Wind Energy Institute
Affiliated with the Renewable Energy Institute

"The Answer Is Blowing In the Wind!"

Email:  info @ WindEnergyInstitute .com

Changing The Way The World Does Energy by Providing Research & Development, Funding and Resources That Create Pollution Free Power, Carbon Free Energy & Renewable Energy Technologies

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Wind Energy Institute

Vision Statement for the Wind Energy Institute

To collaborate with and support the Renewable Energy Institute and provide leadership in the areas of wind power and wind energy in order to end America's dependence on unsustainable sources of energy, lead and formulate public policy that promotes greater use of wind energy (and other forms of renewable energy), and develop strategic partners that share and advance the goal of making the United States energy independent.

Mission Statement for the Wind Energy Institute

To educate the public stakeholders that include: residential, commercial, industrial and governmental organizations who are consumers of energy the many benefits and uses of wind energy and wind power and to promote the expanded use of wind and other renewable energy technologies in the United States and around the world.

Goals and Objectives of the Wind Energy Institute

The specific goals and objectives of the Wind Energy Institute, a division of the Renewable Energy Institute, a Texas 501 (c) 3 corporation shall be:

1. To expand the use of wind power, wind energy and other renewable energy technologies in the United States and around the world.

2. To end America's dependence on unstable, unsustainable foreign source of energy, and make the United States energy independent.

3. To lead and formulate public policy that promotes greater use of renewable energy.

4. To lead the research and development of new wind energy technologies that lead to patents and the ability to license the renewable energy technologies we develop and invest.

5. To coordinate the research and development of renewable energy between universities so as to minimize redundancy and maximize results.

6. To facilitate and promote dialog between universities and professors in the free flow of research to enhance results and breakthroughs in renewable energy research and development. 

7. To educate and inform the public, including stakeholders that include residential, commercial, industrial and governmental organizations who are consumers of power and energy, the many benefits and uses of renewable energy.

8.  The Wind Energy Institute will promote higher energy and electric power efficiencies and wind energy technologies including; wind farms, community wind farms, compressed air energy storage.

9. The Wind Energy Institute will promote Carbon Capture and Sequestration (also referred to as Carbon Dioxide Sequestration) technologies.

10. To adopt and aggressively promote a goal of providing the U.S. with 25% of its‘ power and energy requirements from wind energy sources by 2025, and 30% by 2030.  Texas will lead the way with a goal of providing 30% of its‘ power and energy requirements from renewable energy sources by 2020.

11. To seek funding, investments and donations for the Wind Energy Institute from concerned citizens, organizations and companies that will fund the WEI's grants, research and development.

12. To seek and develop strategic partners/partnerships that share and advance our common goals.

13. To seek out qualified companies and people that want to utilize our products and services under our license. 

14. To provide Engineering Feasibility and Economic Analysis studies for customers - through a separate entity affiliated with the Wind Energy Institute.

15. To develop wind energy projects on behalf of customers - through a separate entity affiliated with the Wind Energy Institute.

16. To remain committed as a trusted supplier of research, development and technologies and be committed as a "vendor-neutral" resource of information until such time we identify "optimum“ companies, products and/or technologies.

17. To promote and integrate the use of wind energy and wind power technologies in creating "sustainable communities," "renewable energy districts" and "green buildings."  

18. To be committed to ending global warming, eliminating carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, and advance technologies such as carbon dioxide sequestration to end global climate change. 

19. To provide leadership, research and education in updating/re-building our national power grid and transforming it to the "transmission superhighway" that America needs.  The transmission superhighway will efficiently move wind energy and renewable energy from sites where the renewable energy is generated, to markets and load centers. Simultaneously, the nation's new transmission superhighway must also integrate related technologies such as Demand Side Management and Automated Demand Response as comprehensive solutions to make our grid "smart" while also reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions. 

