What is Wind Energy?

Windmills were originally used for grinding grain and pumping water. Today wind energy is used to power a variety of applications; the foremost being electricity generation.

Generating Power From the Wind

All wind energy systems consist of a turbine and a tower. Winds spin an alternator inside the turbine producing “wild” AC electricity, which is then regulated to DC voltage, normally 48 volts or more. At this point, this power can be stored in a battery bank, for later use, or fed back to the BC utility grid, for utility bill credits, by way of an inverter.

A wind turbine is only as effective as its tower is tall. Tower height plays a major part in wind turbine performance. Towers are available in different configurations and heights, and some can be tilted up or down for easy maintenance and installation. Others are freestanding and need to be erected with a crane.

To determine if your site is feasible for a wind system, we can conduct a feasibility study or you can learn how to assess the general wind potential of your site.

Terratek can design, supply and install wind systems in the following formats:

Off-Grid

A wind turbine charges a battery bank using a controller. An inverter converts that power into household electricity. When the battery bank is fully charged, excess power the turbine produces needs to be used by some form of a diversion load, otherwise known as a dump load. Common diversion loads are heating elements for both water and/or air.

Grid-Tie

A turbine┬áconnected to an inverter that converts power into household electricity, but also allows surplus electricity that is not used to be fed back into the grid though BC’s Net Metering Program.

Grid-Tie with Battery Back-up

The same as above, but the inverter also uses electricity stored in a battery bank for backup situations where the power is out. Typically, a limited number of loads are run by this battery bank. These systems work well on the West Coast, as power outages can sometimes occur when the wind is blowing.

Hybrid System

Typically, this type of system uses both wind and solar as power sources. By taking advantage of bot this setup becomes a perfect fit for the Vancouver Island climate! Depending on your site, a variety of options are available.