Shoot the Breeze


Kilo-what? Differentiating kilowatts and kilowatt-hours

Each month our customer service staff answers common questions heard across the airwaves.

There is often confusion differentiating kilowatts and kilowatt-hours when it comes to measuring personal wind turbine production potential, efficiency and actual output. To understand these two terms you must first understand the difference between power and energy: Read more »

Webinar: Electrical considerations and requirements for on-grid personal wind turbines

Attention dealers! Join us for a free webinar, May 19, to learn about on-grid turbine installment considerations and requirements:

Who: This training is intended for small wind turbine installers, utility company representatives, AHJ permitting officials, and inspectors. Read more »

Wind: An essential medium for kinetic artists

It’s amazing to think that a breeze on a sunny day can turn into something powerful enough to create electricity to run our homes. What other super powers does wind have? In our series "What can wind do?" we will explore unique ways wind is changing our world.

Each section of this elegant kinetic sculpture rotates independently and the effect is mesmerizing. It is located at DeCordova Museum Sculpture Garden in Lincoln, Mass., outside of Boston. Read more »

In the news: Renewable renaissance long-term despite global warming, foreign competition

Here on Shoot the Breeze, we’ll keep an eye on the latest news in the wind industry. Each week we will feature the top five stories that have caught our attention.

US wind industry heading for ‘renaissance’ in 2011
Energy Efficiency News
The US wind industry installed 1100 MW of new capacity in the first quarter of 2011, says the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Even more encouraging is the fact that the wind industry entered the second quarter of this year with a further 5600 MW under construction, nearly double that reported at the same time in the last two years. Read more »

Will wind work for you? Look beyond average wind speed

Though the basic mechanics of the old-fashioned windmill are still present in the engineering of a personal wind turbine, time and technology have created a more efficient and effective machine. In our “How does it work?” series, we will discuss the ins and outs of how wind turns into watts.

Contrary to popular belief, average wind speed should not be a deciding factor in figuring out if wind is right for you. To determine what turbine model, if any, is most appropriate for your needs, there are two questions you should ask: Read more »

The good life on ice

In our series “In Action," the opportunities and benefits of personal wind turbines are shared through customer testimonials and regional case studies.

Mike Kaiser lives in St. Paul, Minn., but on winter weekends, you’ll most likely find him living comfortably on ice.

Mike’s home away from home is an ice fishing shelter on wheels that offers every comfort and convenience of home. Even better, it’s powered entirely by a personal wind turbine (AIR X) and solar panels.

The fish house, measuring 7 feet by 25 feet, is not so much about fishing as it is about getting away in comfort. Electrically wired, the unit has heat and satellite TV and accommodates 4-6 people, sleeping two comfortably. Read more »

Wind creates kaleidoscope view

It’s amazing to think that a breeze on a sunny day can turn into something powerful enough to create electricity to run our homes. What other super powers does wind have? In our series "What can wind do?" we will explore unique ways wind is changing our world.

This sculpture in downtown Vail, Colo. was made by Mark White. The wind turns the two sides in opposite directions, creating the look of a large bronze kaleidoscope in motion. Read more »

In the news: Clean energy shows value and clout in the U.S. and abroad

Here on Shoot the Breeze, we’ll keep an eye on the latest news in the wind industry. Each week we will feature the top five stories that have caught our attention.

U.S. May Spend $130 Million for Energy Research, Chu Says
Bloomberg
The U.S. Energy Department said it will provide as much as $130 million for projects in its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, known as ARPA-E. The funding is for five categories: producing biofuels as an alternative to oil, storing thermal energy, finding alternatives to expensive rare-earth minerals, maintaining electric grid reliability as renewable sources are added and reducing costs for solar power, according to a statement. Read more »

The Basics: Essential parts of a wind turbine

Though the basic mechanics of the old-fashioned windmill are still present in the engineering of a personal wind turbine, time and technology have created a more efficient and effective machine. In our “How does it work?” series, we will discuss the ins and outs of how wind turns into watts.

In general, personal wind turbines are made up of a rotor, generator or alternator mounted on a frame, a tail (sometimes), a tower, wiring and “balance of system” components that include: controllers, inverters and/or batteries. Read more »

How much does installing and maintaining a wind turbine cost?

In our “Is Wind for You?" series we will discuss frequently asked questions and concerns when it comes to purchasing and installing a personal wind turbine.

Installation and maintenance costs for your personal wind turbine will vary greatly depending on local zoning, permitting and utility interconnection. Learn more about incentives and rebates offered in your area to help best calculate overall cost. Read more »


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