20.  As an integral part of our education goals, the Wind Energy Institute will publish the online magazine that will be called the "Wind Energy Magazine."  The website address for our new magazine is:

2-Bladed Wind Turbines are Inefficient  and Provide a Return on Investment 
Significantly Lower to 3-Bladed Wind Turbine Generators

Out-dated, Inefficient 2-Bladed Wind Turbines Are Now "Extinct!" 

Why 3-Bladed Wind Turbine Generators are Far Superior and More Efficient than 2-Bladed Wind Turbines

The argument has been settled and the debate is over. 

Today's "modern" 3-bladed wind turbines represent the latest technological improvements in wind turbine generators, and are superior to the 20-30 year old technology that 2-bladed wind turbines represent.

First of all, it is important to remember that 2-bladed wind turbines may generate only about 90% of the power of a 3-bladed wind turbine of comparable size.  While a 2-bladed wind turbine saves the weight of one extra blade when compared with a 3-bladed wind turbine, engineers of the most efficient wind turbines have determined that the extra blade used on 3 bladed wind turbines provide the optimum wind turbine efficiency and wind turbine design for the "ideal" wind turbine generators of today.  

Secondly, the top-3 leading wind turbine manufacturers have standardized on the 3-bladed wind turbine.  They do not manufacture any 2-bladed wind turbines.  Plainly stated, a wind turbine with an even number of blades (2 blades or 4 blades) are NOT of optimum design or efficiency. In fact, this debate was settled years ago when the wind turbine engineers and designers began building wind turbines over 600 kW in power output.

The leading wind turbine manufacturers and their engineers have decided that 3 bladed wind turbines are the optimum number of wind turbine blades due to the stability of the wind turbine as well as the significant wind loads and stresses placed on a 2-bladed wind turbine.  A wind turbine that has an odd number of blades is similar to a disc when calculating the computational fluid dynamics of the wind turbine.  Engineers have learned that wind turbines that have an even number of blades - such as the 2 bladed wind turbines of the past - have stability problems for a machine with a stiff structure. The reason for this problem is simple, engineers recognized that when a 2-bladed wind turbine's top blade bends backwards - when the wind turbine's 2 blades are in the vertical position - since it is now generating the maximum power from the wind - that the lower or bottom blade is now aligned with the tower and the blade is hidden or blocked from the wind - and this generates a huge amount of stress and loads on the wind turbine and its' primary components such as the bearings, shaft, transmission etc.

Because of the extreme wind loads and stresses placed on 2-bladed wind turbines, the remaining 2-bladed wind turbine manufacturers have had to resort to a "teetered hub" that helps remove some of the stress and loads placed on 2-bladed wind turbines. While there are some very fine 2-bladed wind turbines, of smaller power output, the bottom line is, 3 bladed wind turbines are inherently better and more efficient than 2-bladed wind turbines.

For these reasons, community wind farm owners and developers, along with utility-scale wind farm owners and developers, would be wise to only consider 3-bladed wind turbines.


Wind Energy Magazine


The Wind Energy Magazine website is being re-designed and will be online by May 30, 2011.

The Wind Energy Magazine "print" version to be available by January 2012.  

Premium advertising space now available.  

For ad rates or media kit, send email with information about your company, product(s) or service(s) that you want to advertise to: 






The Certified Windsmith Education & Training Program

The Wind Energy Institute will develop the curriculum for the Certified Windsmith training program in association with our education partners. In addition, we will either grant, award and/or certify the degree/diploma of Certified Windsmith through our education partners and list our graduates and support them at the website:

Our suggested Curriculum for the Certified Windsmith Diploma includes the following:

Electrical Circuit Fundamentals

Electrical Circuit Fundamentals Lab

DC Circuits

AC Circuits

Introduction to Wind Turbines & Wind Energy Conversion Systems

Wind Turbine Generators: Synchronous Generators/Asynchronous Generators

Doubly-fed Induction generators

Fluid Power Hydraulic Theory

Wind Energy Fundamentals

Wind Energy OSHA Standards

Basic Digital Circuits

The History of Windmills and Wind Energy Conversion Systems

The Wind Energy Institute will fund research and development of all practical wind energy technologies, as well as provide leadership in the areas of "Pollution Free Power," "Carbon Free Energy," and "green tags" also known as a Renewable Energy Credit. 

