Wind Turbine Energy: How It Works and Stocks to Watch

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In particular, the U.S. small wind turbine market grew over 20% and deployed over 9.7 megawatts (MW) of new capacity in 2008. Numerous new start-up manufacturers entered the market and small wind media inquiries were at an all-time high, reflecting this gFederal small wind energy, tax-credits are available at 30% of the cost, with no upper limit through 2016 (for existing homes and new construction).

Based on research data analysis, we project small residential wind turbines and solar PV are examples of technologies moving the U.S. toward realizing the new administration’s vision for a renewable energy future combined with creating thousands of new manufacturing and dealer jobs across the country.

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This past fall, Congress passed a small-wind tax credit that gives an average $4,000 investment tax credit for the purchase of turbines. President Obama’s economic stimulus package could breathe new life into the emerging industry: small wind turbines. Specifically the bill provides a 30 percent investment tax credit to consumers who buy wind turbines, which are typically used to help power homes or small businesses.

The U.S. small wind industry projects that the enactment of the tax credit, combined with a forthcoming equipment certification program, will provide thousands of new green collar jobs and contribute to an estimated 40%-50% annual growth for the industry.

Wind Energy Companies To Watch

Companies leading the high growth wind energy industry include; VESTA Wind Systems (VWSYF.PK – Copenhagen, Denmark) with a 23% global market share, GE Energy Financial Services (NYSE: GE), StatoilHydro (NYSE:STO), Siemens Wind Power (NYSE: SI), Danotek Motion Technologies – turbine generators, Owens Corning composite turbine blades (NYSE: OC), Dewind – Composite Technologies Corporation (CPTC.OB), and Kaydon Corporation (NYSE: KDN) and BP Alternative Energy (NYSE: BP).

Emerging market small turbine wind energy companies to watch include; Mariah Power – Windspire , Tangarie Alternative Power LLC, , Urban Green Energy , Wind Energy 7 , Windmax Green Energy , Bergey Windpower Company , Wind Turbine Industries Corporation , Abundant Renewable Energy , Atlantic Orient Corporation , TechnoSpin , Swift Wind Turbines , Qingdao Zicheng Wind Power Generator Co , Aerofortis Energy Solutions , and Wind Energy Solutions BV among many rapidly growing companies.

The U.S. still leads worldwide in small wind production, but global market opportunities, and the resulting clean, renewable energy production, may also involve foreign states where favorable policies exist specifically Europe, South America and Asian countries.

Industry challenges to meeting its full potential continue to be political, financial, and regulatory in nature, not technological. A continued progression of favorable domestic policies will help maintain the United States’ long-standing dominance in the global small wind market. U.S. manufacturers still claim a domestic stronghold, but foreign markets, expanded by a host of incentive policies, have also become fertile and new opportunities abroad being filled by U.S. and foreign manufacturers alike.

The industry has made steady progress toward overcoming market barriers by challenging unfavorable zoning regulations, pursuing certification programs for equipment and installers, and securing private external investment. It is expected that political leaders at the local, state, and federal levels will take a greater role and further encourage growth in this segment of the U.S. economy.

Micro Turbine’s Visual Appearance

Many types of turbines exist but the traditional horizontal micro wind turbine typically consists of a tail, a body housing the generator, and a number of aerodynamic blades.

How does a Micro Wind Turbine operate? A wind turbines aerodynamic blades are turned by the wind’s lift forces. This in turn rotates, what is effectively a copper coil through a magnetic field, generating an electrical current. In a micro wind turbine scenario, DC current is then transported away from the generator, with it’s destination either being a bank of storage batteries or an inverter , so that the power can be imported into a mains electricity circuit (such as a House’s power grid). These two usage options are explored later in this document.

Micro Wind Turbines Output

Micro wind turbines are typically rated by their power output at a wind speed of 12.5 m/s. This has fast become the industry standard. However there can still be massive differences in performance between two turbines rated at 1kw. For example, some models of turbine will have to ‘cut out’ when the wind speeds are slightly above the 12.5 m/s mark. The reason being that they will have been produced to only be able to reliably cope with the rotational speed, and power output that a wind of 12.5 m/s produces. A cut out on such a unit will typically mean the unit brakes itself to a standstill for a period of time, before allowing itself to start rotating once more. This puts a turbine that cut itself out at slightly above it’s rated power at a disadvantage to a turbine, which whilst also rated at 1 kw at 12.5 m/s, can also continue to produce 2kw at 20 m/s, 2.5 at 23 m/s etc. Turbines with a capacity to do this are often more expensive and therefore wisely utilized in areas of higher average wind speed. An alternative solution is to incorporate electromagnetic braking into the turbine, so that once it exceeds it’s capacity, it uses any excess to slow itself down slightly. Thus ensuring that at no point does it need to stop generating power.

Reliability – Although the wind industry has achieved high levels of wind turbine availability and reliability, any potential unpredictable or unreliable performance would threaten the credibility of this emerging technology in the eyes of financial institutions. The consequences of real or perceived reliability problems would extend beyond the direct cost to the plant owners. The public’s confidence in the technology is crucial. Without public support, partnerships working toward a new wind industry future cannot be successful.

Basic Principles Wind energy is still a largely untapped renewable energy resource, particularly in the United States. For example, the UK receives 40% of Europe’s total wind energy (1), and yet only 0.5% of our electricity requirements are generated by wind turbines. The most basic principle of capturing Wind power is the conversion of the wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical energy. This mechanical energy can then be utilized in two possible ways; it can be used to create electricity in applications that are called Wind Turbines, or it is used directly to pump or grind, which falls under the generic bracket of ‘Windmills’. This briefing notes document will concentrate on ‘Micro Wind Turbines’, in particular turbines which have a full load output of under 4 kilo watts. These are turbines which will practical for domestic property and small industrial installations.

As a nation, the United States has made much progress recently in developing its wind resources. However, advancements in wind technologies and the projected increasing demand for electricity will provide significant opportunities to further develop this domestic renewable resource. Actions toward this goal, offer residents and businesses in the rural and urban United States potential for economic development opportunities and potential for employment.

The United States is a prime location for developing wind resources and new wind manufacturing facilities. At the same time, relocating or expanding existing industries can give businesses opportunities to meet many of the material needs associated with wind technology manufacturing, installation, and facility operation.

In many areas of the country, renewable resources provide an opportunity to boost the local economy significantly. Wind plants offer employment during construction and continue to support permanent jobs during operation. Today, tax revenues from wind plants help to fund local schools, hospitals, and government services.

Conclusion / Summary Analysis

Based on the research data contained in this report, a new and expanding wind manufacturing industry can meet 25% of U.S. domestic electricity needs through 2030 with a steady 30% annual industry growth rate thru 2016. The complete Wind Energy Report is available for purchase.

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