Renewable Energy has been part of everyday life as far back in history as we can remember. Probably the most well known is the energy harnessed from the wind. Large windmill structures were erected and used to pump water and to drive milling stones to crush harvested grains like wheat into flour. Holland was probably one of the first to harness this energy in any real scale and used windmills to pump to control water levels and remove water from the inside of there levee banks or dikes.
The generation of power by the wind is becoming very popular. There are several large scale facilities around the world Known as Wind Farms. These wind farms have a series of very large wind generators constructed up to several megawatts each which harness the Renewable Energy from the wind, with all of them feeding into the main power grid. Major electrical service providers construct these wind farms in location were there is very good supply of strong and constant wind.
In fact there is one such installation not far from where I live in Far North Queensland at a place called Ravenshoe, which is up on the Atherton Tablelands. This installation was built and commissioned in 2000 by the Stanwell Corporation and is proudly known as the Windy Hill Wind Farm and has an output capacity of 12 Megawatts generated from its 20 wind turbines. This wind farm has been so successful in harnessing the renewable energy in this area the Stanwell Corporation is conducting a feasibility study into installing a stage 2 with the same output capacity of 12 megawatts. Other than the Wind Hill Wind Farm Australia have 32 other wind farms in operation around the country and are looking at new locations all the time. At the end of 2009 wind generation had the capacity to generate 1877 Megawatts, which equates to 1.3% of Australia’s national demand, very impressive I think.
I too have taken advantage of this endless source of energy and installed a Stand Alone Hybrid System, which combines both wind and solar energy. This system generates enough power to run my entire household. I have a 1 Kilowatt wind generator and 15 175w mono-crystalline solar panel and the whole system is rated to 6 Kilowatts. It is fantastic no more power bills, the main reason why I did this was it was to far away to connect mains power and with the generous government subsidies it was a much better option.
The good thing about using wind generators is that they work as long as the wind is blowing even at night when there is no sun as long as wind is strong enough the wind generator will do its job and supply a Renewable Energy source to your battery bank or the grid if you have a grid connection system.
Even though the efficiency on wind generators are reasonably low used in conjunction with other forms of Renewable Energy and the fact that they use no fuels at all and have a very minimal impact on the environment they are only going to grow in numbers and with advancements in Technology they are bound to become more efficient.