The Wind Energy Institute will also conduct testing of wind energy technologies, that compare various manufacturers products' and determines which products have the highest efficiencies, and fastest returns on investment (ROI). And, the Wind Energy Institute will conduct "vendor-neutral" Engineering Feasibility and Economic Analysis, for specific renewable energy projects, for our customers, to determine the best technologies, and best equipment, for each new renewable energy project. 

The Wind Energy Institute is a Non-Profit Texas company that has applied for 501 (c)(3) with the I.R.S. The Wind Energy Institute is “Changing The Way The World Does Energy” by Providing Research & Development, Funding And Resources That Create “Pollution Free Power,” “Carbon Free Energy” & “Renewable Energy Technologies” whose results prove we are driven by the wind.

Like the Bob Dylan song, we believe "the answer is blowing in the wind," and we have a limited window of opportunity to capitalize on one of our nation's great natural resources - our wind!

The Wind Energy Institute funds, supports and advances the important research that leading professors, grad students and universities are conducting that will make America energy independent and end our dependence on foreign fossil fuels and particularly those foreign fossil fuels from countries that are not friendly to us.

Wind Power Generation: 
Growing Faster Than Any Other 
Form of Renewable Energy!


Installed Windpower Generation (in Megawatts) by Country












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United States — 50-Meter Wind Resource Map

A wind resource map of the United States. Both high resolution and low resolution datasets are used.



Yearly Installed Wind Capacity Map

This map shows the installed wind capacity in megawatts.  As of December 31, 2007, 16,596 MW have been installed. Alaska, 2 MW; Hawaii, 63 MW; Washington, 1163 MW; Oregon, 885 MW; California, 2439 MW; Idaho, 75 MW; Utah, 1 MW; Montana, 145 MW; Wyoming, 288 MW; Colorado, 1067 MW; New Mexico, 496 MW; North Dakota, 345 MW; South Dakota, 98 MW; Nebraska, 72 MW; Kansas, 364 MW; Oklahoma, 689 MW; Texas, 4296 MW; Minnesota, 1258 MW; Iowa, 1115 MW; Missouri, 62 MW; Wisconsin, 53 MW; Illinois, 733 MW; Tennessee, 29 MW; Michigan, 3 MW; Ohio, 7 MW; West Virginia, 66 MW; Pennsylvania, 294 MW; New Jersey, 8 MW; New York, 425 MW; Vermont, 6 MW; New Hampshire, 1 MW; Massachusetts, 5 MW; Rhode Island, 1 MW; Maine, 42 MW.



Texas Wind Power Map


Texas Wind Power Map 2004

Wind Classification Legend




Wind Energy Terminology & Glossary

AC - Alternating Current 

Airfoil -The cross section profile of the leeward side of a wind generator blade. Designed to give low drag and good lift. Also found on an airplane wing. 

Air Gap - In a permanent magnet alternator, the distance between the magnets and the laminates. 

Alternating Current - Electricity that changes direction periodically. The period is measured in Cycles per Second (Hertz, Hz). 

Alternator - A device that produces Alternating Current from the rotation of a shaft. 

Amperage - A unit of electrical current, equal to Coulombs per second. This is the flow rate of electrons moving through a circuit, very roughly analogous to gallons per minute flowing from a faucet. 

Ampere-Hour - A measure of energy quantity, equal to amperes times hours. Also used to measure battery capacity. 

Anemometer - A device that measures wind speed. 

Angle of Attack - The angle of relative air flow to the blade chord. 

Annealing - A heat treatment process that makes Cold-rolled steel more suitable for forming and bending. 

Area of a Circle - Pi multiplied by the Radius squared. 

