DPRK Renewable Energy Project
thursday, june 3, 1999

Renewable Wind Energy Resources

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Small (household-scale) wind generator technology was extremely widespread in the farm country of the midwestern US during the 1920s and 30s, then declined as rural areas were electrified during the Roosevelt administration. Since the rebirth of interest in renewable energy in the 1970s, small wind generator usage has increased. Several successful U.S. manufacturers, including Bergey Windpower of Oklahoma, World Power Technologies of Minnesota, and Southwest Windpower of Arizona, now produce wind generator equipment. We used units from each company on our project in North Korea.

If you want to learn more about windpower, including how to actually build a system for a household, farm or business, we suggest the following:

  • Read the book, Wind Power for Home & Business, by Paul Gipe, Chelsea Green Publishing, 1993. Mr. Gipe covers important aspects of the technology, including siting, economics and state of the industry...a must for beginners. Read more about Mr. Gipe and his experience in wind energy.

  • Read Home Power Magazine. You can visit their website to obtain back issues on a CD-ROM. In particular, search for any articles on wind energy by Mick Sagrillo, one of the gurus of small wind generators, plus other articles by homeowners who have built their own systems. The CD-ROM is easy to search by topic.

  • If you want to build your own home system, consider taking the annual two-week course on designing and installing small wind systems at Solar Energy International, a hands-on renewable energy school in Carbondale, Colorado. The course, taught by Mick Sagrillo, is absolutely top-notch. Visit Solar Energy International's website.

  • If you are in the Midwest and are serious about building a system, contact Lake Michigan Wind and Sun, a wind and solar business in Wisconsin that sells products from different manufactures, and also designs and installs systems. Their email address is lmwands@itol.com. Lake Michigan Wind and Sun is very established and reputable, but there are many other installer/dealers as well. Look in the Home Power Magazine advertiser's index for more leads.

  • Obtain product literature manufacturers, both American and overseas. But do the background reading first, or in parallel, if you are not already familiar with the technology, and how to use and evaluate it. Remember that in addition to wind generators, a typical small wind system involves many other components, which often come from other manufacturers -- towers, batteries, regulators, wiring, etc.

  • Other Web-related Resources:


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