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The Physics of Wind Power Generation
By Anthony Wayne Jones

The popularity of the do -it-yourself wind turbine for free energy project has become popular over the past few years. Literally thousands of citizens in an apparent frustration with the commercial market pricing and performance have set out on their own to build the perfect “wind machine renewable energy source.” A multitude of e books and other media have come of age in the virtual world and information is passed often as fact but spun with a lot of fiction.

Before you set out buying components for your dream project there are some things you should know. As owner of a wind power company, I wanted to take a moment to dispel some myths and mistakes that often lead to disappointment with DIY wind power projects. First in all projects whether related to wind or not some basic principles need to be understood and are almost universally ignored by the beginner. All permanent magnet alternators simply convert mechanical energy to electricity or electrical energy. The Law of Conservation of Energy applies here which states: “Energy in a system may take on various forms (e.g. kinetic, potential, heat, light). The law of conservation of energy states that energy may neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore the sum of all the energies in the system is a constant”

Overunity enthusiasts do not like this law of physics and I am not here to debate it but do agree with the general principle. How this relates to wind power and other projects is simple. Wind Generators simply capture kinetic energy from the wind and convert it to electrical energy buy using a “machine” i.e. your wind turbine to transfer the torque or twisting force energy from the blade set to the generator permanent magnet alternator.
It is not physically impossible not withstanding innovation we cannot make more power from a generator electrically than is input into it mechanically. I often find in the research and development end potential customers who have allocated valuable resources and sometime thousands of dollars in designs that simply do not produce torque. As a general rule the length of blade or diameter of a VAWT product torque. The swept are i.e. Surface area of the airfoil determines potential energy.

Systems are not 100 percent efficient productive, there are mechanical losses involved. In other words you do not get a one for one exchange rate on the mechanical energy to electrical energy transfer and gearing will increase this loss.

These principles always are in play and are not negotiable. A gear box in some instances can be a good idea in an airfoil that produces a significant amount of torque but the energy losses are higher. The bottom line is before you get started planning that machine that will get you though to retirement or even if you are just lowering your electric bill using your time to research the science involved is imperative. E Bay may not the best place to start to do this research much in the way. This will be the first article in a series that will be published for my customer to provide realistic expectations which is imperative to a successful renewable energy project.


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