Armature - The moving part of an alternator, generator or motor. In many PM alternator designs, it carries the magnets and is attached to the blades and hub. Also called a Rotor. 

Axial Alternator - An alternator design where a flat disc carrying magnets on the face (the Armature) rotates near a flat disc carrying coils (the Stator). 

Axis - The centerline of a rotating object's movement. 

Balancing - With wind turbine blades, adjusting their weight and weight distribution through 2 axes so that all blades are the same. Unbalanced blades create damaging vibration. 

Battery - An electrochemical device for storing energy. 

Battery Bank - An array of Batteries connected in series, parallel, or both. 

Bearing - A device that transfers a force to structural supports. In a wind generator, bearings allow the Shaft to rotate freely, and allow the machine to Yaw into and out of the wind. 

Belt - A device for transferring power from a rotating shaft to a generator. Allows the use of Pulleys to change the ratio of shaft speed to and from the generator. 

Betz Limit -59.3 percent. This is the theoretical maximum efficiency at which a wind generator can operate, by slowing the wind down. If the wind generator slows the wind down too much, air piles up in front of the blades and is not used for extracting energy. 

Blade - The part of a wind generator rotor that catches the wind. 

Braking System - A device to slow a wind turbine's shaft speed down to safe levels electrically or mechanically. 

Bridge Rectifier - An array of diodes used to convert Alternating Current to Direct Current. Single-phase bridge rectifiers use 4 diodes, 3-phase bridge rectifiers use 6 diodes. 

Brushes - Devices for transferring power to or from a rotating object. Usually made of carbon-graphite. 

Ceramic Magnets - See Ferrite Magnets. 

Chord - The width of a wind turbine blade at a given location along the length. 

Coercivity--The amount of power needed to magnetize or demagnetize a permanent magnet. Measured in MegaGauss Oersted (mGO) 

Cogging - The cyclic physical resistance felt in some alternator designs from magnets passing the coils and gaps in the laminates. Detrimental to Start-up. 

Coil - A length of wire wound around a form in multiple turns. 

Cold-Rolled Steel - Steel processed by working at room temperatures. More expensive than hot-rolled steel. 

Commutator - The rotating part of a DC generator. 

Concave - A surface curved like the interior of a circle or sphere. 

Convex - A surface curved like the exterior of a circle or sphere. 

Current - See Amperage. 

Cut-In Wind Speed - The rotational speed at which an alternator or generator starts pushing electricity hard enough (has a high enough voltage) to make electricity flow in a circuit. 

Cycles per Second - Measured in Hertz. In electricity, it is the number of times an AC circuit reaches both minimum and maximum values in one second. 

Darrieus Wind Turbine - A Vertical Axis Wind Turbine design from the 1920s and 1930s by F.M. Darrieus, a French wind turbine designer. 

DC - Direct Current 

Delta - A 3-phase alternator wiring configuration in which all phases are connected in Series. 

Diameter - A straight line passing through the center of a circle, and ending on both edges. Equal to 2 times the Radius. 

Diode - A solid-state device that allows electricity to flow in only one direction. 

Downwind - Refers to a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine in which the hub and blades point away from the wind direction, the opposite of an Upwind turbine. 

Drag - In a wind generator, the force exerted on an object by moving air. Also refers to a type of wind generator or anemometer design that uses cups instead of a blades with airfoils. 

Dump Load - A device to which wind generator power flows when the system batteries are too full to accept more power, usually an electric heating element. This diversion is performed by a Shunt Regulator, and allows a Load to be kept on the Alternator or Generator. 

Duty Cycle - In a circuit, the ratio of off time to on time. 

Dynamo - A device that produces Direct Current from a rotating shaft. See Generator. 

Eddy Currents - Currents that flow in a substance from variations in magnetic induction. See also Lenz Effect. Laminates are used to prevent eddy currents, which cause physical and electrical resistance in an alternator or transformer, therefore wasting power. 

Efficiency - The ratio of energy output to energy input in a device. 

