b6f7b571d6575df8b8532f.

This link is broken. The new link is, or

Greenpeace. “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine.” Greenpeace. Accessed November 11,

The link is broken. The new link is

Hoen, Ben, Ryan Wiser, Peter Cappers, Mark Thayer, and Gautam Sethi. “The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis.” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, December 2009. Accessed November 1

The link is broken. The new link is

Howe, Brian. “Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound Associated with Wind Turbine Generator Systems: A Literature Review.” Ontario Ministry of the Environment, December 10, 2010. Accessed November 2, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is

Moomaw, William, Peter Burgherr, Garvin Heath, Manfred Lenzen, John Nyboer, and Aviel Verbruggen. “Annex II: Methodology.” In IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Accessed November 1, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is

Public Health Division. The Strategic Health Impact Assessment on Wind Energy Development in Oregon. PHD, Oregon Health Authority, March 2013. Accessed November 2,

The link is broken. The new link is

RenewableUK. The effect of wind farms on house prices. RenewableUK & Cebr study, March 2014. Accessed November 1,

The link is broken. The new link is–Cebr-Study—The-effect-of-wind-farms-on-house-prices.htm

Sathaye, J., O. Lucon, A. Rahman, J. Christensen, F. Denton, J. Fujino, G. Heath, S. Kadner, M. Mirza, H. Rudnick, A. Schlaepfer, and A. Shmakin. “Renewable Energy in the Context of Sustainable Development.” Chap. 9 in IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Accessed November 1, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is

Page 545. Chapter 17

International Energy Agency. Environmental Health Impacts of Electricity Generation: A Comparison of the Environmental Impacts of Hydropower with those of Other Generation Technologies. IEA Hydropower, June 2002. Accessed November 2, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is

Page 545. Chapter 20

Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND). “Volle Kraft voraus! Für die ökologische Energiewende von unten.” Brochure, modified March 2014. Accessed November 3,

The link is broken. The new link is

Nestle, Uwe. “Marktrealität von Bürgerenergie und mögliche Auswirkungen von regulatorischen Eingriffen.” Bündnis Bürgerenergie e.V. (BBEn) und dem Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. (BUND), Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Institut für Bank, Finanz, und Rechnungswesen, April 2014. Accessed November 3, 2014.

The link is broken. This new link is

Vass, Tiffany. “The influence of local project initiation, participation, and investment on local perceptions of small-scale wind energy projects in Nova Scotia.” Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 2013. Accessed November 2, 2014. //

The link is broken. The new link is

Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative website. Accessed November 2, 2014.

The link is broken. The new link is

Wind Energy for the Rest of Us

is available through most retail and online channels.

BookDepository promises dispatch from the UK and delivery anywhere for free!