Electromagnet - A device made of wire coils that produces a magnetic field when electricity flows through the coils. 

Epoxy - A 2-part adhesive system consisting of resin and hardener. It does not start to harden until the elements are mixed together. NOT compatible with Fiberglas® Resin. 

Excitation - Using an electric current to create a magnetic field. See Electromagnet. 

Fatigue - Stress that causes material failure from repeated, cyclic vibration or stress. 

Ferrite Magnets - Also called Ceramic Magnets. Made of Strontium Ferrite. High Coercivity and Curie Temperature, low cost, but brittle and 4-5 times weaker than NdFeB magnets. 

Fiberglas® Resin--Another 2-part adhesive system, NOT compatible with Epoxy. Often used for making castings, since it is much cheaper than Epoxy. 

Freewheeling - a wind generator that is NOT connected to a Load is freewheeling, and in danger of self-destruction from overspeeding. 

Frequency - Refers to electric current - Also see Cycles per Second. 

Furling - The act of a wind generator Yawing out of the wind either horizontally or vertically to protect itself from high wind speeds. 

Furling Tail - A wind generator protection mechanism where the rotor shaft axis is offset horizontally from the yaw axis, and the tail boom is both offset horizontally and hinged diagonally, thus allowing the tail to fold up and in during high winds. This causes the blades to turn out of the wind, protecting the machine. 

Gauss - A unit of magnetic induction, equal to 1 Maxwell per square centimeter. Higher Gauss measurements mean more power can be induced to flow in an alternator. Gauss readings can be increased by putting steel behind magnets, stacking magnets, or using larger or higher-grade magnets. 

Gearing - Using a mechanical system of gears or belts and pulleys to increase or decrease shaft speed. Power losses from friction are inherent in any gearing system. 

Generator - A device that produces Direct Current from a rotating shaft. 

Governor - A device that regulates the speed of a rotating shaft, either electrically or mechanically. 

Guy Anchor - Attaches tower guy wires securely to the earth. 

Guy Radius - The distance between a wind turbine tower and the guy anchors. 

Guy Wire - Attaches a tower to a Guy Anchor and the ground. 

H-Rotor - A Vertical Axis Wind Turbine design. 

HAWT - Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine. 

Hertz - Frequency measurement. See Cycles per Second 

Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine - A "normal" wind turbine design, in which the shaft is parallel to the ground, and the blades are perpendicular to the ground. 

Hub - The center of a wind generator rotor, which holds the blades in place and attaches to the shaft. 

Impedance - See Resistance. 

Induction - The production of a magnetic field by the proximity of a electric charge or the production of a magnetic field by proximity of an electric charge. 

Induction Motor - An AC motor in which the rotating armature has no electrical connections to it (ie no slip rings), and consists of alternating plates of aluminum and steel. 

Kilowatt - 1000 Watts (see Watt) 

kW - Kilowatt. 

Laminations--Electrical circuit core parts, found in motors, generators, alternators and transformers. When core parts are subjected to alternating electrical or magnetic fields, the buildup of Eddy Currents causes physical and electrical power loss. Laminations are made of thin strips of materials that make good temporary magnets and poor permanent magnets, and each strip is insulated electrically from the next. 

Leading Edge - The edge of a blade that faces toward the direction of rotation. 

Leeward - Away from the direction from which the wind blows. 

Lenz Effect - See also Eddy Currents. From H.F.E Lenz in 1833. Electromotive force is induced with variations in magnetic flux. It can be demonstrated physically in many different ways--for example dragging a strong magnet over an aluminum or copper plate, or shorting the terminals of a PM alternator and rotating the shaft by hand. Laminates are used to reduce power losses from this effect. 

Lift - The force exerted by moving air on asymmetrically-shaped wind generator blades at right angles to the direction of relative movement. Ideally, wind generator blades should produce high Lift and low Drag. 

Live - A circuit that is carrying electricity.  

Load - Something physical or electrical that absorbs energy. A wind generator that is connected to a battery bank is loaded. A disconnected wind generator is NOT loaded, so the blades are free to spin at very high speed without absorbing any energy from the wind, and it is in danger of destruction from overspeeding. 

Losses - Power that is harvested by a wind generator but is not transferred to a usable form. Losses can be from friction, electrical resistance, or other causes. 

Magnet - A body that attracts ferromagnetic materials. Can be a Permanent magnet, Temporary Magnet, or Electromagnet. 

Magnetite - A common Iron-containing mineral with ferromagnetic properties. 

Magnet Wire - The kind of wire always used in making electromagnets, alternators, generators and motors. Uses very thin enamel insulation to minimize thickness and maximize resistance to heat. 

Magnetic Circuit - The path in which magnetic flux flows from one magnet pole to the other. 

Magnetic Field - Magnetic fields are historically described in terms of their effect on electric charges. A moving electric charge, such as an electron, will accelerate in the presence of a magnetic field, causing it to change velocity and its direction of travel. An electrically charged particle moving in a magnetic field will experience a force (known as the Lorentz force) pushing it in a direction perpendicular to the magnetic field and the direction of motion. Also called magnetic flux. 

Maximum Energy Product - Determines how good a magnet that different materials can make. Technically, the amount of energy that a material can supply to an external magnetic circuit when operating within its demagnetization curve. 

MegaGauss Oersted - Magnetic force measurement, see Maximum Energy Product. 

MGOe - MegaGauss Oersted. 

Moment - A force attempting to produce motion around an axis. 

NdFeB - See Neodymium-Iron-Boron Magnet. 

Nacelle - The protective covering over the generator or motor at the top of a wind turbine tower. 

Neodymium-Iron-Boron Magnet - The composition of the most powerful Permanent Magnets known to man. The materials are mined, processed, and sintered into shape. Then, they are subjected to an extremely strong magnetic field and become Permanent Magnets. 

Ohm's Law - The basic math needed for nearly all electrical calculations. Please see a dictionary or Pocket Ref for all of the variations on Ohm's Law! E=I*R (voltage(E)=amperage(I)*resistance(R)), and all of the algebraic variations of this (I=E/R, R=E/I). Also, for DC circuits, Watts=Volts*Amps. For AC circuits, Watts=Amps * Volts * Cosine of phase angle theta. 

Open-Circuit Voltage - The voltage that a alternator or generator produces when it is NOT connected to a Load. 

Parallel - In DC electrical circuits such as a battery bank or solar panel array, this is a connection where all negative terminals are connected to each other, and all positive terminals are connected to each other. Voltage stays the same, but amperage is increased. In AC circuits such as a wind generator alternator, each parallel coil is connected to common supply wires, again increasing amperage but leaving voltage the same. Opposite of Series. See also Star. 

Permanent Magnet - A material that retains its magnetic properties after an external magnetic field is removed. 

Permanent Magnet Alternator - An Alternator that uses moving permanent magnets instead of Electromagnets to induce current in coils of wire. 

PM - Permanent Magnet. 

PMA - See Permanent Magnet Alternator. 

Phase - The timing of AC current cycles in different wires. 3-phase alternators produce current that is cyclically timed between 3 different wires and a common wire, while single phase produces it in only 1 wire and a common. In a 3-phase alternator, wire #1 receives a voltage peak, then wire #2 receives a peak, then wire #3.

Pillow Blocks - Bearings that support a horizontal shaft. 

Pitch - Setting Angle of an airfoil or blade. 

Poles - A way of picturing magnetic phenomena. All magnets are considered to be "dipoles", having both a North pole (which would point North if used in a compass) and a South pole (which would point South if used in a compass. In an alternator, generator, or motor the number of Poles is a measure of how many coils, permanent magnets or electromagnets are in the armature or stator. 

Prop - Propeller. 

Propeller - The spinning thing that makes an airplane move forward. Often incorrectly used to describe a wind turbine Rotor. 

Pulley - A device for transferring power when using Belts as Gearing. Changing to smaller or larger Pulleys changes the gear ratio, and can be used to make a shaft turn faster or slower than the shaft that is providing its power. 

Pulse Width Modulation - A regulation method based on Duty Cycle. At full power, a pulse-width-modulated circuit provides electricity 100 percent of the time. At half power, the PWM is on half the time and off half the time. The speed of this alternation is generally very fast. Used in both solar wind regulators to efficiently provide regulation. 

PWM - See Pulse Width Modulation. 

Radius - The distance between the center of a circle and the outside. 

Rare-Earth Magnets - See Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets. 

Rated Power Output - Used by wind generator manufacturers to provide a baseline for measuring performance. Rated output may vary by manufacturer. For example, one manufacturer's 1500 watt turbine may produce that amount of power at a 30 mph windspeed, while another brand of 1500 watt turbine may not make 1500 Watts until it gets a 40 mph windspeed.  Read manufacturer's ratings statements very carefully. 

Rectifier - See Diode. 

Radial - An alternator design in which the armature magnets are attached to the outside circumference of a disc, with the stator coils mounted around the outside. 

Regulator - A device to adjust incoming power so as to avoid overcharging a battery bank. In solar power, the regulator generally just turns the solar array off when the batteries are full. With a wind generator, the regulator generally diverts all or part of the incoming power to a Dump Load when the batteries fill, thus keeping a Load on the wind generator so it will not Freewheel. 

Relay - An electromechanical switch that uses a small amount of incoming electricity to charge an electromagnet, which physically pulls down a connecting switch to complete a circuit. This allows a low-power circuit to divert the electricity in a high-power circuit. 

Resistance - The voltage per amp needed to make electricity flow through a wire. See Ohm's Law. 

Root - The area of a blade nearest to the hub. Generally the thickest and widest part of the blade. 
Rotor--1) The blade and hub assembly of a wind generator. 2) The disc part of a vehicle disc brake. 3) The armature of a permanent magnet alternator, which spins and contains permanent magnets. 

RPM - Revolutions Per Minute. The number of times a shaft completes a full revolution in one minute. 

Savonius - A vertical-axis wind turbine design by S.J. Savonius of Finland from the 1920s and 30s. Shaped like a barrel split from end to end and offset along the cut. They are drag machines, and thus give very low rpm but lots of torque. 

Series - In DC electrical circuits such as a battery bank or solar panel array, this is a connection where all the negative terminals are connected to the neighboring positive terminals. Voltage increases, but amperage stays the same. In AC circuits such as a wind generator alternator, each coil is connected to the one next to it, and so on, again increasing voltage but leaving amperage the same. Opposite of Parallel. See also Delta. 

Servo Motor - A motor used for motion control in robots, hard disc drives, etc. Generally designed more like an alternator than a standard motor, most Servos need special control circuitry to make them rotate electrically. Some can be used in reverse to generate alternating current. 

Setting Angle - The angle between the blade Chord and the plane of the blade's rotation. Also called Pitch or blade angle. A blade carved with a Twist has a different setting angle at the Tip than at the Root. 

Shaft - The rotating part in the center of a wind generator or motor that transfers power. 

Short Circuit - 1) Parts of a circuit connected together with only the impedance of the leads between them. 2) In wind generators, connecting the output leads directly together so as to heavily load a generator in high winds. This creates a "short" circuit path back to the generator, bypassing all other loads. 

Shunt - An electrical bypass circuit that proportionally divides current flow between the shunt and the shunted equipment. It also allows high current measurements with low-current equipment. 

Shunt Regulator - A bypass device for power not needed for charging batteries. When batteries are full, the regulator shunts all or part of the excess power to a Dump Load to protect the batteries from overcharging damage. 

Slip Ring - Devices used to transfer electricity to or from rotating parts. Used in wound-field alternators, motors, and in some wind generator yaw assemblies. 

Star - A coil connection scheme for 3 phase alternators and generators in which all 3 coil phases are connected in parallel--they all share a common connection. 

Start-Up - The windspeed at which a wind turbine rotor starts to rotate. It does not necessarily produce any power until it reaches cut-in speed. See Cut-in Wind Speed.

Stationary - With wind generator towers, a tower that does not tilt up and down. The tower must be climbed or accessed with a crane to install or service equipment at the top. 

Stator - The part of a motor, generator or alternator that does not rotate. In permanent magnet alternators it holds the coils and laminates. 

Tail - See Vane. The proper term is actually Vane, but Tail is commonly used. 

Tail Boom - A strut that holds the tail (Vane) to the wind generator frame. 

Tape Drive Motor - A type of permanent magnet DC motor often used as a generator in small wind generator systems. 

Taper - The change in wind turbine blade width (chord) along the length. 

Temporary Magnet - A material that shows magnetic properties only while exposed to an external magnetic field. 

Thrust - In a wind generator, wind forces pushing back against the rotor. Wind generator bearings must be designed to handle thrust or else they will fail. 

Thrust Bearing - A bearing that is designed to handle axial forces along the centerline of the shaft--in a wind generator, this is the force of the wind pushing back against the blades. 

Tilt-Up - A tower that is hinged at the base and tilted up into position using a gin pole and winch or vehicle. Wind turbines on tilt-up towers can be serviced on the ground, with no climbing required. 

Tip - The end of a wind generator blade farthest from the hub. 

Tip Speed Ratio -The ratio of how much faster than the windspeed that the blade tips are moving. Abbreviation TSR. 

Torque - Turning force, equal to force times radius. See also Moment. 

Tower - A structure that supports a wind generator, usually high in the air. 

Trailing Edge - The edge of a blade that faces away from the direction of rotation. 

Transformer - Multiple individual coils of wire wound on a laminate core. Transfers power from one circuit to another using magnetic induction. Usually used to step voltage up or down. Works only with AC current. 

TSR - Tip Speed Ratio. 

Turn - In winding stator coils, this is one loop of wire around a form. A coil will often be referred to by how many turns of a certain gauge wire are in each coil. 

Twist - In a wind generator blade, the difference in Pitch between the blade root and the blade tip. Generally, the twist allows more Pitch at the blade root for easier Startup, and less Pitch at the tip for better high-speed performance. 

Upwind - the direction in which a wind turbine generator faces into the wind. 

Vane - A large, flat piece of material used to align a wind turbine rotor correctly into the wind. Usually mounted vertically on the tail boom. Sometimes called a Tail. 

Variable Pitch - A type of wind turbine rotor where the attack angle of the blades can be adjusted either automatically or manually. 

VAWT - Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. 

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine - A wind generator design where the rotating shaft is perpendicular to the ground, and the cups or blades rotate parallel to the ground. 

Voltage - A measure of electrical potential difference. One volt is the potential difference needed in a circuit to make one Ampere flow, dissipating one Watt of heat. 

Volt-Amp - In an AC circuit, this is Volts * Amps, without factoring in the power factor, derived from the phase angle. 

Watt - One Joule of electrical energy per second. In DC circuits, Watts=Volts * Amps. In AC circuits, Watts=Volts * Amps * the cosine of the phase angle. See also Volt-Amp. 

Wild AC - Alternating Current that varies in Frequency. 

Wind Generator - A device that captures the force of the wind to provide rotational motion to produce power with an alternator or generator. 

Windmill - A device that uses wind power to mill grain into flour. But informally used as a synonym for wind generator or wind turbine, and to describe machines that pump water with wind power. 

Wind Turbine - A machine that captures the force of the wind. Called a Wind Generator when used to produce electricity. Called a Windmill when used to crush grain or pump water. 

Windward - Toward the direction from which the wind blows. 

Yaw - Rotation parallel to the ground. A wind generator Yaws to face winds coming from different directions. 

Yaw Axis--Vertical axis through the center of gravity. 

Some of the above information provided with our thanks by the Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 


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